Making The RoJo Transition

September 30th, 2019

This is not fake news.

With the first quarter of the 2019 campaign in the books, Ronald Jones is on pace for 200 carries for 936 yards and four touchdowns this season.

That’s the same guy who looked dreadful running the ball as a rookie last year. That’s the same guy who bounced back from a rough Week 2 game at Carolina.

Jones is not fumbling, and he’s battling. And he had two big runs called back because of penalties yesterday against the Rams. Yeah, maybe the penalties helped him, but those were still impressive scampers.

Regardless, Jones, last year’s No. 39 overall draft pick, is running hard and protecting the football — and protecting the resume of general manager Jason Licht.

Joe sees fans clamoring for Jones to take the No. 1 running back gig from Peyton Barber, who starts and then is spelled by Jones. Of course, that really doesn’t matter if Jones gets his touches, but transitioning to the starting gig might improve Jones’ confidence and feel for the game.

Barber has played like, well, Peyton Barber. So Joe would be just fine if Jones gets the call earlier.

What’s exciting is all this Jones improvement has come and he’s still yet to crank out a 100-yard game. The ceiling is high on 22-year-old Jones. It’s now up to Bruce Arians to decide whether Jones will get a true bellcow opportunity.

49 Responses to “Making The RoJo Transition”

  1. Andrew Says:

    He’s clearly the superior back. Needs to get the touches. Period.

  2. StonedBuc Says:


  3. Chris K Says:

    But but but Darrell Henderson…. Ghost of a player who never sees the field has to be a better player than Jones, right???

  4. ChanEpic Says:

    He’s earned more carries for sure. His added weight in the off-season did him a world of good. We could do a little better run-blocking because he has to be super elusive as soon as he gets the rock, on a ton of snaps. But, the improvement is undeniable. We don’t have access to the “All 22” tape so I’m curious about what the coaches are seeing re:blocking and if that is improving as well.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Examples all over this team of where the fans, including at least one of the Joes, gave up too soon on the players.

    Player development. It’s a real thing, people.

  6. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Amazing difference since last year…

  7. DR FEELGOOD Says:

    What Chris K said. Henderson isn’t even second string for the Rams. Finally it appears evident that Dirk and Company are clueless. Way to go RoJo!!!! Keep killing it!

  8. D-Rome Says:

    We don’t have access to the “All 22” tape so I’m curious about what the coaches are seeing re:blocking and if that is improving as well.

    ChanEpic, you can access the All 22 if you pay for NFL Game Pass.

  9. Buc50 Says:

    Last year he could have been cut and I wouldn’t have batted an eye, but this year, he has been way above any expectation I had of him. He’s earned the starting nod in my eye.

  10. D-Rome Says:

    Examples all over this team of where the fans, including at least one of the Joes, gave up too soon on the players.

    Bonzai, I hear what you are saying. Feel free to count me as one of those people who had serious doubts. I never called him a bust though, at least I don’t think I did.

    Here’s the thing, most fans know a thing or two about what a player’s development should look like and RoJo was not showing it, especially given where he was drafted. Also, the current pace that’s he’s on isn’t anything special. You can get that production from many running backs if you give him that many touches. That isn’t much better than Peyton Barber’s numbers from last year and Barber went undrafted.

  11. ChanEpic Says:

    D-Rome – thanks for the heads up on NFL Game Pass, I have it I just haven’t dug into it enough I guess. Have you watched RO JO’s blocking this season? Seeing any improvement there?

  12. Bobby M. Says:

    Its really simple…..stick with what is working. The way they use them as a combo is effective. Its not Alstott/Dunn but its working.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bonzai- I’m glad RoJo has proven us wrong. They always say hindsight is 20/20. There’s still no way that you can draw the correlation between RoJo 2018 and this RoJo.
    Night and day, and I’m happy to be eating my words!

  14. D-Rome Says:

    Have you watched RO JO’s blocking this season? Seeing any improvement there?

    There was one play that stood out to me where Ro Jo picked up on a blitz very nicely and provided protection to Jameis. The person on the o-line that I seemingly couldn’t take my eyes off of was Demar Dotson. It felt like he was getting abused on that right side at times.

  15. ChanEpic Says:

    Picking up blitzes and doing well at it was another one of my fears with RoJo. If he can consistently block on 3rd down/blitz pickups, he will be a really great addition to the team because when that guy gets space, he has moves.

  16. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Captain Hindsight here! Glad we have him NOW… I wasn’t very happy with last year LIVID actually and I wanted to draft a RB in either the 3,4,5 rounds this year! But I’ve been very impressed through 4 games! Shhheeeeee-it, I wanted us to go up and get Chubb, lol – that sounds funny but all juvenile bs aside… I also wanted Guice when we missed out on Chubb. How’s that working out for everyone ?! Buddy can’t even stay on field, he’s been mr glass so far.

    Keep it up Rojo!!! My grandfather the USC alum is smiling from above no doubt!

  17. ocala Says:

    I don’t think it matters that much if he starts, but he is definitely the better back.

    Evidence all over the Bucs roster of how horrific the Dirk Koetter regime was compared to Arians.

    Koetter through the first 25% of the season looks like an awful O.C. in Atlanta too.

  18. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “Tough Love

    My Dad and I

    Are old school OGs

    Thru out the offseason our formerly known 199lber, hit the weights and protein shakes to prove Kobe Faker wrong

    ROJO has personally thanked us for saving his career

    Why no love for RB coach Todd McNair? Can’t believe how competent ROJOs hands and receiving mechanics have become”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  19. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Nobody even missed Perriman when he pulled his quad. If this explosive offense gets rolling Look out. Rojo looked strong, keep feeding him that rock!!!!

  20. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Darrell Henderson is being “red shirted” this year. I may have to change my name or really become a ghost.

    I agree with Kobe on Rojo.

    Rojo should have had 149 yards.

  21. ChanEpic Says:

    Son of Kobe – I think you’re definitely on to something with your acknowledgement of Todd McNair. It’s amazing to have coaching/coaches show improvement on the field after the last decade.

  22. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Donovan Smith earned some snaps on defense with that DECLEATING SLOBBER KNOCKER he put on Peters. I wish Evans had laid down right B4 the goal line and waited and waited and then stuck out the ball and put it on the goal line. This is a FUN TEAM to watch. GOOOOOOOOOOOO BUCSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    BA showing confidence in players and giving them support allowing them to develop is working very well…..we, as fans, should do the same.

    It is clear that Cappa is improving….along with Rojo & Whitehead……

    And, Matt Gay will miss more kicks…..but so do other kickers….he has the leg and I think the mentality to battle it out and become great…..

  24. ChanEpic Says:

    BucsFanSince1976 – This was my only problem with the game. I thought Mike Evans acted like a high school football player on that play. He doesn’t need to do that. I would love for him to show a little more maturity but hey, I AM TOTALLY NITPICKING, and I acknowledge that.

  25. Rob Says:

    I’d like to remind JoeBucsFan of the ridiculous stories you posted over the summer on Rojo being a bust! This guy is showing real promise and think he’s a great pairing with Barber. Great coaching makes a difference!

  26. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Through these first few games you can see his confidence growing, he is looking for the daylight for bigger runs and not looking for contact. Also of note was the awareness he showed on his run late in the 4th. He broke free on the right sideline and put his foot in the ground cut back and stayed in bounds to key up the clock running. It’s a small thing, but shows he was dialed in to the situation of the game.

  27. Evolvingbucsfan Says:


  28. Darin Says:

    Not bad for a bust. Yep takes some guys time.

  29. Coburn Says:

    At least one of those penalties looked pretty sketchy.. heck looked like the defensive palyer was doing more holding than the offensive

  30. Greg Says:

    He would have had 200 yards if not for unrelated penalties. Im still in shock over the Cappa vs Aaron Donald battle. This was anamazing win where everyone fought their A5% off. Hopefully the trolls can skip victory Monday

  31. ChanEpic Says:

    Coburn – Oh the games refs were on some BS all game.

  32. gilhealy Says:

    That, to me, was the best thing he did, Conte Piscatelli. Great awareness.

  33. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    ” This was my only problem with the game. I thought Mike Evans acted like a high school football player on that play. He doesn’t need to do that. I would love for him to show a little more maturity”

    I think Mike was showing a lot of awareness and when Peters ran out of the camera shot Evans had no obligation to cross the end zone and stop the clock.

    That last 9 minutes of that game seem to last forever.

    I wish ME had stood at the 1 foot line with his arms crossed until someone ran the length of the field to push him across. I think the only reason he ended the play is tthe fear of a taunting penalty and a massive fine.

  34. mark2001 Says:

    D Rome…a few points…he is a young guy still..the age of many college graduates…he came out a little early. He needed a few pounds of muscle and maturity to stand the NFL pounding. He was in a system that, from what I’ve heard, tried to do too many things, and mastered none. He appears to have been a little slow to pick things up… most NFL players aren’t rocket scientists. The team wasn’t committed to a running game, adn the O line opened few holes…the only runner that could be effective in that case was a bulldozer. And he had few to fewer opportunities play, much less get into a rhythm. Nor did he get proper coaching to help him develop his skills. They showed no faith in him. There are likely more, but really, the guy had little chance last year. It is a new year, with a new sheriff in town.

  35. Mud slide Middleton Says:

    Not saying he has the same level of skill, but one thing that gave me hope last year, he reminded me a lot of his USC brethren Reggie Bush. Smaller, faster back that was used to beating college teams with speed. Both struggled their first year with patience, not allowing their blocks to develop. Reggie became a more patient good back over time, and Ro Jo’s heading in the same direction.

  36. Dapostman Says:

    Meanwhile in Atlanta RB Devonta Freeman a twice 1000 yard rusher has 157 yards rushing and is averaging 3.3 yards a carry. BTW he has the same coach who RoJo had last year. Coincidence?

  37. 813bucboi Says:

    Meanwhile in ATL….freeman is locked up in dirks lousy offense….


  38. Snook Says:

    Has everyone finally learned not to judge players by their performance in Koetter’s horrible offense?

    How bout those Falcons? 20 total first half points through 4 games. Sound familiar? Even with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, etc…

  39. Brandon Says:

    I am one that is not about giving up on young players. Almost all of them have their tough spells, particularly during the first two seasons. MJ Stewart is starting to worry me a bit though. There’s plenty to like from him but he seems more like a great fit for a team that runs a ton of zone concepts, not the man to man that we tend to play whistle-to-whistle. He still has time to turn it around. That being said, he’s a tough guy, plays hard but just seems a step slow.

    As for RoJo, i was always in his corner, could clearly see he was getting little help last season. He’s running hard and making some plays. He did have me very worried during that 24 yard run carrying the ball like a loaf of bread. Hopefully, that gets corrected immediately. I like his presence of mind to stay in bounds and fight for extra yardage.

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    ROJO is surely blossoming.

    As far as the 100 yards snatched from him because of penalties…

    I surely accept Joe’s point about ONE of those penalties perhaps making ROJO’s run possible. OJ’s disputed “holding” “block” was clearly what sprung ROJO. I won’t argue whether it was the proper call in today’s environment but I will argue I’m getting disgusted with how it’s being called all around the league.

    It’s been said that NFL officials could call holding on every play…sadly this year it seems there out to prove it.

  41. Buc4evr Says:

    RoJo had a few long ones that got called back for holding. The one where Howard got called was absolutely bogus. The stupid new rules and refs are making the nfl unwatchable. They only reason they called Howard is because the Corner threw up his arms and complained… stupid.

  42. Bucamania Says:


  43. Buccfan37 Says:

    RoJo flashing his elusive mojo. Night and day improvement from last year. What a satisfying and enjoyable Bucs win.

  44. Pickgrin Says:

    Rojo would have had close to 150 yards vs the Rams if those 2 big runs had not been called back due to penalties….

  45. BucEmUp Says:

    Lived the way he ran the ball, more screens needed as well. He need 20 carries with 6 passes every game

  46. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “Is it just my Dad and I but

    Every week ROJO is getting better/showing in every aspect and skillset

    He is so Raw and has so much potential

    That reception on the quick screen was actually very difficult. He was running full steam with a lbacker beside him. He looked/gathered the ball in and accelerating in 1 motion

    ROJO unlike Barber might be a fluid natural receiver. Barber has to slow down to catch and take forever to restart

    more screens to RBs and targets to OJ and we will be unstoppable”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  47. Isaac haggins Says:

    His body lean has improved by leaps and bounds and the amount of power he is showing is beyond any scouts prediction ( kudos to whomever is coaching him up) . He has some great shiftyness while maintaining enough north south . He will have a 150 yard game this year and looks to be a pro bowl type talent with the rock !! Let’s just keep the passes minimal, short and easy !! No slot patterns or big wheel routes unless you are working the LB for the penalty!!

  48. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Glad we didn’t drop millions on CJ Anderson

  49. Ed Says:

    After last year he is surprisingly stronger and he is actually running over people. He can become a very good back if he keeps getting the ball when defenses are playing 4 man fronts expecting pass.

    When Jones runs straight ahead and gets through a hole he is explosive. Still runs sideways sometimes but good coaching and confidence will change that.

    He should be really fast on the Superdome surface. Waiting for OK Howard to get into the offense