Significant Change At Running Back

November 5th, 2019

Among NFL running backs with 70 or more carries this season, where does Ronald Jones rank?

Joe has performed the dogged research and Jones lands at tied for 21st with 4.1 yards per carry. It’s a good sample size for Jones, who has 92 carries for 381 yards and three rushing touchdowns through half a season.

On Sunday, Jones started against Seattle and had 18 carries for 67 yards (3.7 yards per carry). His longest run was 15 yards, a scamper off right tackle that saw him go untouched for the first 11 yards thanks to Chris Godwin taking out Jadeveon Clowney and Scotty Miller (yes, that Scotty Miller) blocking down field.

Today, Bucco Bruce Arians said Jones made the first start of his career and carried the rushing load because he earned it with his play. Arians also emphasized that Peyton Barber didn’t do anything wrong that cost him his job.

Congratulations to Jones, but Joe still believes the Bucs need to address running back in the 2019 NFL Draft, or in free agency.

Even if Jones finds his first 100-yard game this season, he’s likely to finish up the year as a very average NFL starter. That represents a big upgrade to what the Bucs have had since 2015, but it’s not enough.

Barber is an unrestricted free agent after the season and Joe believes the Bucs should and will move on. This coaching staff believes Dare Ogunbowale is a better third-down and short-yardage option, and Barber is now a backup.

Lots of teams find special running backs in the middle rounds. It’s time for the Bucs to finally make that their reality and get a young guy to complement and challenge Jones.

40 Responses to “Significant Change At Running Back”

  1. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Sorry, not gonna happen with BA placing no value on the position and our genius, smarter than everybody GM who can’t pick his way out of his own nose.

  2. Todd Says:

    Joe, I’m unsure of the timing…by the time the draft comes, is it likely we will know who on the current roster (thinking about the 1-year deals we have now) will be re-signed? So we actually know where our needs will be? (Understanding, pretty much everywhere.)

  3. FortMyersDave Says:

    Todd makes a good point if the One Buc Brain Trust deems Jones to be a serviceable starter you can bet they will focus their FA pursuit and the draft on filling all of the numerous holes that this team has managed to acquire and yes that probably means more wasted picks and coin on the secondary while Licht may have to let his edge rusher Barrett go to free agency unless the Bucs franchise him.

  4. Max Says:

    Jones needs to learn to block and fast.

  5. Bird Says:


    Did you use brain trust and one buc in the same sentence ?

  6. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Only took Arians eight games to figure out RoJo was the better player. Kinda reminds me of Lovie or Dominik with his quick-witted analytical prowess.

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hey Joe bucs need to draft 2 or 3 cornerbacks, a punter and a new GM.

  8. Mister Negative Nancy Says:

    You could sign a pretty good FA running back and corners if you don’t blow it all on re-signing a below-average quarterback.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Flboyindallas Arians is an idiot. I think he may be senile.

  10. FortMyersDave Says:

    Yeah Bird, when I think of braintrust I go back to the Beverly Hillbillies for a good example to cite. On that ’60s comedy starring Buddy Ebsen and his family of Kentucky/Tennessee Vol alumni was his nephew Jethro; he was the brains of the family having completed the 7th grade. Sometimes I think Licht probably dropss the “Gee fellas this scouting is complicated, it could involve some of that Algeebra the smarter kids got to study”….. Its a Bucs life man, it seems like year after year of teams going 3-5 or 2-6 into November and us fans wondering about the draft next April…..

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We’ve moved on from Barber up the middle on 1st down to Jones up the middle on 1st down.
    Jones’ numbers would be better with more creative numbers….and one big run could elevate them significantly.

    Oh….but he was a bust… Cappa….Let’s give SMB, Dean & Edwards a chance to develop……they also may be worthy of their picks…Carlton Davis also….but MJ Stewart….nope.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Jones’ numbers would be better with more creative playcalling….

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    Bucs win the next 8 games and make the playoffs. Whoa, sorry I dozed off there.

  14. rrsrq Says:

    Would love to see him get 20-25 touches per game, he also made a nice catch and run, which he showed better hands than Tanner. We could also go find Chuck Sims, lol

  15. adam from ny Says:

    to much pitter patter and non lengthy strides cost barber his job…

    jones eats more turf with his longer strides and gallops…

    barber for what ever reason, has short strides and never extends his legs out like he is really ready to run…

    but he is a compact deisel bowling ball…

    jones reads holes better and would benefit greatly in sweeps too, where he can choose his cut…

    barber’s vision is is about as good as an asian wok chef splashing around kung po chicken with bell peppers

  16. adam from ny Says:

    dang…i want chinese food right now

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Except for the last game, we shouldn’t care about what went before. Seahawks was his first start. What he does going forward will determine if we still need to address the position.

  18. D-Rome Says:

    It doesn’t matter if he starts or comes off the bench. All that really matters is his snap count. He should be getting more snaps over Barber and Obunglewale.

  19. LJS4th Says:

    I agree 100% with Bonzai! Time to give RoJo the rock and more often!

  20. Marlow1976 Says:

    Barber and Jones are another team’s #2 running back. With that said, I appreciate Jones’ effort this season.

  21. Pewter power Says:

    True they do need to find a guy to replace barber, he has no business being resigned but no more freaking rookies go get a veteran back that you know can block.

  22. ElioT Says:

    I would love to see what Jones could do in the 2nd half with a Bucs lead…

    Not sure if we’ll ever get to see that.


  23. 941bucsfan Says:

    Lol ROJO his trash. He will be a 3.8ypc back by seasons end

  24. BucDan Says:

    Need a RB that can be utilized in all three phases at offense: rush, pass catch and pass block. We are back to the days of Sims and Martin which leads defenses to have a good idea of what we are doing on offense on any given play (and our o-line isn’t good enough to make up for it).

  25. MadMax Says:

    Zack Moss, Utah….probably mid to bottom 3rd, top of 4th…after we draft QB then RT.

    you’re welcome

  26. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    MadMax – I understand and get that you hate Jameis and want him to fail, but this team has way too many holes to fill to be reaching for another Daniel Jones, Mitch Trubisky, or Blake Bortles in the first round. My hope is the Jameis continues to play like he did Sunday and you are forced to go root for another team. We need an offensive tackle, a good CB, and depth along the offensive and defensive lines long before we need to be wasting a pick on a QB that will be doomed from the start with the below average talent on this team and a defense that can’t stop anyone. Even if the cut Jameis there is no way in hell a top tier first round pick should be used on a QB. On top of all that all of the QBs in this draft have major question marks.

  27. Adrnagy Says:

    Draft …
    1. Pass rusher
    2. Oline. Plug now Hawkins or wells. To see what we have in RT
    3. Rb
    4. Qb
    5. DT

    Secondary should be last. I would prefer free agent corner and safety.

    Winston 2yrs option for 3yrs. 50m. 20 m guarantee. Or franchise him. When he plays good he’s great. When he plays bad he’s horrible. Maybe with this coaching staff he can be more consistent.

    Which NFL quarterback has the most turnovers?
    Rank Player Years
    1 Eli Manning 2004-2019
    2 Drew Brees 2001-2019
    3 Ben Roethlisberger 2004-2019
    4 Philip Rivers 2004-2019

    All but rivers SB champs. Which came after the 5th yr.

  28. MadMax Says:

    Jeeze really? i dont hate him or want him to fail. I just know what we have after 5 years. When he’s good, he’s $$, when he’s bad he is really bad. Im not gonna try and convince you, but we are wasting a very talented receiving corp and we better get it together with better protection and play calling. So franchise him then draft a QB.

    …and im not going to another team because you cant handle me. Its ok, im a fan too….no hating, no wishing for failure on ANY of my guys.

  29. tmaxcon Says:

    joe you can’t bother with a running back until you find 5 nfl starters to replace the backups that are embarrassing the offensive line position group now….. not a single keeper….. empty the entire room and start over. it can’t be worse. eat some dead money on the lazy arse playing lt, put the rt down, they don’t nfl caliber guards and jensen is easily replaced… start over it can only get better. ok cappa played tough this week kudus but that does not offset the fact they can do better at the position.

  30. unbelievable Says:

    Jones is definitely playing with more confidence. He’s taking tacklers head on and fighting for additional yards. However he still seems to be a bit hesitant in turning on the jets. He has great acceleration, but we haven’t seen it much. He’s had a few opportunities in open space and I’d really like to see him turn on the jets and outrun some defenders instead of always seeming to get tackled by the safeties.

    Agreed about the pass blocking. If he could be an every down back it would allow BL to get way more creative with him out there.

  31. Erik W Hesson Says:

    Rojo has every skill/attribute that we could ever want in n RB1.

    He will flourish in that role.

    Add in his 3-4 50-yd runs that were called back, and he’s a Top-10 RB.

    And he will only get better…

    QB is a position of need, way more than RB.

  32. unbelievable Says:

    T max is right about the o-line.

    We need a new RT badly. The center of the line is okay for now although Jensen needs to be more consistent.

    Donovan Smith is what he is. Very overpaid imo for someone who takes plays off every game and has allowed Jameis to get hit and cause fumbles several weeks in a row.

    I would replace him too, personally, but I know that’s not happening with this regime.

  33. MadMax Says:

    Mekhi Becton with our 2nd, play him at RT and if needed, he can also play LT 6’7 360lb beast!

    CB with our 3rd (dont have anyone in mind yet)
    RB Zack Moss with our 4th.

  34. BA FAN Says:

    We still have to keep D. Smith next year but then move him to RG and play Cappa at his best position, RT (He played OT in College) so we can pick up a great LT in the draft. With the second pick get a big pass rushing DE to eventually replace JPP. With the third pick take a capable OG to compete with D. Smith. Use Free Agency to get a big; fast RB who can run, catch, and block, and get a proven DB with good size and speed, who is also a playmaker. BPA for the rest of the picks. If we get Good Jameis the rest of our games give him a long term contract with incentives if he avoids a bad turnover rate and has a good percentage of red zone TDs. Only if he gets all those incentives does his contract pay him a Franchise QB payday.

  35. BA FAN Says:

    Also, you found out what it takes to get Good Jameis: 1. Good protection by the OL (and with the return of Cappa you saw it, and both D. Smith and Dotson overall did a better job of stopping Seattle’s pass rushers.) 2. A better run game. (Produced by giving Jones the majority of run plays, and will start him next week.). 3. Keeping an emotional Jameis calm. (Did you notice BA himself late in the fourth quarter grabbing Jameis and telling him “Calm Down!” If BA won’t call the plays, he needs to be able to talk into Jameis’ helmet just like his OC can; and thereby keep Jameis calm and focused. Because if Jameis comes out Good Jameis for the rest of this year, and our young secondary players get more live reps and improve the defense, with one more draft to get more top OL players and another speed rusher, and sign some Free Agents with experience, we should be set for a deep run next year. Moreover, BA just needs to get a little more creative to allow us to win all short yardage situations, such as playing Vea as a fullback then. (He has a capable backup in Beau Allen to give Vea a short rest after each time he plays FB).

  36. Bucfan1988 Says:

    We have plenty of young talent. They just need experience.

    We need VETERAN secondary talent.
    Get an experienced safety and a decent corner in free agency.
    Let them mold the young guys and things will get better.

    Let VH3 walk, and trade/cut MJ Stewart.

    I think Bunting, Davis, Dean, and even Ryan Smith will continue developing with some veteran leadership and chemistry.
    I like Mike Edwards, luv Whitehead, and I wanna see Justin Evans get bad on the field. He’s also talented.

    Veteran leadership will help put it all together for this secondary.

  37. AMI_Chris Says:

    Zeke Elliott, Christian McCaffery, Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb. All first or second round picks. Healthy OLine, healthy (and great) receivers, healthy QB — and we still can’t run effectively.

  38. Buczilla Says:

    Barber is is not good and Dare should be on the street. Jones is becoming respectable, but we need a new starter who is a legit weapon in the passing game. I’m glad that Jones shed the bust label, but he doesn’t frighten any defensive coordinators. A cheap vet with a little left in the tank be nice as well.

  39. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    Guys, look there are multiple roles for a RB. AND, a big one is blocking for the play. ROJO is clearly a better runner than Barber and the rest. But, he totally whiffed on a rusher who had a clean up the middle blow up of Famous Jameis. There is the problem. If he is in there it is a play destined for ROJO. If it is a pass to someone else he is like a potted plant in the blocking dept. That is why Barber has started most all games.
    One would think blocking capability would be of importance if you intend on taking a RB with your 2nd pick. Unless you have our GM.

  40. Billy_45 Says:

    I agree that we have plenty of talent in the secondary and with a simple free agent acquisition will get better.

    We would need a stellar defense with yet another pass rusher in the draft to make that happen, and an early pick at that.

    O Line x 3 please AND a Free Agent for Big Money.

    But overall Tua makes freaking plays and can sling that ball. Being a lefty also poses problems for defenses who play lazy on quick slants on the off side.etc.

    I’m really just tired of the inconsistencies and can still say that after a good week.

    Gotta have a smart accurate mobile QB and Winston ain’t that.
    TUA is.
    Sell the farm!!!!!