Late Bloomer

November 6th, 2019

Cause for lack of play found?

Joe will have to stand up, raise his right hand and admit he thought Ronald Jones was a bust. Mea culpa.

Now, Jones has bounced back from an awful rookie season to being named the new Bucs starting running back. And given that he really had no competition for this honor, Joe has to wonder why it took Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians until the Bucs were eliminated from playoff competition before Halloween (a proud Tampa Bay tradition).

This, claims Albert Breer of, demonstrates that some rookies need a little more time and nurturing than others.

Ronald Jones seized the starting running back job in Tampa, and that exemplifies why it’s not smart to draw sweeping conclusions on rookies. Jones was a mess in his first year—he lost confidence quickly and the whole season got away from him as a result. This year, the Bucs new coaching staff—especially running backs coach Todd McNair—focused on getting him back mentally where he needed to be. A more confident Jones was running more decisively and with more edge, and now he’s showing why he was a second-round pick in the first place. In the end, he’s just a kid who needed a little time to adjust to the pros.

Jones has had flashes, and Joe loves that Jones isn’t afraid of playing physical inside and running through defenders if that is what it takes to get yards.

Joe hopes offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich doesn’t try to turn him into the next Peyton Barber and constantly run Jones up the middle on first downs.

42 Responses to “Late Bloomer”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    rojo proved a lot of folks wrong…me included…

    dirk is the person he proved wrong the most…lol…

    d.freeman cant wait until dirk is gone…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  2. Sharthappens Says:

    He is a bust. Just like OJ Howard….afraid of contact. These kids are coming up way too soft. I guess 8 years of Obama will wear down these kids.

  3. zzbuc Says:

    It is not a great award being the starter running back on the Bucs, to be honest. Running game has been a nightmare for the Bucs lately.
    Arians spoke highly on our running backs…..and he was the author of the famosu line “secondary is totally fixed”
    Not my intention to bring some negativity, but reality bites!!!
    I think bucs problems are always the same…….nothing changes, that’s the main problem……..

  4. Ship thief Says:

    Always had faith in RoJo. He looked real good coming out of college.
    I’m glad he is getting his shot.

  5. rrsrq Says:

    Why wait:
    Waited 8 games to realize he should’ve started over Peyton
    Waited 7 games with the Bobo experiment
    Still waiting to get O.J. involved more
    Still waiting for Ryan Smith to get a try (when your DBs we’re gassed), was he afraid Ryan would be to tired to run down on punt coverage, news flash, they barely punted

  6. ElioT Says:

    Jones is running hard and should get better and better with more snaps.

    Barber can play the back-up role just fine.

    Of course this is all assuming the Bucs actually commit to the run for a whole game.

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    he has not done anything yet but show improvement. stop with the free passes after a few good plays / games…. get back to me when he kicks arse for a few seasons not in the basement

  8. SB Says:

    The kid does run angry.

  9. LordCornelius Says:

    In the end we can nitpick offensive personnel, mistakes, & decisions but our defense is giving up 31.5 points per game. Factor out offensive turnovers that lead to scores and it’s still horrifically bad.

    If the Bucs could field an average NFL defense (i.e. 22 points per week given up) we’d be 6-2 right now.

    We’d have been 11-5 last year under the same premise

    an AVERAGE. not good. not great. AN AVERAGE defense. AVERAGE.

    I said this before the season – Winston + AVERAGE defense = we are going to have a winning record.

    Have yet to see us field a competent defense for any single season in his career. He’s been dissapointing too, with basically 2 blowup turnover games per year making up 70% of all his turnovers, but when you know your team gives up over 30 points a game for like 5 years now how the h3ll do you play conservative?

  10. BA FAN Says:

    The difference is that BA brought in his coaches who know how to develop talent and that is a key to building an elite NFL team. Just study winning teams and where their starters came from. You will find undrafted free agents and kids drafted from second tier programs. It’s not just SEC, top ACC, and Big Ten players and top draft picks. That tells you that they have a GM who can find diamonds in the rough and coaches who are great at developing players. And for the first time we have both now. BA will make this team an elite team again and set us up for being perennial winners for many years after he retires and he has already proved he can beat and/or stay up with other elite NFL Teams. Just ask the Rams and Seahawks!

  11. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    Dear Shart, looks to me that ROJO’s Sr. year and two years in the pros have been under your crook-chief. Maybe he is just stunned at what is going on.
    Or, maybe he is just a bad blocker.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    All the Devin White haters should take note.

  13. BA FAN Says:

    Oh and by the way, while Leftwich has been far from perfect as our OC, he is a work in progress that BA is bringing along because BA knows his years til full retirement are numbered and he wants to leave us with a Young Coach to keep his nucleus of good position coaches together for our future, but the OC who was successful against the Rams and Seahawks was Leftwich!

  14. D-Rome Says:

    He’s still average.

  15. LordCornelius Says:

    I can’t get over that the Bucs are 4th in scoring offense through 1/2 the season and are at 2-6.

    That has to be one of the most insane statistics out there.

    Every other top 10 scoring team is a playoff bound SB contender… we are 2-6….

    Seriously wtf man

  16. DB55 Says:

    Kid should be pretty good. Gotta get him the ball 20+ times a game. His confidence will grow and his instincts will take over. He’s still thinking out there and he needs to work on his pass blocking but his catching has definitely improved dramatically

  17. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “some rookies need a little more time and nurturing than others.”

    “that exemplifies why it’s not smart to draw sweeping conclusions on rookies. Jones was a mess in his first year—he lost confidence quickly and the whole season got away from him as a result.”

    Common core sports writing. Rojo’s no rookie.

    Does he even read what he writes before he pushes the send button?

  18. tmaxcon Says:

    Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Does he even read what he writes before he pushes the send button?

    says a fool who is pimping an unqualified bum in Chrissy Simms for GM… never a dull moment from low standard bucfan…

  19. Locked In Says:

    Rojo needs to break out for a couple of long runs/TDs – that will push his confidence to the next level.

  20. BucsBandit Says:


    I don’t get all the “up the middle” hate…

    NFL teams rarely run the ball outside on sweeps, etc. because NFL players are too fast and can get to the edge to stop any gain. Almost all the big runs in the NFL *are* up in the middle in some way… they’re usually between the center and guard. With some off tackle runs mixed in. Runs between the center and guard are the shortest and fastest path into the next level of the defense. A key block and it can spring the back for a big gain.

    The difference in when the RB GETS STUFFED when running up the middle which often happens with Barber. It looks like a FB Dive play designed to just get 1-2 yards.

  21. WyldKat Says:

    I blamed Koetter, because Koetter.

  22. ElioT Says:


    I agree.

    The main travesty of this season is the fact that with even a decent defense, our Bucs might just have a winning record.

    This falls squarely on the shoulders of the Worst GM in Sports, Jason Licht.

    HE built this defense backwards, year after year with horrible drafting and wasted pick after wasted high picks in the secondary and not veteran leaders on the back end.

    They thought they could WIN NOW with this formula and it has blown up in their faces.

    The evidence is clear… the front seven is filled with talented veterans who contribute but many are on one year deals and will be URFAs in 2020.

    Not drafting a replacement for Dotson also hurts.

    Jason Licht and the entire scouting department should be fired.

  23. View from 132 Says:

    The Bucs have found their tailback.
    They have two top receivers.
    They have Brate and Howard…

    At some point, this doesn’t look good for Jameis. What would a veteran QB do with this skill group? Anyone have enough coke to lure Aikman out of retirement?

  24. LordCornelius Says:

    “At some point, this doesn’t look good for Jameis”

    Jameis has lead the 4th highest scoring offense in the NFL (28.8 PPG) while having a below average run game in both YPC and average yards per game (ranked 24th & 19th).

    The defense gives up 31.5 points per game.



  25. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Bar is pretty low in Tampa to be claiming that rojo is the man…rushing for 40 yards/game makes you an NFL RB now? 5-11 players keeps that bar low; wake me up when he hits that 100 yd rushing mark in 3 striaght games

  26. Patrickbucs Says:

    By far the biggest surprise on the team after last year, he’s improved on his pass catching. He does need 20 plus touches and to work on his blocking like DB suggests to become a really good and consistent back.

    Hopefully he will turn out to be a great player, we need as many as we can get.

  27. JameisHas2Go Says:

    Waiting for this article:

    “Joe will have to stand up, raise his right hand and admit he thought franchise quarterback, america’s quarterback. Atlas he is a bust. Mea culpa.”

    Maybe my Christmas wish will be fulfilled.

  28. RustyRhinos Says:

    tmaxcon, for GM 2020! We will dominate with his mad player evaluations and player trades skillset! No one will ever win against us again with tmaxcon as GM. He will inspire his team to great heights and never aow in his reign..All bow down to tmaxcon the new GM!

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    Lord Corn……The 2-6 record is a reflection of the team. Game by game the losses are not all about giving up 31 per game.

    London game is the perfect example. Minus 6 in turnovers. This is basically a unwinnable situation created by the offense.

    Opening day against San Fran was turnovers again. Most of them Top ten offenses you mentioned that are playoff bound are Top ten because if they have the ball and a chance for a game winning drive they deliver the victory. We didn’t do that we threw a pick 6 on first down…….So while we may have a top ranked offense they do not play like it consistently. They have contributed to our poor W-L record.

    Our defense is defientally the weaker group. But both sides need to improve…….that’s if the goal is to compete for championships.

  30. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    How’s Le’Veon Bell doing in New York? #Blocking matters

  31. Season Is Over Says:

    The guy averaged three yards a carry the last three games. Having no running game has cost the team another season. Against Carolina he was 4 rushes for 10 yards. This website gives some of the worst advice imaginable. Next comes the sign him to 15 million article after he runs for his first 100 yard game. This website wants to give Nassib or any player that flashes normal NFL plays an open check? It is embarrassing.

  32. pick6 Says:

    i think the team has been pretty clear – under 2 head coaches now – that RoJo was held back because of lack of trust on passing downs. he is far from ideal as a pass protector, but he knows enough that he can be in the backfield to do something other than take a handoff. as a pass catcher, he is ascending towards respectability….certainly has no trouble after the catch

  33. JimmyJack Says:

    Our running game has cost us this season? That certainly is a fresh take.

  34. pick6 Says:

    ^^^^certainly last year, the ineptitude was obvious in many parts of his game, but they were also afraid to line him up in a situation where the QB might audible to a pass…that limited his opportunities to use playing time to work through his problems as a ballcarrier

  35. View from 132 Says:

    Lord Corn… please don’t pull stats out in defense of Jameis. We all watch the games. Turnovers are the obvious issue, but that aside, he still lacks accuracy when coming off his primary read. Compare to the first snap of the Seahawks game to most Jameis throws – Evans was open, plant your back foot, look like a Hall of Famer. MOST plays, primary read covered, breakdowns, mental errors, occasional screwball touchdowns that should’ve been INTs.

    How many points does this cost?

    How many extra reps for a defense that, as Barber pointed out on the broadcast, was gassed at the end of the Seahawks game?

    How many YAC yards disappear?

    It is about Jameis. And by the way, “no running game” is also BS. If the safeties fear the deep ball, they aren’t creeping up. If the LBs fear accurate throws to crossing routes, they don’t step forward at the snap. Watch a defense react to Brees, then tell me Kamara is THAT much better than Jones.

    But sure, fire all the scouts, GMs, coaches, fire everyone. It can’t be Jameis.

  36. LordCornelius Says:

    @Jimmyjack – IMO:

    Jameis is to blame for 1 loss (London meltdown)

    Offense is to blame for 1 loss (49ers game) (4 turnovers of which 2 were on Howard, 1 was on WR running wrong route, and 1 on Winston)

    Defense is to blame for pretty much everything else. They did well in the first Carolina game but a lot of that was Newton sucking. Same with 49ers.

    In general the offense has played well enough in 2019 to win 5-6 games with an average adequate defense.

    At a minimum with an average defense we beat teams like the Giants & Titans with ease, the Rams game is never close, and neither is the Seahawks game. That’s 4 more wins. You can even reverse the first Carolina result and we are still 5-3 with an adequate defense even with a Winston Collapse / Offensive Collapse in 2 games.

    So 4 losses on the D, 2 on the O, and an aggregate score that says our offense is doing pretty damn good compared to the rest of the league, while our defense is a dumpster fire.

    Also – the other top offenses in the league have had bad days at the office too. The difference is they can have a bad day at the office and still win because they have an overall good team.

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    Lord……I feel like this is just become some wierd obsession with fans where they gotta find one thing to blame…….like trying to search for the root of a weed.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to say the defense is to blame for four full games. Yes the secondary was a glaring weakness this past weekend but some of these losses have featured poor play all around.

    Do you think our OL played well enough to win against the Saints? That seemed like a big factor in that game to me.

    The Titans game is another one that’s hard to blame just one side of the ball. We snapped a ball off the QBs, face dropped a huge TD before the half, had receiver running into each other in the red zone, threw a ball 25 yards over a receivers head & had a receiver running a 2 point play out of bounds…………..Just don’t think it’s fair to push all of the blame to one side of the table. Just seems neglectful.

    That’s why I say 2-6 is a reflection of us as a team. On all sides of the ball.

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    And yes other offenses have bad days also. I get that. But I don’t see Tom Brady taking snaps off of his face mask.

    I don’t see Aaron Rodgers offense consistently pentalizing themselfs out of points.

    I don’t see Drew Bress dropping the ball for no reason whatsoever.

    I don’t see Mahomes receivers running into each other or out of bounds.

    I don’t see elite receivers dropping easy TDs in pivitol moments.

    Point is our offense makes too many mistakes and makes them consistently. Even when the great offenses have rough days they avoid mistakes rather then shoot themselfs in the foot like we do. It’s the difference between being a top ranked offense and a truely elite one.

  39. The Coroner Says:

    When the Bucs are behind they pass. RoJo doesn’t get a lot of runs. Get better performing DBs and the Bucs will run more. Get a new RT and the line performs better and the run and passing- yes passing- improve.

  40. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Can’t blame the London meltdown solely on Jameis…

    Remember we lost the whole right side of our o-line and replaced them with our crappy-ass depth.

    Jameis was sacked 6 times in the first quarter & a half..
    He was a mess and hearing footsteps the entire 2nd half of that game.

    ANY QB would be fidgety & hearing footsteps after a beating like Jameis took.

    Snag quality RT, OR move Dotson to RT, and grab Williams from Redskins as LT…Maybe let go of Jensen and draft a new Center?? Draft better o-line depth..

    Just a thought 🙂

  41. LongSeason Says:

    Most Running Backs take a year or two to come into their own. Blitz pickup, passing game reading your blocks. Learning to do those things can take a minute for rookies.

    I hope Ronald Jones is blossoming before our eyes.

    Too bad there are too many Hascle Mumsters, Mascle Humsters… errr… Muscle Hamsters out there. A flash in the pan one or two year wonders.

    We’ve seen that in RB and WR. Most notably Michael Clayton and Doug Martin. Some others may have been because of injuries, illness. Ricky Bell, Carnell Williams, Lawrence Dawsey, Horace Copeland. Some never make it out of training camp like Paris Warren.

  42. stpetebucsfan Says:


    ” I guess 8 years of Obama will wear down these kids.”

    Yep…no doing hookers and paying people off to shut them up…no major scandals in his administration…

    I much prefer our kids learn from a Russian stooge and wimp who stayed home when I went overseas along with others here…somebody who doesn’t hesitate to drop to his knees to fluff Putin. Yeah that’s the ticket. REAL tough guys. LMAO