“That Tree Of His Has Grown”

November 14th, 2019

Bucs fans know excellence when it comes to catching pass out of the backfield.

Through five Bucs seasons, Warrick Dunn caught 259 passes and averaged more than nine yards per reception.

That’s a big number.

Man, Dunn was a valuable dude to let walk in free agency, but the Bucs won the Super Bowl months after he left, so you just can’t quibble much with the call.

During his first two Tampa Bay seasons (2002 and 2003), Michael Pittman caught 134 balls at more than eight yards per grab.

In 2015, Charles Sims caught a whopping 51 balls for 561 yards and four touchdowns.

JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman remembers those guys well and he was a bit mesmerized watching Ronald Jones catch eight balls against the Cardinals on Sunday (half his season total of 16). Jones produced 77 yards through the air and asked Bruce Arians about Jones and the screen game yesterday.

Arians explained that Jones is diversifying his game.

“Even more than just screens, just being a receiver. He’s starting to build confidence in his hands. His route-running ability is starting to grow,” Arians said. “That tree of his has grown a little bit as we get more comfortable with him. I mean, when he gets the ball in his hands now, a lot of great things can happen, so the more you can us him.”

The growth in Jones’ game is evident and exciting, especially when compared to last season.

Joe just doesn’t want to see Bucs officials get too smitten with Jones until he reaches another level, which hopefully happens over the final seven games. His running has tailed off significantly over the last six games and Joe’s not ruling out trying to upgrade at running back for 2020.

26 Responses to ““That Tree Of His Has Grown””

  1. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Just a matter of time before he busts a big run and even bigger game…he is looking very comfortable now

  2. WyldKat Says:

    I’m glad he’s showing signs after dealing with Koetter trying to chop down his sapling.

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    Dunn was valuable unfortunately playing for an ignorant one dimensional classless Dungy the clown those 5 years were wasted similar to the way sapp was wasted… 2 playoff wins in 6 years is laughable…..


    Its a shame how bad this franchise has been that every player and accomplishment is compared to a failed past and a bunch of mediocre 1 year wonders

  4. teacherman777 Says:

    Thanks for writing about Warrick Dunn!

    Vernon Hargreaves should be ashamed of himself for wearing #28.

    Warrick Dunn will always be a Bucs Legend!

    Go Bucs!

  5. tmaxcon Says:


    Dunns best years were in atl and he is a minority owner of falcons…. just like lynch’s best years were in denver…. its a shame those two fine players were held back by such an ignorant failed coaching staff led by dungy the clown

  6. BigHog Says:

    If there is an upgrade to get …you GO and get him, that should bring out the best of the two…maybe even be able to keep the two for a couple, three years…KEEP AB…KEEP BUILDING THIS TEAM…KEEP FAMOUS!!

  7. Kobe Faker Says:

    “It was cartoonish hilarious when ROJOs eyes was bugged out when he was watching the ball slowly slip out of his hands

    It brings back memories when little Kobes eyes was bugged out seeing a girl naked for the first time. Little Kobe just stood there motionless and just bug eyed

    Little Kobe finally came to his senses when she said times up

    Why does it feel like it happened like last week?”

    Kobe ladiesman Faker

  8. Greg Says:

    Alstott 65 rec. 557 yds. 3 tds. Rookie yr. then Dungy came in

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    RoJo will be into his 3rd year next season. Peyton & Dare have demonstrated that neither is a great complement to him. But someone like Derrick Henry would’ve been (6’3″ & 247 lbs is a good size for a power back to complement RoJo). He was drafted in 2016 #45 by the Titans. Bucs took Hargreaves at #11 & Noah Spence at #39 before him that year, both of whom are now gone after contributing next to nothing to our team. IOW we’ve made poor choices with our 1st & 2nd round picks and it’s cost us dearly. Not that we should’ve necessarily selected a RB in Round 2 however.

    Drafting strategy IMO is an art unto itself. And yes, Gump is no artist, but he has hit on several top picks during his reign of terror. Just not nearly enough. Our major problem I think is that we’re always drafting for NEED (unlike teams like the Patriots) because our rosters have performed so poorly year after year. We have little choice but to fill our starting holes with rookies & FAs.

    Barring injuries, it takes about 33 starter-capable players IMO to make a quality team (to include sufficient rotational players) … 15 offense, 15 defense & 3 S/Ts. That’d leave 20 players to fill in when injuries do happen (and they ALWAYS do), and to DEVELOP (via S/Ts play, in practice, etc). Ideally rookies wouldn’t have to start, BUT … the Bucs haven’t had that luxury in many, many years unfortunately. We’re constantly filling holes in our starting lineups with rookies.

    Breaking that cycle is extremely difficult I’m sure, but I think the key ingredient for doing that is drafting exceptionally well in the 1st & 2nd rounds. IF a GM hit on 100% of those (probably unrealistic), that’d give us 8 starters every 4 years … not quite 25% of the 33 minimum needed. IF that 25% does well & is re-signed for another 4 years, that provides another 25%. Assuming another 25% of those 33 came from earlier draft picks (rounds 3-7) who were developed and the last 25% came from FAs, we could THEORETICALLY have a decent starting group of 33. Of course you’d still have to fill out the team with the other 20 players to make 53 … bummer.

    Bucs problem is, and has been, that we’re behind the proverbial 8-ball. Our drafting in Rounds 1 & 2 has hurt us IMO, because of both the quality of draft picks AND the positions we’ve opted to fill with top picks. Personally believe that every 4 years with our 1st & 2nd round picks we need to draft 2 DLinemen, 2 Secondary, 2 OLinemen, 1 QB, 1 WR. And we need each of those draft picks to play good enough to warrant being re-signed for a second 4-year contract. RBs, TEs, LBs, Kickers, Punters, etc need to be found in Round 3 or later. Just a thought.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Ladiesman Kobe … You NEVER want to use words like ‘Little Kobe’ when talking about sexual prowess.

  11. Jeffbuc Says:

    Joe you were talking about how bad his ypc have been the last month. But it does seem like every time he breaks a big run it is called back for a horrible holding penalty that was behind the play

  12. Buczilla Says:

    I like Jones in a rotation and Najee Harris would sure look good in our ugly a$$ uniforms.

  13. 813bucboi Says:



    is dunn in the HOF?…
    did he win a SB with the bucs?…

    you should be ashamed for making such a dumb@$$ comment…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  14. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    I wana see RoJo take a run to the house a 50 yard scramble or take a screen to the house haven’t seen that here in a long time. Hell even Godwin or Mike taking it in someone O.J.

  15. rrsrq Says:

    Some of this fan base…
    Dungy/McKay drafted Alstott
    Lynch became the player he was because Dungy’s defense made him a pro bowler
    Dunn had his best years as a Buc, nobody even knew him in ATL, that’s why he came back to TPA. Pittman benefitted by Dunn’s departure, give those same catches to Dunn and its a thousand yards receiving.

  16. ou812 Says:

    T-Pad or T max or what ever you go by you are the dumbest POS. I have ever read on this board and that is saying something .

  17. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Jones III will become our version of Alvin Kamara.

  18. orlbucfan Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    November 14th, 2019 at 9:34 am
    Regarding Dare, he’s a rookie, you know. How about a little patience?

  19. whaaatttsss uuuup Says:

    god you are just so short sighted and have no memory you just write what emotion you are feeling at the time!!! the runs that Rojo has made and barber for that matter are 70% him making stuff happen!! you always blame the running back if he is not breaking 3 tackles, leaping over the entire line and scoring on every play … or if they do not have a 5.4 yard average!!! …. first of all you are forgetting the game that basically 150 yards was taken from him … plus all the other runs he had that penalties messed up!! then he WOULD be averaging almost 5 a carry!! then would you be happy? so if he didn’t have those runs taken back you would be singing his praises!! also the linemen have a little say in how well he does!! …. rojo has had a really good 2nd year and instead of talking him down and saying we need another running back (that will cost too much and is never a guarantee) you should be talking about how well he makes people miss and how much energy and belief he brings to the team that they too can have a better year

  20. unbelievable Says:

    “lynch’s best years were in denver”

    lol, more proof that 99% of everything t max says is complete nonsense.

  21. Matthew Fifer Says:


    Really, Lynch’s best years were in Denver? Based on what….he looked better in their uniforms? Statistically the ONLY thing he did better in Denver was creating Fumbles, and he was the same on Sacks. If you compare those 4 years with basically any 4 years with the Bucs he had more interceptions, fumble recoveries, tackles and TFL’s then he ever did in Denver.

    I usually ignore you but my god sometimes you make it so difficult when you spit such nonsense. Lynch is the best Safety we ever had and he was awesome on this team, seriously, please shut up.

  22. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    “Through five Bucs seasons, Warrick Dunn caught 259 passes and averaged more than nine yards per reception.”

    I can’t believe James Wilder didn’t earn a mention on those page, with his recent displacement as team receptions leader. Sacrilege!

  23. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    orlbucfan Says:
    “Regarding Dare, he’s a rookie, you know. How about a little patience?”

    I want to see Dare score more touchdowns! Did you watch his touchdown celebration? I called it the bush meat shuffle. =D

  24. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    what’s up…
    I AGREE!!!

  25. View from 132 Says:

    Dunn would be a Hall of Famer now. Fast, quick, great hands.

  26. LongSeason Says:

    Jones has been a bright spot this season. With Evans and Godwin having monster years Jones is a welcome addition to the mix. If we can get a third WR with Brate and Howard in the mix it would help Jameis. This makes me happy.

    This brings me to the O-line. And now I am sad.