Don’t Bank On Hope

January 24th, 2020

Attack a weakness.

“When I first started coaching, one of the worst things that I think I heard was ‘It will be O.K.’ I would wonder, ‘How the hell is it going to be O.K.?’ The worst word in the English language is ‘hope.'” — Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight.

There are a few football axioms Joe lives by.

* The first is football is all about production. If you cannot produce, get out of the way and move on. The NFL isn’t about feel-good stories or dudes working hard. It’s about production. Period.

* Joe takes Raheem Morris’ words to heart. “I will tolerate you until I can replace you.” Do not, under any circumstances, get rid of a productive player unless you can get equal or greater value from his replacement. Getting rid of a guy for any reason other than you can improve with his replacement just rots a team from the inside-out. How many good (or great) players have we seen Bucs suits and coaches run out of town, replaced by trash players? This is a major reason why the Bucs have not been to the playoffs in the post-Chucky era.

* A third is don’t bank on hope. Joe cannot tell you how many decisions the Bucs made (or non-decisions) in the post-Chucky era where the team hoped a player who never produced all of a sudden was sprinkled with magic pixie dust by the tooth fairy. They hoped the guy would produce the next season, only to continue sucking and drag the team down.

That final axiom sprung to mind when Joe was reading a list cobbled together by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report. He predicted each team’s breakout player for 2020.

For the Bucs, Knox tabs Ronald Jones as that guy for this coming season.

Jones finished the with 724 rushing yards, 309 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 203 touches.

Next season, Jones could be an even more prolific back. He’ll be in Bruce Arians’ offense for the second consecutive year and may even have a shot at being an every-down back—fellow runner Peyton Barber played this season on a one-year deal.

Jones should be a more confident and decisive ball-carrier in 2020, which could allow him to improve regardless of any roster changes around him.

Here’s the thing: Yes, Jones made progress but we all saw how the Bucs running game was last year. It let the team down big-time because it was inept as a whole.

Let’s say Jones doesn’t have a career year next year (900 all-purpose yards, which really isn’t much) and the Bucs just sit back this offseason and do nothing to bolster the running back position, once again banking on hope. What then?

You have another one-dimensional offense and then you are asking Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, to throw 40-50 times a game when he is already prone to throwing a pass or two at an opponent each week. Then that sitting-on-your-hands philosophy hoping a guy has a career year explodes in the Bucs’ faces.

And it could cost people their jobs (Team Glazer is awfully impatient with a coaching staff having two losing seasons back-to-back unless said coach walks around with a Super Bowl ring on his finger and brags about being an insomniac).

So why bank on hope? Go out and be aggressive and get a running back that has been-there/done-that and perhaps also draft a guy who can read a playbook. Attack the position!

By getting a weapon or two at running back, if Jones doesn’t blow up in 2020, then the team has options to fall back on and not get caught with their pants around their ankles (again).

Presented by Caldeco Air Conditioning & Heating, TAMPA TWO has been all over the NFL postseason. Today is no exception! Bucs legend Derrick Brooks and The Sage, Ira Kaufman, dive into the Chiefs big win and more. Another great production from The Identity Tampa Bay and more.

27 Responses to “Don’t Bank On Hope”

  1. BucsSuperbowlChamps2020 Says:

    Ronald Jones still has room to develop but the glaring issue in the running game is the run blocking not the running backs Ronald Jones showed how when given a hole he had good moves and great speed and was fairly decent at catching the ball in the backfield I’d think about drafting a RB late in the draft but we don’t need to spend any major upgrades on this position unless magically Derrick Henry is let out of Tennessee.

  2. Asdf Says:

    Ok so we don’t bank on hope that our RB position will be set, yet when it comes to our QB we still need to hope / pray he can stop single handedly losing games with turnovers?!


  3. catcard202 Says:

    2018: Jones was drafted as an immature 20yr old & didn’t turn 21 until just prior to the start of his rookie season.

    2019: RJII age 22, production was more inline with expectations & looks to be a precursor to greater success as he matures. He’s just now starting to fill out his man body.

    2020, Jones will only be 23 & have his break-out season…1000+ rushing / 500+ receiving / 10+ TD’s…Bank it

    For context & perspective…Florida native – Utah RB Zack Moss gets a ton of love from fans this site..Many angling for the FO to draft him to replace Barbour …Jones II has 2yrs of NFL experience & is only 4mths older than Moss.

  4. Crabby Fan Says:


    Couldn’t agree more with how you laid out a winning strategy with our backfield, OL and play calling.

    We do need a complimentary back to Jones and incorporate a similar game plan such as San Fran does.

    OL will need to be addressed on the run block end if we expect any production with any drawn up play.

    Hope will not address these issues so I will only hold out HOPE that they have the most productive off-season possible. ☺

    Go Bucs!!

  5. BigHog Says:

    Be prepared to do better in free agency and draft better, that will be the key to THE YEAR OF THE BUC 2020!!!

  6. BigHog Says:

    FAMOUS is the leader of this BUCS 2020 team …GET over your hate or move on… Let’s Get It On …Awww Baby…Let’s Get It On!!! Sign those who want to be here and go from there!!

  7. El Buco Realisto Says:

    @big hog

    What happened to, “all this roster needs is better coaching” that joe and the sheep repeatedly said last offseason???????????

  8. Joe Says:

    Thanks Crabby.

  9. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Joe says,

    * A third is don’t bank on hope. Joe cannot tell you how many decisions the Bucs made (or non-decisions) in the post-Chucky era where the team hoped a player who never produced all of a sudden was sprinkled with magic pixie dust by the tooth fairy. They hoped the guy would produce the next season, only to continue sucking and drag the team down.
    If there ever was a truer statement this one perfectly describes America’s Turnover Machine.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree with all of Joe’s observations. Can I add another.

    I’ve always believed it’s not where you are but where you are headed. IE Are you getting better or worse…it’s usually one or the other.

    Did this team get better as the season wore on? Did they improve?

    By the last two games the Bucs had definitely improved and ROJO was emblematic of the rest of the team. He finished with a solid performance against Houston and an outstanding job against the Falcons.

    Against Houston he had 77 yards on 14 carries for a respectable 5.5 YPC.
    Better still in that game he caught 3 of 4 passes thrown his way for 32 yards or better than 10 yards per catch. He produced 109 yards of offense.

    But he concluded his season with a terrific performance against the Falcons.
    106 yards on just 11 carries for a sparkling 9.64 YPC he caught both passes thrown his way for 10 more yards a total 116 yards of offense.

    While these stats are not amazing they’re certainly enough if we find a mauling big RB to complement. A back who can go “beast mode”.

    In addition grab one of those big uglies in the draft at tackle in the first round.
    OL is finished save perhaps for some more depth. RB or QB in rounds 2 and 3.

    Did the rest of the team also improve. Hell yeah. Front seven was stout and D White appears to be the real deal as does our trio of young DB’s who came on big time the second half of the year.

    WR already great but even without stars we saw major improvement from Perriman…of course he’ll probably be gone.

    TE’s were a disappointment..dropped passes…lack of utilization..might as well put on OT at TE with a number in the 80’s and see what that does for our running game.

    Which leaves the most important position on the team…QB. How did that go?
    Houston JW 335 yards on a 52% completion % FOUR INTS!!! 3 sacks 46.8 passer rating.
    Atlanta 201 yards 54% 2 ints including the season ending PICK SIX! 75.2 PR

    What was most disturbing about this was JW had blown up the previous four games with great yardage and completion % that averaged over 66% and if you throw out JAX his PR averaged 113. He appeared to be on the upswing…and then the final two games.

    One season and two games do not make a career but JW needs to be careful he doesn’t gain a reputation as a choker.

  11. Buczilla Says:

    Good article and I agree. I have little faith that the front office/Arians (whoever the hell has final say) will attack the position though. I hope (pun intended) I’m wrong though.

  12. adam from ny Says:

    what if…

    it isn’t on the backs, and the o-line is really really bad at run blocking…

    might be the case…

    really really bad

  13. adam from ny Says:

    i think we are drafting two o-linemen very early in the draft…

    to potentially replace left guard, right guard and right tackle…

    fugg yeah…i said it

    both tackles are open game…especially right tackle…

    left tackle they might draft a guy to wait in the wings a year or so,,..

    while cappa’s spot isn’t set in stone…he can almost be a floater like watford…but a starting spot is definitely his, as he can only get better…the question is what spot will he settle into

  14. adam from ny Says:

    joe you should do a thread on :

    exactly how many games were “bad games” by winston…

    i’d guess off hand, 1/3 of the games were stinkers…

    he must have had like 5 stinkers where he completely imploded…

    a thread might be good joeskiii

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^adam, what would be the point?! Apologists will break down each play and blame poor OL play or the Earth’s magnetic pull according to the Farmer’s Almanac that day!
    Meanwhile, the alleged “haters” will gasp at the thought of only “5 games”?!
    Besides, all Joe has to do is put a picture of Jameis at the top of the thread and type a singular question mark. Same effect!

  16. RagingBrisket Says:

    Oline is mediocre, at best. Jones would be a superstar behind SF oline. You think Mostert or any of the other star backs on SF would do squat here behind this lousy line?

  17. SteveK Says:

    Farmers almanac 😂

  18. Tony Says:

    okay, you have to be doing this on purpose at this point…that was a Dungy quote that Raheem used.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    its all about wins…

    produce wins not stats…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  20. Pewter power Says:

    Can’t write this about Ronald Jones and not apply that same principle to Winston a first overall pick that’s asinine. He is showing clear growth it has nothing to do with banking on hope when a player improves from year to year.

    Payton barber he was the feel good story with the reason he came out off college and all these years they wasted hoping he would become what? He was never dynamic even when he ran in wide open space there was nothing exciting about him. Barber is the stupid reason they waited so long to invest in the run game because there was nothing else.

  21. Nick2 Says:

    We definitely need a good running back to supplement Jones in the run game. To not draft a running back would be as one of the Joe’s might say “irresponsible!!!”

  22. SRQ Buc Fan Says:

    Hope is not a strategy…

  23. Swampbuc Says:

    Something strikes me. The Bucs ran well in the red zone, supposedly the hardest place to run. They had 14 rushing touchdowns in the red zone.

    Why were they able to be successful in the hardest part of the field to run?

    Also Jameis only had one red zone interception. One.

    Maybe the Bucs just need to run their red zone offense all the time.

  24. The Graham Tram Says:

    Probably need another back for depth anyway. Pretty impressive they both stayed healthy all year

  25. Joe Says:

    okay, you have to be doing this on purpose at this point…that was a Dungy quote that Raheem used.

    Never heard Dungy say that. Did hear Raheem say that (about Styles White).

    Ira claims Raheem got that from Mike Tomlin. Never heard Tomlin say that.

  26. rrsrq Says:

    We don’t know what our RBs could’ve been, quotes like “ride the hot hand” never materialized, especially for ROJO. He gets a few good runs and one loss, incomes PB. ROJO had 100+ yards on 11 carries against the dirty birds, only 11 carries, should’ve at least been 12 with the first carry in OT. The play calling handicapped the running game at times and when it comes to running out the clock, that requires the offensive line to change the line of scrimmage because the other teams knows you are running. I’m for an additional back along with a healthy Logan, but not breaking the bank and neither will BA, Melvin Gordon would be my first choice, then David Johnson or a rookie who can compliment ROJO

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Catcard202 has a great point n BTW Jones had a few break out long runs before the one he had before the end of the season n everyone of them was called back on online penalties or wr penalties