The Bucs & Jonathan Williams

January 26th, 2020

Before the Bucs pounced on Peyton Barber in the undrafted free agent frenzy following the 2016 NFL Draft, another SEC running back was selected in Round 5 by the Buffalo Bills.

That was Arkansas Razorbacks RB Jonathan Williams.

He went in Round 5 despite missing the entire 2015 season with a foot injury. That doesn’t happen every day. The scouts remembered his 1,190 yards on 211 carries and 12 touchdowns during the 2014 college season.

Williams pro career never got off the ground. He barely played as a rookie and was a final cut of the Bills in 2017. The Broncos parked him on their 2017 practice squad but New Orleans plucked him soon after with a real-roster deal. Over two seasons he had three carries and landed in Indianapolis midway through the 2018 season.

Injuries finally gifted Williams a significant shot in 2019, and in those two games against Jacksonville and Houston, he combined for 39 carries for 220 yards and a touchdown.

“You can tell he’s got great vision, quickness, speed and acceleration,’’ Reich said after Williams had a big game against the Jaguars. “We’ve been wanting to get him an opportunity for a while. He’s waited patiently. He’s really worked hard and did a great job.’’

Williams rode the Colts’ bench for the final four games and will now be a free agent. He turns 26 next month and Joe likes the wild-card nature of his looming free agency.

No, Joe doesn’t see a guy like Williams being “the answer” to the Bucs’ running game woes. But Indianapolis had a lot of depth at the position, as did New Orleans, and maybe Williams is a guy who could thrive with a fresh shot. Certainly, he’d add competition and Joe has a hunch Williams has more upside than Dare Ogunbowale.

Yes, Joe is turning over every rock to see what could upgrade the Bucs’ sad, sad rushing attack.

16 Responses to “The Bucs & Jonathan Williams”

  1. BucEmUp Says:

    Leftwich SUCKS

  2. PSL Bob Says:

    Breshad Perriman comes to mind. A bust elsewhere, but flourished in BAs system. Then of course there’s Shaq Barrett. Hadn’t done much elsewhere but showed promise. Hadn’t done much because he hadn’t been given an opportunity. Looks like Williams may fall into that same category. Can’t hurt to give him a shot. Let’s see what BA’s coaching staff can do with him.

  3. WyomingDude Says:

    Keep turning over some other rocks…this isn’t it. At all. Plus the Colts Oline needed to be the storyline here, not this dude “running” behind that beastly group. Even Ira could run behind those holes they open up.

  4. Bucs Guy Says:

    Low priced FA, no guaranteed money, prove it deal sounds like great for competition with Dare and Logan at RB. Draft a big RB also. I doubt Barber will be re-signed.

  5. Stanglassman Says:

    This is just the type of FA the Bucs should pursue. Reminds me of Shaq B.. Someone buried on a depth chart but produced when given a chance. I’d still want the Bucs to draft a Rb in the mid rounds this year. We need quality & depth at Rb come training camp if we want any QB to succeed next season.

    Great nugget Joe.

  6. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Coaching is the biggest issue with the running game. I don’t know what is going on at practice, but I can tell you that the in-game playcalling is terrible. First down, HB dive. Stop!! We need to figure out ways to create space. And use more play action! It doesn’t matter if the run game isn’t effective, play action still works (analysts have looked at this and proven it true). Leftwich is…
    Not good

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    Nice digging Joe. Sounds like a decent fit for a HC who doesn’t wanna spend big money on RBs.

  8. Craig Says:

    We could draft a better RB in the third round. Cheaper too, and maybe more durable

  9. Jean Lafitte Says:

    The guy was drafted in 2015?

    It’s 2020 and he only has 220 yards on 39 carries to show for it?

    He should get only the veteran minimum.

  10. Buczilla Says:

    I’m cool with getting him considering that I didn’t feel that Dare and Barber shouldn’t have even been on the roster. Hopefully we can get David Johnson and draft someone with a pulse too.

  11. GetOverIt Says:

    If Leftwich sucks, then how did Jameis throw for 5000 yards and the offense score tons of points? Is it Leftwich’s fault that Jameis throws pick 6’s routinely or that Peyton Barber doesn’t have the talent to be more than a third string back?

  12. RagingBrisket Says:

    Want to upgrade this sad rushing attack you can start by upgrading the sad af run blocking instead of banking on a superstar RB. The oline can pass protect okay but the run blocking is atrocious and constantly gets a free pass around these parts.

  13. alaskabuc Says:

    Joe, what is the status with Jerick Mickinon? He’s been injured all season and Mostert has definitely stepped into the starting role. I think if we are shopping for bargain back trying to prove the doubters, Mickinonia the best pace to start.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t know. I’ve always felt that if a player wants to start, he should make it hard to keep him on the bench. Maybe he could not have started in those other places, but you’re telling me he couldn’t even earn 2nd or 3rd string?


  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Jeebs the Honey Bear

    People tend to forget that Bruce Arians was teaching Leftwich too. The playcalling was fine.

    We had one of the best offenses in the NFL. They tried to get the running game started, but the oline was built for passing.

  16. Rob Tanner Says:

    Video unavailable, once clicked.