The RoJo-Brady Relationship

May 16th, 2020

Lots of X-factors to the Buccaneers’ success in 2020.

Joe’s thinking about one more than others today.

Last year at this time, it was Operation Stroke Ronald Jones at One Buc Palace. Seemingly everyone with an important voice was talking about how impressed they were with Jones in no-pads practices.

It felt like a clear effort to prop the guy’s confidence after a brutal rookie year.

Then came very mediocre regular-season play from RoJo — which represented a vast and encouraging improvement! — until he reached a higher level during the final two games of the season. In all, RoJo had just 80 carries in the final 8 games (ousted Peyton Barber had 71) and Arians said after the season that RoJo is not in the plans for third down going forward. But GM Jason Licht says he’s expecting another year of big improvement from his 2018 second-round pick.

It’s all a bit perplexing as 22-year-old RoJo is now the most experienced running back on a roster that has Super Bowl dreams and expectations.

Joe wonders how Jones will handle the pressure of being asked to lead a running backs room and deal with the immense pressure that will come from Tom Brady. The Bucs’ new QB knows he’ll have to make the most of every training camp minute after losing a spring with his new teammates.

Joe keeps listening to Boston sports radio and hears how brutally tough Brady is on his running backs and receivers. If/when that fire and ire comes RoJo’s way, will he handle it well?

Patriots running back Rex Burkhead was asked recently on Boston radio whether Brady screamed at him. The host’s thought was that maybe Brady went easier on him since Burkhead was a fifth-year player upon arriving in New England.

Burkhead laughed and said, “We got corrected,” and noted that’s Brady’s leadership style is to get on players.

Wes Welker was a little more candid about his early days in New England, noting he wanted to fight Brady.

The Bucs treated RoJo like he was a somewhat fragile ego/personality last year, so Joe sure hopes he’s up for the radical change coming his way.

41 Responses to “The RoJo-Brady Relationship”

  1. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    One of the most astounding parts about last season was the insistence to keep handing off to Peyton Barber and Dare Ogunbowale even despite being out of playoff contention. The second we were officially eliminated, RoJo should’ve gotten AT LEAST 75% of the carries, at the least to get him some on field experience.

    That is really the part about 2019 that perplexes me…

  2. ncbucsfan Says:

    Rojo will be fine. I’d be willing to bet he’ll be hitting the parks locally with Brady any day now. If not for Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Kenyan Drake, or Aaron Jones, Rojo would be a Pro Bowl caliber RB in 2020 lmao!!

  3. ncbucsfan Says:

    Nah, I like Rojo’s talent and upside though! If he stays healthy, he will eventually make the Pro Bowl. This guy has immense talent!!

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    It’s amazing how young Rojo still is, he’s 3 months younger than our new 3rd round pick RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

    Ronnie looked good to end the season, and really just needed more reps. He also matched David Johnson’s big year with Arians in terms of yards per carry, at 4.2 – just get the guy more reps and I think he can easily be a 1200 yard rusher.

    But also get a 3rd down back. I know Vaughn might play that role, but I’d want a vet protecting Brady on those passing downs.

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Terrible Tom is a meany!

    ……anywho…… I love it!

  6. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    He wasn’t bad 4.2 YPC behind a right tackle who on run plays would literally get beat off the damn snap almost every play isn’t bad. Granted in too many peoples minds running backs are the most important position on the offense because they like to cherry pick stats. Could Rojo have done better sure. Is it as bad as barber or Muscle Hamster GOD NO.

    Joe keeps failing to mention what will make whoever is running better. Tristan Wirfs, He will be our game changer.

  7. JP09 Says:

    ROJO will have 1100 rushing yards this season plus another 250 receiving yards. The dude just didn’t get enough carries for whatever reason. The addition of Wirfs and gronk will directly help him while Brady’s ability to change the play (to the correct play) at the line will also help get the O in better run situations leading to more explosive plays from ROJO. If you thought this Offense was entertaining last year buckle up because it’s going to be one hell of a ride this season

  8. Howard Cosell Says:

    When’s the next Americas QB Jameis WInston post?

  9. firethecannons Says:

    after reading this article seems clear we need a veteran–leonard fournette

  10. Doc Says:

    Who the hell is coaching and running this team Coach Brady, everything this team has done in the off season is to please Brady. We will see what happens when he starts to argue with the Offense Coordinator like he did in New England,until they asked him to leave.

  11. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Leftwich is unnecessary at this point.
    I hope he enjoys the easy money while it lasts.

  12. Ship Thief Says:

    I realize you are quite slow, but we drafted a RT and RB because we NEEDED a RT and RB.

    But I think you are right, we drafted Winfield and spent millions and millions of dollars trying to keep our front 7 together just to make Brady happy.
    Not because they are trying to build a team… ALL these moves were made BY Brady and FOR Brady alone.


    Do you not remember “weapons for Winston”?
    Oh, he played for FSU?
    Totally different then…

  13. Greg Says:

    I’m not saying JW wasn’t a “leader”. But nobody’s gonna slack off in the presence of a Hall of Famer. That’s just the mentality. We all want to be close to greatness.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….Rojo didn’t get enough carries…..
    His 4.2 YPC at 15 carries per game would have been 1008 yards…..

    I think Brady will be the best thing to happen for Rojo…..his decision making will help improve our running game and the Oline improvement will help also.

    In reality….Rojo with more carries would have been fine last year……

    And…..this one’s for Joe…..Don’t sleep on Dare!!!

  15. Doc Says:

    Hey, Ship Thief, why didn’t we draft them last year, we needed them then also. How are they building a team when over half of your defense line is over 30. If you build a team you draft a team that can win into the future. This team payroll is used up by washed up old players.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    If he’s worth his weight, he’ll rise to the occasion. Stroking mentally weak, fragile egos is how this team has fallen so far. We’ve consistently waited too long to rid inferior players. That has changed. Gone are GMC, VHIII, JW, and if other players like OJ and Rojo don’t step up, they’ll be gone too.
    Accountability. Period and point blank!
    It’s about winning. It shouldn’t matter whether or not where you’re drafted.

  17. Ship Thief Says:

    we didn’t draft a RT last year cause we had one under contract.
    we didn’t draft a RB last year cause we had multiple under contract.

    pretty easy to answer that one.

    we drafted about 10 DBs though…
    that’s a little harder to answer I admit.

    but because of that, it is easy to see that we actually do not have an “old” team.

  18. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Rojo best attribute is breaking one for big yardage. He seems to get stuff at the line too much. Sometimes the Bucs offensive line is unable to open a hole for him but other times, he is impatient for the play to develop and tend to run sideways.

    Ke’Shawn Vaugh is a true North and South runner. He doesn’t mess around with all the shifting like Rojo. If guards, Wirfs or Smith can open up holes for him, he’ll pound out the yards better than Rojo. Vaugh was also one of the best blocking RB in the draft, making his chances of being a 3rd down specialist almost a guarantee.

  19. Doc Says:

    Hey, Ship Thief,

    They were under contract this time last year, but no one thought about Winston, during last year draft. If the running backs last year were good enough for Winston, but not good enough for Brady. No more excuses, no one to blame now.

  20. LJS4th Says:

    I feel bad that Joe keeps putting down RoJo as how many yards did he produce were called back because of penalties? Take just one game -The Rams- he had more yards called back from penalties than he got credit for running. Also, how many did he get called back for because Dotson was holding or some other penalty in other games. We seem to have fixed the RT problem, so give RoJo a chance.

  21. Drunkinybor Says:

    The cream will rise to the top

  22. K2 Says:

    So, Brady doesn’t bring out the best in his teammates? I wasn’t aware that he routinely beat up his teammates to the point they were unless. I learn sometime new about Brady everyday.

  23. Dano Says:

    I hope RoJo is working on his Pass Protection & Catching.

  24. lowercaseg Says:

    The two major flaws i see in his game are pass protection and ball security. Rojo runs good but plz work on holding onto that rock.

  25. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    If you are a Buc fan and rooting for Brady or Rojo to fail you are a special kind of idiot. And you know who you are.

  26. Oneilbucs Says:

    We need to call run plays at least that’s the thing I worry about more than a blocking runningback or a pass catcher . I just hope he can run the ball and break tackles .

  27. adam from ny Says:

    time for rojo to mature real quick or get slapped around by a amped up gronk on coke…

    diet coke that is

  28. bill Says:

    RoJo was a 20 year old rookie… yeah he was a bit in awe….he wasn’t a 23 year old senior…. his pass pro will come along

  29. Buczilla Says:

    I’ll say it til I’m blue in the face. Sign Devonta Freeman Licht! Why chance a Super Bowl run on 2 unproven players?

  30. Carl Nicks' big toe Says:

    I don’t know, and maybe it’s just me, but every time I hear about Rojo’s fragile ego it makes me wonder why everybody is coddling him so much. Was Aguayo coddled this much? He was a 2nd round pick too. I get that he’s young, but to me, if you’re in the NFL you’re going to prove that you can take it, and produce, or you’ll be exposed as not being able to take it, and go sell cars for a living. No shame in it. Not everyone is made to be a pro football player.

    Bottom line: If he can’t take the pressure, make way for someone who can.

  31. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Bucs HAVE to use rojo more this year. They need to use the entire run game more. If not, I can see a very pissed of Brady walking to the sideline yelling at BL. I know this sounds stupid and it’s probably the crown talking but I trust Brady more than BL to call plays.

    “hears how brutally tough Brady is on his running backs and receivers. If/when that fire and ire comes RoJo’s way, will he handle it well?”

    I honestly think all of the receivers and backs will take that *ss chewing from Brady with zero problems. A player/legend like Brady, you don’t complain. YOU LISTEN!!!

    Rojo has been working his behind off this offseason and working on coming out of the backfield catching passes. He knows where the bread and butter is gonna be this year.

  32. adam from ny Says:

    rojo should be able to manipulate screen passes into some huge yardage plays if the proper blocks are thrown in front of him this year…

    given a little space, rojo will break free way more than ever before

  33. SOEbuc Says:

    We get it, Joe. No one knows jack sh!t about Brady playing for the Bucs or anyone he’ll play with.

  34. WillieG Says:

    Brady’s leadership style sounds a lot like Gerald McCoy’s.

    (The previous comment was brought to you by sarcasm. Sarcasm. It’s what’s for breakfast.)

  35. Jerardo Navarrete Says:

    Rojo is a beast on Madden 20 for me.. plenty of speed to take it to the house anytime 🤷🏻‍♂️

  36. Kgh4life Says:

    Rojo was the better running back last season, he’s very explosive once he gets in the secondary, however, he needs more coaching: picking up blitzes, running precise routes and catching the football. Earlier on he did post a work out of him and Jamal William’s running routes and catching passes.

  37. m0j0 Says:

    I really like Vaughn and think he will be a big factor this year, but it’s Rojo’s time to shine and he will take full advantage. He has a monster RT and TE blocking for him now and he will make teams pay for playing 7 in the box. Also, I have read that he is working very hard on improving his pass catching so hopefully that will allow him to be more involved from a short passing / check down / screen perspective.

  38. Bradybru Says:

    Looking forward to good things from all our running backs, go bucs

  39. Pete Asarisi Says:

    Hahaha the best part of Tom Brady being your team’s QB is how the word probowl becomes another way of saying dissapointing season. You’ll see….

  40. BucEmUp Says:

    Leftwich sucks…had rojo gotten 18 – 20 touches a game the kid can catch. Regardless at least we know Brady will be granted whoever he wants on the field the majority of the snaps so we wont have our 3rd best runing back gettong galf the the most touches

  41. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    Rojo suck it up buttercup!!! He will be fine & we need RB’s who can catch in the back field. That is what TB12 is the best with…