Hope For Ronald Jones

August 2nd, 2020

Bucs RB Ronald Jones.

Sometimes people want something so badly, they cling to the obscure hoping it becomes real and the norm.

Take the case of Ronald Jones, the Bucs’ would-be No. 1 back. Jones had a pathetic season as a rookie and if readers have time of their own, feel free to pull up the list of rookie running backs this century who ran for 50 yards or less (RoJo had 49).

It’s a grim list, which is why Joe has little hope for RoJo.

But Joe has sensed an uprising in the past couple of months of people trying to tell Joe that history and reality are wrong, that Jones had a fine year last year. Joe calls this the Cult of Ronald Jones.

(Running back is one of the few positions where rookies shine. When is the last time a running back needed three years to become halfway decent?)

And for Joe, one of the biggest reaches the Cult of Ronald Jones can come up with in dismissing his subpar numbers is blaming referees! Sam Kinison couldn’t have dreamed up that line! (OW! AAAHHH!!!)

Now to be fair, Joe thinks all is not lost for RoJo. Though Bucco Bruce Arians is not sold on RoJo as a pass-catcher, the guy has good YAC numbers, just under 10 yards a catch. That’s not bad at all.

In the Football Outsiders 2020 Almanac, the football stats think tank hasn’t closed the books on RoJo and believe he can be serviceable but is not yet dependable.

After what was essentially a redshirt rookie season, Jones turned in a decent sophomore campaign. At midseason, he emerged as the Buccaneers’ primary ballcarrier and went on to become the team’s first running back to gain 1,000 yards from scrimmage since Doug Martin in 2015. He flashed some explosiveness, too. In 2018, he didn’t have a single run of at least 10 yards. In 2019, he had 20, or 11.6% of his carries. He wasn’t reliable as a pass-catcher or pass-blocker, though, so he ceded snaps to Dare Ogunbowale. Expect to see a similar arrangement early this season, with Jones being featured on early downs and Ogunbowale splitting snaps on passing downs with rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

Yeah, and RoJo’s window got quite a bit narrower in Joe’s eyes with the Bucs’ signing future Hall of Fame running back Shady McCoy last week.

The Bucs are clearly shoving all their poker chips into the middle of the table for this season. Does the team have the luxury of giving RoJo space to prove himself after two forgettable seasons?

Joe has no doubt the Cult of Ronald Jones will side with the USC product.

43 Responses to “Hope For Ronald Jones”

  1. Sport Says:

    If he can improve his field awareness (blocking and catching) he’ll get a lot of snaps.

    If not he won’t.

    No cult, just facts.

    I hand the Mic to TampaBayBucFan for his obligatory slogan on Rojo.

    In BA I Trust!

  2. dmatt Says:

    RoJo came in as a young and gullible 20 yr old kid. Koetter drafted him n didn’t provide him with a mentor nor the right coaching, yet threw the kid under the bus. What good did that do for the kid’s confidence n morale. Then comes Arians n the kid had a different attitude n played well. Had several runs that were worth making nfl highlights, with two long runs called back. He’s a cloned version of Legarrette Blount but with speed, agility, n elusiveness. Many are doubting him this year but this will be his season. He’s matured, gained his confidence, is self disciplined n motivated. He has the total package. Drafting two running backs n bringing in a vet gives RoJo all the reason to prove those who underestimated him. He will elevate his game this year. He showed signs last year.

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Sport is correct.
    The cult is the 5000 yard worshippers.

  4. August 1976 Buc Says:

    It was not a good thing for Rojo to be the “Veteran” in the RB Room. Shady is now, and he came on the cheap. Believe this, Brady must like him or he would not be here. Safe reliable hands out of the back field. Shady has had his issues, but overall good move by JLicht. But no mistake about it, nobody passes through the gate unless Sherff Brady is ok with it. There is no way they bring in someone Brady does not trust. Go Bucs!!!!

  5. JimmyJack Says:

    Ronald Jones is now a 3 year vet and couldn’t ask for a better breakout opportunity.

    If you take a RT in Round 1 the obvious expectation is a upgrade running the ball to the right. If Wirfs was a good choice we should see much better opportunity for our RBs. Ronald can make a career for himself next year if he able…….if not we have some potential behind him. Somebody should be finding running yard if they’re there.

    I’m betting Ronald will be required to get better catching the ball under Tom Brady but I still don’t think it’ll be a big part of his game. Ideally I think you got McCoy to come out a few times per drive on passing downs……I could see a lot of packages where McCoy and Gronk come in together to run some passing plays.

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    The kid is what, 24? Let him carry.

  7. Buczilla Says:

    Rojo is not even average yet, so signing McCoy was a smart move. Can Rojo be good? I sure as hell thought that we had the answer in him at running back from watching his USC highlights, but that guy has yet to show up in a Bucs uniform. I hope that he becomes something, but we have a few insurance policies on the team now in case he doesn’t.

    I don’t know what I find more surprising. The fact that Licht signed Brady, or that he actually seems to be trying to find a legit threat at running back. Putting effort into finding a running back that is actually good is all I ask Licht.

  8. Jason Says:

    All I know is last off-season Jenna Laine wrote that Rojo would take over as the starting rb and I thought she was nuts. Oops. My bad.

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Calling anyone who points out Jones stats (that aren’t terrible last year) part of a cult is just goofy. It’s as goofy as anyone needing stats to argue that he’s a decent RB.

    Here it is: So far, RoJo’s not lived up to the pick the Bucs spent (wasted?) on him, and RB is one of the positions we can expect a player to make an immediate impact. I use the gut test instead. When the Bucs MUST have a few yards to get a first, and you see RoJo trot out onto the field, do you have a good feeling like it’s going to be okay? I don’t. Like every time Winston went back to pass needing a big completion (and even when he didn’t) I feared the INT. Too often my gut was right. I feel the same about RoJo right now. I’d rather see Shady run out there for now. Nothing against RoJo…the tutelage of this year may help him. I “hope” so (there’s that word).

  10. Godlovesbucs Says:

    The only way a guy can make an impact is if he is given opportunity. Koetter did not give him any opportunity. B.A. gave him very few opportunities. Watching him run last year it felt as if he was consistently on the verge of breaking one big. Before saying he is a bust i would like to see him get a season of 300-350 total touches and see what he does.

  11. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    TBBF? Where are you? lol

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Call me in the cult.

    Again, Joe….a perfect place to add…

    But if Rojo only had 15 carries per game at 4.2 ypc….he would have gained 1008 yards…….JUST FIFTEEN!!!

    He didn’t get the ball…

    No would he have?……nobody knows….it’s a projection….
    I think Dotson alone cost him 1 ypc off his average….

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Now would he have….

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The top 10 RBs in 2019 all had more than 250 carries……..Rojo only had 172…..Rojo beat one of the top 10….Joe Mixon with YPC.

  15. rrsrq Says:

    Damien Williams could’ve been SB MVP, they are projecting Kenyon Drake to be all that this year for the Cards, the difference is they both played for the fins early on, a terrible team – but they both played key roles in the latter part of the year to their current teams improvement.
    JW doesn’t have 30 INTs just maybe if the ball goes to ROJO who is killing the Falcons. Maybe when BA says he is going to ride the hot hand, he rolls with ROjO, because never saw PB25 or Dare get hot.

  16. Ndog Says:

    Roy T. Buford Says:
    August 2nd, 2020 at 6:58 am
    Calling anyone who points out Jones stats (that aren’t terrible last year) part of a cult is just goofy. It’s as goofy as anyone needing stats to argue that he’s a decent RB.

    Here it is: So far, RoJo’s not lived up to the pick the Bucs spent (wasted?) on him, and RB is one of the positions we can expect a player to make an immediate impact. I use the gut test instead. When the Bucs MUST have a few yards to get a first, and you see RoJo trot out onto the field, do you have a good feeling like it’s going to be okay? I don’t. Like every time Winston went back to pass needing a big completion (and even when he didn’t) I feared the INT. Too often my gut was right.

    Every article ⬆️ I tell ya!!!!!

  17. Ron says Says:

    I was happy that we got McCoy he was a great pick up and I don’t see it being detrimental for the team in any way. What it affords us is a area of trust for Brady in the running game as experience lends that feeling. Now Rojo is going to get his chances but in a more controlled scheme and if he thrives and can be trusted he will get his opportunity to shine as will Vaughn later on in the season. Brady is use to having a stable of running backs which is what adds to the diversity of the team. Everybody assumes we are going to throw deep a lot but I believe we will efficiently move the ball and eat the clock and take advantage of the opportunities down the field when they come. That will rest the defense and make us dominate on both sides of the ball.

  18. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Anyone think that maybe teams were trying to stop the run and allow jameis to throw the ball? He still aceraged 4.2ypc vs barbers 3.1 on about the same amount of carries. And with the same amount of catchesand catch % as dare, he averaged 10.0 ypc vs 8.2. I think shady will be a great influence on rojo, but given the opportunity he should be a 1500 total yard guy.

  19. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Color me a proud card carrying member of ” the Cult of Ronald Jones “! Mark my words Joe’s. RoJo will prove doubters wrong this year.

    Some of his runs last year showed what he is capable of. He was just a 20 year old kid when he came into the league and had subpar coaching and little to no support.

  20. Bobby M. Says:

    Good chance this is Rojo’s last year…Staff obviously doesn’t see enough in him, they drafted two RBs and signed an accomplished vet. He needs to make big strides in passing game or hes just another 2-down back with avg production….those are valued at around a dime a dozen in today’s NFL.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The drafting of a RB was to replace Peyton Barber……not because of Rojo….

    Peyton Barber 16 154 470 3.1

    LeSean McCoy 13 101 465 4.6

    With 3 fewer games and over 50 fewer carries, LeSean McCoy came within 5 yards of matching Barber.

  22. Troop 365 Bucs Says:

    I’m not in the cult but damn you gotta let him get dinner work in
    Go Bucs

  23. Darin Says:

    Not sure what this cult is all about but i think he’ll lead the team in carries and yards. Ahhhh heck sign me up for the cult!

  24. BFFL Says:

    Smith and Dotson as your OTs doesn’t help. Dot was just old. Smith has no excuses. He was shockingly bad at run blocking which is surprising given his size.

  25. Oneilbucs Says:

    This is another reason why I can’t wait for the Brady thing is done. When are we going to care more about him running between the tackles and being a 1,000 yards rusher like all the other winning teams has . I care more that then can he catch.

  26. hamilton Says:

    come on,rojo is like 23 years old

  27. Youngbucs Says:

    Oneilbucs some good teams last year didn’t even have a 1000yd rusher. What you saying the team that won the super bowl didn’t even have a 500yd rusher what you really saying. You like to throw sh*t against the wall and see if it sticks lol.

  28. Youngbucs Says:

    But yea make it about Brady lol

  29. StS Says:

    Here’s to Ronald Jones making the Pro-Bowl/All-Pro Team.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    What justifies McCoy being a future Hall of Fame running back?

    He only had 1,000 rushing yards on 6 of his eleven seasons…and the last one was 3 years ago. He’s been very up and down his entire career. Was he a good RB? Yes. A HoFer? I don’t see how.

    Heck, he’s averaged 3.9 ypc the past 2 years!

    Rojo out produced him last year.

    McCoy won’t be a starter unless due to injury or illness.

    He’s more likely our next Charlie Garner.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Oneilbucs, that’s not because of Brady, it’s because of Arians.

  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    “The drafting of a RB was to replace Peyton Barber……not because of Rojo….

    Peyton Barber 16 154 470 3.1

    LeSean McCoy 13 101 465 4.6

    With 3 fewer games and over 50 fewer carries, LeSean McCoy came within 5 yards of matching Barber.”

    Nailed it!

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Rojo still had his baby fat when he was drafted.

  34. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Plus he went from 205 to 225 1st to 2nd year. I’ll betcha on Joe’s list none of the players did that. Last year it was legit like looking at a teenager driving a new powerful sportscar, he didn’t have everything figured out yet. With the accountability of Brady the kid has a chance. I didn’t like him coming out (and said so), but he looked explosive as hell last year.

  35. Clean House Says:

    Stubborn Koeter

  36. Oneilbucs Says:

    Youngbucs they put up the stats that every team ranked at the bottom in running the ball did not make the playoffs . Go look it up . Every team that lead the NFL in passes did not make the playoffs. Without a running game you will not win without a running game . Kansas City closed out the superbowl by running the ball . THEY have have been able to run the ball since Andy Reid got there so it’s a threat so teams has to watch out for it wich open up the passing game . I know that the national media told yall that the quarterback helps the running game but it’s just not the truth look at the facts .

  37. «Delusional Intelligence» Says:

    Good thing we didn’t give up on Ronde Barber after his dismal rookie campaign. I’m almost starting to wonder if Joe’s disdain for Rojo has surpassed his disdain for Sabby The Goat.

    I wonder if Denver is regretting giving up on Shaq Barrett.

  38. Oneilbucs Says:

    Bonzai they are trying to be like the Patriots but the only problem is we can’t run the ball or play defense like the Patriots can . You have to be able to close out games late in the 4th quarter. The lie is that we were always playing from behind and that’s just not the truth . I can named you at least 3 games were we were winning but we couldn’t close out games because we had no running game and Jamies just became the scapegoat of the losses .

  39. Ndog Says:

    Oneilbucs Says:
    August 2nd, 2020 at 11:10 pm
    Bonzai they are trying to be like the Patriots but the only problem is we can’t run the ball or play defense like the Patriots can . You have to be able to close out games late in the 4th quarter. The lie is that we were always playing from behind and that’s just not the truth . I can named you at least 3 games were we were winning but we couldn’t close out games because we had no running game and Jamies just became the scapegoat of the losses .

    BINGO, but there was more than 3 I can assure you!

  40. Youngbucs Says:

    Oneilbucs you like to talk without doing the research thts all I’m gonna say listen to yourself I just told you the Chiefs not a running team and you talk about a big run from the super bowl you serious.

  41. Youngbucs Says:

    Wow dude broke a run ok and ?????

  42. rrsrq Says:

    For those saying this is it for ROjO, because they drafted 2 RBs and signed Shady
    Cowboys have Zeke and they drafted To y Pollard
    Browns have Nick Chubb and still signed Kareem Hint
    Ravens have Mark Ingram and drafted JK Dobbins
    Look at the Chiefs, 49ers, Saints,

    Heck, look what the Packers and Eagles did – drifted QBs early

  43. Oneilbucs Says:

    Youngbucs the Chiefs can run the ball bro when they need to or when they want to .

 

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