Hyping RoJo

September 2nd, 2020


The hype machine has been turned on. Joe hopes — uh oh, there’s that filthy word again — the guy can back it up.

And that guy would be Bucs running back Ronald Jones. As a rookie with then-Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, RoJo was horrible. Let’s call it like we see it. Very few players this century who ran for only 50 yards or less in their rookie seasons ever broke out of that rut. The list is grim.

One reason Koetter may have shoved RoJo aside in 2018 is that Koetter apparently didn’t see enough spark there to bank on RoJo.

And let’s be frank, Koetter was in CYA mode in 2018. He knew he needed wins (and was without his starting quarterback for the first three games) so he couldn’t waste time developing players. He needed immediate production.

Koetter knew he was given a stay of execution by Team Glazer for the horrible 2017 season, which began with so much hype — including from Koetter himself. But the season blew up early and the road schedule ended in Carolina with a melee in the locker room. Koetter and his staff lost the players.

Koetter even thanked Team Glazer for showing the “courage,” as Koetter put it, to allow him another season to turn the pirate ship around.

Bucco Bruce Arians came in last year and worked hard with his staff on RoJo to salvage his career. To RoJo’s credit, he put in the work as well.

Now, to hear Arians speak this morning, RoJo is on the verge of being an every-down back.

“I think the biggest thing is in the passing game,” Arians said of RoJo. “He has really, really improved his hands. He had one bad day [in training camp] where he dropped the ball but he then kind of fixed it. It is all concentration.

“His blitz pickup has been good. He has worked on his pass protection. He looks like he can be an all-around back.”

Arians seems to think RoJo got off to a horrible start to his NFL career likely because he was so young — drafted at 20 years old.

“I wasn’t here for his rookie year so I cannot comment on that,” Arian said. “He was solid last year. He was growing each week as a player. Very young player. He was a one-trick pony runner only and he has grown into possibly a three-down player.”

Joe is always looking for a back story or a hidden story because there almost always is one. Coaches and players are often coached up by seasoned and skilled professionals in the front office on how to frame and craft talking points to deliver a team’s desired message. (That’s why reporters nearly worship guys like Arians because he is a straight shooter, which is refreshing.)

Was Arians hyping RoJo to boost his confidence? Or was it in part because the Bucs have turned up their noses on Leonard Fournette? Or are they negotiating with Fournette?

Notice Arians didn’t come right out and say RoJo is a three-down back. Arians said RoJo “possibly” is a three-down back. This statement, of course, means Arians isn’t quite sure.

We do know Fournette is a proven, effective every-down back. And that is for sure.

21 Responses to “Hyping RoJo”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    rojo,shady.fournette sure sounds nice!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  2. Sport Says:

    See lost dog… Joe mentions Arians forthrightness. Time for you to recognize your paradigm is blinding you from seeing the possibilities for one helluva fun season as a Bucs Fan!

    Come back to the light!!!

    In BA I Trust!

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    He is blowing smoke up everyone’s a$$ as the Bucs are negotiating with Fournette’s agent. In the Navy if you were served steak and lobster you knew your deployment was getting extended at sea.

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    (2019) Yards After Contact
    1. Derrick Henry – 968 | 3.2 avg
    2. Nick Chubb – 882 | 3.0 avg
    3. Leonard Fournette – 792 | 3.0 avg 
    4. Chris Carson – 734 | 2.6 avg
    5. Josh Jacobs – 683 | 2.8 avg

    17. Ronald Jones II – 415 | 2.4 avg 

    Combination of Ronald Jones II & Leonard Fournette would be raw as hell

  5. Joe Says:

    In the Navy if you were served steak and lobster you knew your deployment was getting extended at sea.

    LOL Didn’t the Marines in World War II know when they got ice cream that in a day or two they would be hitting some beach?

  6. SB Says:

    OK I lied a couple months ago.
    I ended up drafting Scotty Miller after all.
    Mostly because someone stole TB12 right out from under me in my queue.

  7. Steven007 Says:

    No fans for the first two home games. Just reported.

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Maybe Arians said this to keep Ron Jones’ confidence high, even though he’ll be sharing carries with Fournette and McCoy. We’ll see.

  9. SB Says:

    Well it looks like everyone can pour some water on the “We may get Alvin Kamara” fires.
    Says he is gonna report to camp

  10. Jason Says:

    correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t last year the build Rojo’s confidence year?

  11. Joeypoppems Says:

    Im ready for the Rojo breakout. Everything is pointing to it. Cappa’s improvement, addition of Wirfs, Brady’s efficeincy leading to more positive game scripts, Rojo’s personal development… its all pointing to a breakout for the young man who is going into his 3rd season at 23 years old.

    The reality is any RB for the Bucs this year should be in position to have a big year. My stance is that there is no reason for that RB to not be Ronald Jones.

  12. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Wow – didn’t realize Rojo was only 20 when he entered the draft. Explains a lot. Nice to see his hands and pass protection has improved. First time I have heard BA say ROJO can be an all-around 3 down back.

  13. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Joeypoppems says, “The reality is any RB for the Bucs this year should be in position to have a big year.”

    Yes – RT Dotson was the worst run blocker in the league last year and Cappa was too inexperience to be an effective blocker. He did improve by the end of the year. Cappa said he has increased his muscle mass and weight during the offseason and looks to be the most improved Olineman during camp. Wirfs is having a good camp for a rookie and has the physical tools and balance to be a great run blocker.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Just 15 carries per game and Rojo projects to over 1000 yards……perhaps without Dotson penalties this year, he’ll make it with much less than 15 carries.

  15. SlyPirate541 Says:

    Cautious optimism at best. He’s been a soft runner, poor blocker, and ineffective in the passing game. I hope he’s developed, but I need 1-2 good games from Rojo before I even think of him as the legit #1.

  16. Nick2 Says:

    Koetter had zero talent evaluation skills. He sat Rojo and Cappa both starters for players with less talent and set this franchise back a couple of years for sure.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I don’t know that the Bucs should put all the eggs in Ron’s basket, just yet. They have McCoy and Vaughn…I’m intrigued by Leonard Fournette. If it were me, I’d ask Fournette if he’s willing to return kicks (although there’s no proof that he’s good at it). If he says yes, he’ll do what it takes for the Bucs to wins games, I’d want to sign him. If he said something along the lines of kick returns were beneath him, I’d say no thanks.

  18. dmatt Says:

    Again, no to Fournette! RoJo will ball all out this year. Think about it, he’s was a 20 yr old young post teen when entered the nfl. And, he had a coach who failed the kid. I said back in 2018 Koetter should’ve brought in someone to help mold,encourage,n mentor the kid vs bashing him. I saw glimpse of his talent last year. He never had 20 carries or more a game but but still average 4.2 yards last year. No character issues n he’s like a big kid playing rb with his dad at at qb. Think about it, he has a legend who’s going to boost his confidence n not beat him down. A young kid playing with the GOAT is like a dream come true.

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    dmatt: In a normal Bucs year, I’d agree with you. This isn’t a normal year. The Bucs are in it to win it, and having another good RB will help the cause, IMHO.

  20. Brandon Says:

    Joe, what was this melee in the locker room you talked about. Is this known info or is it flight back from London nobody will ever know details info?

  21. Joe Says:

    Joe, what was this melee in the locker room you talked about.

    Written about many times including seconds after it happened.