RoJo Turned The Corner?

October 10th, 2020

High praise from Bucs coach.

Yes, Joe spent the past couple of years harping on Ronald Jones.

But now after his fifth game of his third season, it seems RoJo might finally be the guy the Bucs thought they had when he was drafted in the second round in 2018.

How much is Joe ready to give RoJo credit for finally looking like an NFL running back? Joe was peeved Thursday night that the Bucs pulled the plug on feeding RoJo the ball because he was their most productive offensive player in the loss to the Bears.

Yesterday, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians offered remarks on RoJo’s play in 2020.

“I think RoJo, he’s playing at an extremely high level,” Arian said. “He’s running the ball well [and] making people miss, [getting to the] second level and making people miss.”

Yes, making people miss is key. He wasn’t doing that previously. Go back and watch RoJo’s big run against the Chargers; six defenders missed him.

What has impressed Joe most? His runs up the middle sure look like Mike Alstott. Coming out of USC, RoJo was known as an open-field runner. Yet this year he has shown fantastic ability to get tough yards in traffic.

Keep it up RoJo.

57 Responses to “RoJo Turned The Corner?”

  1. Buczilla Says:

    I make fun of this dude, but I was proud of his performance on Thursday night. I’m flabbergasted that we didn’t keep pounding this guy and Leftwich/Arians were bad play callers against the Bears. Hopefully Rojo keeps it up.

  2. Cosmospoopstain Says:

    Even casual fans can see RoJo is improving. Keep hanging heads dude!!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    “Joe was peeved Thursday night that the Bucs pulled the plug on feeding RoJo the ball because he was their most productive offensive player in the loss to the Bears.”

    Yeah verily. Bucs played lousy on offense, on defense & on S/Ts, BUT … they still played good enough to win that game. And as unprepared & lackluster as the Bucs looked, coaching cost us that game. And especially 2nd half offensive coaching. Our defense held Chicago to 2 FGs & 3 punts in Qtrs 3&4 to keep us close, yet our offense could only generate 2 FGs? Far too many penalties & some terrible play-calling IMO.

    Three Bucs’ plays jumped out at me on the night:

    o 2nd Qtr: Bucs have 4th-and-1 on our own 19 yd line and go for it. Fortunately we made it, but that was a dumb dumb call (looking at the film after the play, refs could’ve easily said he didn’t make it). That’s not a gutsy call; that’s a stupid call.

    o 4th Qtr: Bucs have 4th-and-1 on the Chicago 7 yd line with 10 mins left in the game and settle for a FG. Granted that puts us ahead by 2 pts, but we were moving the ball on the ground & could’ve made that 1-yd I’m convinced. Coaching showed no faith in our running game at a critical moment (a TD instead of a FG would’ve been huge).

    o 4 Qtr: Bucs have 1st-and-10 on our own 37 yd line with 1 min left in the game, trailing by 1 pt & we opt to throw the ball short 4 straight times; only ONE is complete for a whopping 4 yds. Bucs go out on downs at the Tampa 41 with 38 secs still left. Obviously BL took the running game out of the picture (why I’ll never know), but all short passes? When we needed 20-30 yds to get in FG range for a win? Lousy play-calling that didn’t give us a chance to win. THAT’S poor coaching IMO.

  4. eric Says:

    when talent which he has always had meet opportunity; which he never got his rookie year and he did not get until the end of his third year, it tend to yield good results!

  5. Ndog Says:

    Defense Rules can you just imagine if on Thursday night this team had a quarterback who’s willing to stand in the pocket and make tough throws and also had any mobility whatsoever, we probably would have blown them out. I wonder where we could have got one of those quarterbacks at?

    We had a running game, we made all our field goals, had a defense that got two turn overs and kept us in the game. All we needed was a quarterback to make a play maybe one or two and we’ll win the game. However we pretty much got nothing from the quarterback position. That sucks because I got a guy in mind who made a lot of plays that we could have. Yeah we might have a turnover maybe even two but we just would have scored more than one touchdown giving us a chance to win oh well.

  6. bucnuts Says:

    NDog- I can imagine it. 3-5 picks and a blowout loss rather than a 1 point loss. Anyone who thinks Winston gives this team a better cane to win is delusional. Oh wait, I forget, Ndog knows more than the other 31 GMs in teh NFL

  7. Ndog Says:

    Bucnuts you can imagine what you want but THE REALITY is Brady had so much more Thursday than Jameis ever had and he didn’t do HIS job which is score points. Jameis scored points with a running game, without a decent know kicker with a good RT. You give Jameis any help at all and he played winning football.

    BTW not one time did Jameis lose a game in his 5 years where we had a 100 yard rusher AND held a team to 20 points or less. Last night that happened to Brady in his 5th game!!!!

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Not gonna bite on that one Ndog; it wasn’t our QB who lost that game, it was bad offensive coaching. Defensively we stunk, but still held them to 20 points, and 1 TD was a gift as a result of the Vaughn’s fumble at the Bucs’ 27-yd line (Vaughn didn’t have a chance BTW; he was dead meat soon as he caught that ball over the middle, and it’s still questionable IMO as to whether he REALLY had control of the ball). Foles only hit on ONE deep pass all night it looks like (1-for-4 deep in the 1st half with an INT in there, and 0-for-4 in the 2nd half). Means we let him go 29-for-34 in the short passing game (85% completion rate REALLY sucks … for us). Bucs’ defense has got to start doing a better job defending the short passes or we’ll be lucky to break even on the season.

    Brady wasn’t much better deep though. He hit on TWO the whole game (1 deep in the 1st half out of 6 attempts & 1 in the 2nd half on his only deep pass). Actually did extremely well in the short passing game, UNTIL that final series at the end of the game (then missed on 3-of-4 short passes).

  9. Tampabaybucfam Says:

    I agree that it wasn’t our QB who lost the game……penalties, turnover, bad officiating & coaching lost that game.

    Now….is it possible that Brady had a chance and didn’t win it for us…..absolutely…

  10. thepick6defenders Says:


    guess what?

    he aint coming back hahahahahahahahahaha
    moan and groan all you want but Pickston is not and will never be a Buc again.

    hahahahaha i love seeing you whine every single day.
    he is gone forever lol.

    oh and hes soooo great he managed to become a 3rd stringer after leaving lol.

    3rd string my man. He couldnt even land a legitimate back up spot lol hahahahahahahahahahahahha

  11. Darin Says:

    Defense rules
    That was another bs call. Rojo catches ball on 2 and rolls into end zone but No they blew the whistle, so he is down on the 2. Vaughn catches ball and fumbles and they blow the whistle. Oh wait we’re gona let the Bears recover the ball after the whistle this time just because we love changing rules in game. Ahhhh the beauty of not knowing which way the winds blowing

  12. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Thepickdefenders- enjoy bashing him as a third stringer this year. When Brees retires and he takes over in NO you won’t be able to say that anymore. If Brees gets hurt this year it will be sooner. You and I both know they aren’t going with that gadget QB just like they went with Bridgewater again. I do fear once he eventually takes over there that the Bucs may regret this. Payton is a great offensive mind and will get the best out of Jameis when he takes over.

  13. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Rojo is definitely the most improved player since last year. If he continues to have a breakout year, he’ll be a top 10 RB by season’s end.

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    The most noticeable difference over the last two weeks is the yardage after contact. He’s churning his legs. Also impressive are the foot plants and direction changes, causing a lot of missed tackles.

    If he can improve his pass catching skills, he’s an every down back with real potential to be a team leader.

  15. AwshBucs Says:

    Now if only the running scheme and play-calling weren’t so damn predictable…

    The young bull would probably bust out for 150+ and couple of scores.

  16. AwshBucs Says:

    Ndog… STOP WITH THE BS! You and I both know full well that if the O-line turned in a performance like they did Thursday night and Jamies was the one under center you’d be spinning a much different yarn.

    You’d say “It’s unfair to expect him to do more because he didnt have time to throw.” You’d also be talking about how we were robbing by the officials and so on.

    We get it. You liked Jamies. Now do us all a favor and get off the mans junk. Watching you ride it the way you have for months and months is probably the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen on this site. The entire league was of the opinion that Jameis didn’t deserve a big contract. Now he is the 3rd string QB of the rival Saints.


    Also, Jameis probably would have played worse against the Bears, it would have been one of his classic 3 interception games under that kind of pressure.

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    The calls on 4th and 1 were all BA, not BL. Methuselah isn’t the only one letting advanced age affect his thinking. What exactly was BA thinking? I saw the one in the first half and winced. On the Bucs 19? And then the 2nd half, Bucs were on the Bears 7 yard line? BA doesn’t call it? Glad I was asleep and missed it. I agree with the naysayers on THuNF games. They suck.

  18. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    NDog, heres the deal. Teams make LOTS of changes every year. As fans, we never agree with all of them; most of the decisions Lovie made, I HATED.

    We have a choice to continue to love and support our team and live with those decisions (can still hate those changes), or follow ex-player to his next team and support them. Clean House is an example of this; he too hated several of the recent changes, but he supports our Bucs.

    It is f&*ked up that you come in here DAILY and claim to be a Bucs fan and all you do is harp on how awesome JW is – he’s good, NOT awesome. Until he stops throwing the ball to the other team, he will NEVER be awesome. He had 5 frigging years to fix that and he got worse. Get over it dude

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    Hey we are in the middle of a season and clinging to 1st place in the South so yall wanna talk about Winston?

  20. El Buco Realisto Is a Dicko and NDogTurd is a Crybaby and TheBucsAnus and LovesJameisTighties are Trolls Says:

    Bravo, Señor Harry in Costa Rica!

  21. Goforthwface30 Says:

    Same with everyone else – I couldn’t be more happy for him. I sure as hell wouldn’t trust him with my life to ever catch a football consistently, a little Michael Pittman-ish with vision sometimes but man, we could do A LOT worse at running back that’s for sure, damn good football player and still only 22. Time to retire the talk of needing to address that position for a while. All talk in April needs to be centered around LT, and hell draft another LT in the second round for good measure (mostly kidding.) The Way Tom Brady looked at 76 after that sack and refused his help in getting up pretty much speaks for everyone in Tampa. Over that guy

  22. JimmyJack Says:

    Funny everybody whines we run the balm too much now some are whining we didnt run enough…….heres a thought…..maybe staying committed to the ground game has allowed this line and RBs to gel and get better. Practice makes perfect right?

    And we wrere getting a really good push in that first half especially. Maybe this is a sign of good things to come. So keep running and getting better and better.

  23. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Over the last 8 games dating back to last season he has been averaging 5.2 ypc… I would sure hope even woth fournette back he has earned feature back carries. Let fournette be the pass catcher and 3rd down back. Rojo at 22 is the guy you want here long term. He is finally able to show that.

  24. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Remember when everyone wanted him cut after 2018? What about after 2019? Player development is a thing, and every successful organization does this.

    Time we hopped on the trend.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    JimmyJack … Running the ball too much? Aw come on, we run the ball much too little (24 times per game average … barely 37% of our offensive plays). That’s horrific IMO when you have rushers like RoJo, Fournette and yes, even McCoy & Vaughn. With Wirfs, Cappa, Jensen, Marpet and yes, Smith on our OLine, the only reason IMO that we’re not kicking the snot out of opposing teams in the running game is because we don’t use it enough. You can only develop CONSISTENCY by being, oh ya, CONSISTENT.

    Bucs should be running on 42-45% of our plays against most teams. I’m personally pleasantly surprised that RoJo’s doing as well as he is, considering when & how we’re using the run game. Ours is a coaching problem in the run game, and I’m lookin squarely at both BL AND BA when I say that.

  26. Sport Says:

    You guys bashing play calling are ridiculous. This week sticking with the run seems to be the trap du jour.

    Stick with the run… it’s hard to stick with the run on 3 and 20 or 3 and 34

    My favorite….we should have run the ball with 1:00 on the clock on our final drive with no time outs. Classic. Stick to your musings on Madden while you act like an expert on all things football.

    Too funny

    In BA I Trust!

  27. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I guess it was wad the offensive formation, but the last two runs Jones had he lost yardage on. I’m not sure of the problem but the defense was clogging his running lane. Maybe the formation but maybe the o-line was wearing down.

  28. PSL Bob Says:

    Defense Rules – gotta agree 100% with your initial analysis of play calling. Seems we’re falling back into the totally predictable scenario. Lackluster. BL needs to get creative. Totally believe that the refs slanted the game in Chicago’s favor, but with better play calling on offense, we still should have won.

  29. Goforthwface30 Says:

    Defense Rules – I get it, but I’m fine with still mostly being a passing team. Your best players on the team are Wide Receivers. Period. Use your weapons. This old school mentality that you need to be damn near 50/50 in order to win I think is bogus. 15-20 carries for Rojo is just fine. He’s a good player but he’s not Terrell Davis either. However, when your receivers are either gimpy as hell or simply OUT – then perhaps you stick more to run as long as it’s working

  30. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    And I like seeing the fire in Brady on the sideline. Those penalties were unacceptable. Brady’s not here to fart around for two years. He wants another ring. He wants to enhance his legacy with a team known for losing. I’m happy to be that team. They will work it out. Go Bucs!!

  31. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    ROJO looked great, but Leftwich/Arians were bad play callers against the Bears. Why we did not stick to what was working is beyond me.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    For once I agree with nutdog in one respect, you need a mobile QB in todays NFL. Standing in the pocket, and taking hits isn’t the answer. Escaping the pocket, and making a throw down field, or being able to run for a first down is. Doesn’t matter Tom’s age, it’s his immobility that can be a problem. Rogers, Mahomes, etc. make things happen with their legs as much as their arms. The Bucs can’t run any misdirection, roll outs that keep defenses on their heels. Tom’s a sitting duck in todays NFL. No O line can keep a perfect pocket to throw from every play. Pass rushers are highly paid, and to good for that. When the Arians, Brady experiment ends, it’s time for the Bucs to find a coach, and QB for what the NFL is today.

  33. #1bucfan Says:

    NDOG Brady didn’t lose us that game and honestly Winston lost us more games than has won so please stop. Your comparing a 6x super bowl champ to a guy who thru for 5000 yards one time. Please stop making a fool of yourself. Brady will be a 1st ballot HOF. Winston won’t even come close to the HOF.

  34. Cobraboy Says:

    Da Bears defense dictated the playcalling.

    Da Bears took away the deep seams, crossing routes and sideline passes, Evans was hobbled so he was less of a threat—it was abundantly clear he was no where near full-speed—and they were doubling Miller. They challenged Johnson, Mickens and Grayson to beat them, and those three couldn’t (although Johnson shows potential.)

    As the game wore on and the OL tired, Da Bears dialed up their pass rush. Brady did not have the time for the deep routes to develop, and their outstanding, active LB’s did well covering the shorter routes.

    Live by the pass, die by the pass. Sometimes you risk it, and don’t eat the biscuit.

  35. rrsrq Says:

    Did the coaches trust ROjO last year – he should’ve been a 1000 yard rusher last year, but BA lied when he said he would ride the hot hand. There were times last year, ROjO was running well and then you would not see him again. It couldn’t have been a protection issue, because JW was sacked plenty. Too much of the PB25 experiment last year.

  36. Bucszntkt2003 Says:

    I think NDOG is Jamies’ mother !!! Admit it Loretta, it’s you right !

  37. Allbuccedup Says:

    Give credit where credit is due. Rojo is running and playing as hard or harder than anyone on this team. With the injuries we have, all the players have to play as hard as he does for us to get to the playoffs.

  38. JayWill Says:

    6 turnover game in a 11 point loss and Evans dropped a 70+yard td is the same as a 1 point loss where your qb doesn’t know the down.

  39. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    You know, the Bears have a really good defense, and perhaps the best pass rusher in the league not named Shaq. And they were coming off a loss. This is what the NFL looks like. If we stick with the quarters perspective, then we lost game one of quarter one, and finished 3-1. Ok, so we lost game one of quarter two. The undefeated Packers are in town next, coming off a bye. But Brady is pissed and we will be rested too. Nationally televised game. Fournette and Rojo together and healthy. Godwin hopefully back. Miller healthy. Brate with more first team reps. Looks like a great chance to flip the script and a 4-2 record. Last year we were 2-4.

    And btw – the Bears game had all the markings of a Jameis multi-sack, multi-pick, sack-fumble debacle.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Goforthwface30 … I get it too; you don’t always run a BUNCH, depending upon the defense & what they’re giving you. And yes I agree with ‘using your weapons’, but Thursday ME13 was dragging, Godwin was out, Watson was out, Miller still isn’t close to 100%, Gronk was dragging (what’s new?), OJ is gone, Fournette is still hurting (1 play; no touches).

    So what were our ‘weapons’ Thursday? RoJo was 100%. Vaughn was 100%. Brate did OK. Johnson did OK. Hudson? Not so much. We didn’t have the speed for ‘deep’, but Brady was doing very well in the short passing game (23-for-34 by my count … 67.6%). Bucs got 55 yds on their 2 deep completed passes, meaning that they gained 198 yds on their 34 short pass attempts (about 6 YPA). Not shabby at all IMO, but the Bucs running game got 106 yds on 20 attempts (5.3 YPC). Pretty close to the same results IMO. And yet we used the short passing game a LOT more than the running game, and the Bears had our passing game … deep AND short … pretty well figured at the end of the game. They defended the short pass well, and we made it easy on them.

    Cobraboy … GRRREAT analysis. It’s always such a treat to read your comments.

  41. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    A loss is a loss. It’s beat the pack time!! Be excited for who we are. We have HOF QB on our team. We need Devin White to be the present day Hardy on defense. David is awesome but he’s not the voice of the defense. Defense wins championships and this out year!!!

  42. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:


  43. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    Damn, my brilliant post was moderated then disappeared!

  44. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Succinct summation Cobraboy

  45. Buc1987 Says:

    Ndog says

    “giving us a chance to win oh well.”

    YES oh well….oh well….oh well…does that mean you’re going to finally stfu about it Ndog? Usually when someone says oh well…that means it’s over.

  46. Doctor Stroud Says:

    It’s mind boggling to think that there are Bucs fans who suggest that our QB last year is better than another one who has won three NFL MVP awards, four Super Bowl MVP awards, and six Super Bowl championships. Now, that’s what I call a serious case of proprioception!

  47. Cobraboy Says:

    3-and-out at the 16 with 2:48 on the clock, burning 16 seconds, followed by a net-40 yard mediocre punt to Da Bears 48 was the killer.

    2:21 on the clock, 2 Time outs and only needing less than 25 yds. for a go-ahead FG attempt is the recipe for a loss.

  48. RayJay Says:

    This isn’t hard. Rojo was the same guy last year, the difference is he’s getting the ball and not splitting carries with another back that can barely move the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.

    Last year he averaged 10 carries per game, this year he’s averaging 15 (he’s only actually eclipsed that number in 3 of 5 games TY). He averaged over 4 yards per carry LY, and unsurprisingly, he’s don’t it again this year.

    Give the ball to the guy averaging over 4.5 yards/carry more than 10 times and his stat line starts to look better. Duh. He’s good. Let’s take advantage of it and stop splitting time with inferior backs.

    Let’s also stop calling the same run up the middle on 1st down and see his YPC continue to climb.

  49. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    RoJo was just a naive kid relative to NFL standards when he joined the Bruce. He did not receive NFL level coaching in his first year as we had a regime on its way out.

    Bruce Arians and guys have given that guidance and RoJo has worked his butt off since then.

    Now we have an NFL caliber running back. BA was not just blowing smoke at us after all!

    Who’d a thunk it! 😅😀🙄😮🤩

  50. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    RoJo was just a naive kid relative to NFL standards when he joined the Bucs. He did not receive NFL level coaching in his first year as we had a regime on its way out.

    Bruce Arians and guys have given that guidance and RoJo has worked his butt off since then.

    Now we have an NFL caliber running back. BA was not just blowing smoke at us after all!

    Who’d a thunk it! 😅😀🙄😮🤩

    (I need a gddm Spell Checker!!)

  51. Will Says:

    @cobraboy all that and then your defensive coordinator calling for off coverage and having the NFL sack leader from last year dropping into coverage on the most important defensive series of the night is also a recipe for disaster. The last 2 games I’m frustrated by the coverage our DBs have been asked to play most of the game but especially on 3rd downs. Seems like we’re giving too much cushion allowing the QB to make an easy decision

  52. Mirrormirroronthewall Says:


    Just admit you were wrong. Your offensive line is offensive.

  53. NDog is an idiot Says:

    Ndog, JayMiss ain’t coming back!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! The only coming back Winston will be doing is on your back!!

  54. hammerhead Says: Your moderation is awaiting comment. Says:

    Rojo is a good back. No more reason to bash him… though his receiving skills could still use some work.

  55. hammerhead Says:

    Rojo is a good back. No more reason to bash him… though his receiving skills could still use some work.

  56. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Rojo just needed some development. I’ve said that all along.

    As to what cost us the game? Easy.

    It was the Offensive Line. Suddenly, Brady was getting hit a lot and the oline was getting tons of penalties. Wirfs had the worst game of his short career. The oline made drives end too quickly, resulting in out Defense getting tired and stuff got my them.

    I’m not too worried. It took us until game 5 to get our second loss! If we maintain that pattern, we’ll be 6-2 at mid season, on pace for a 12-4 season.

    And Tom laid into his offensive line. He’ll set them straight, which is something Jameis never did…even though his turnovers rose when the sack numbers rose.

  57. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    RoJo is good enough to win with. His play hasn’t cost us any games this year. The worst player on Offense is 76. He will be cut after the season and they’ll use the 14.2 million the bum makes to pay a REAL player, Godwin.
    Did I mention 76 is terrible. Just because someone shows up for work everyday doesn’t mean they’re good at the job.