Tyrann Mathieu Compares Ronald Jones To Walter Payton

February 14th, 2021

Ronald Jones

Three-time All-Pro Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, a guy who might land in the Hall of Fame one day, was part of an interesting and fun moment in the Super Bowl last Sunday.

NFL Films, as always, had loads of players coaches mic’d up for the game and Mathieu was caught giving a passionate first-quarter address on the Chiefs’ sideline.

Ronald Jones had three angry, run-to-the-death kind of successful runs in the first quarter and Mathieu was barking at teammates to blast RoJo so he would calm down.

“One of us gotta tattoo No. 27,” Mathieu yelled. “He’s runnin’. He got too much juice right now. He gettin’ the ball, he like, he’s like Walter Payton.”

First, Joe thinks it’s cool that Mathieu referenced a guy in Payton who retired in 1987, long before Mathieu was born. It seems Mathieu has spent a lot of time working YouTube or watching NFL Network shows. Second, it’s sweet to see he was giving RoJo that much respect.

How often do you hear defensive players tell teammates on the sidelines a running back isn’t so great and they just have to play harder and stick to their assignments and wrap up. But not this time. Mathieu seemed overwhelmed by RoJo’s power.

Man, RoJo has come so far since his rookie rookie season.

54 Responses to “Tyrann Mathieu Compares Ronald Jones To Walter Payton”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    ROJO has sure flashed greatness, IMHO.
    That is a high compliment coming from the Honey Badger, comparing him to Walter Payton.

  2. lowercaseg Says:

    He is a good runner. I’ve just seen him drop way too many easy passes.

  3. Beeej Says:

    I’d like to see what he would do with 20 carries every game

  4. Cannon Says:

    Rojo hits the hole like a Freightliner.

  5. Bobby M. Says:

    Rojo is a great runner….but he’s incredibly one dimensional. That offense runs waaaaay more smoothly with Fournette. Rojo adds no value in the passing game, he releases/runs terrible routes and his hands are bricks. Rojo’s best bet is latching on somewhere that has a young QB that will rely on the run. Maybe Jax or Jets.

  6. Mikey Goode Says:

    Rojo is a decent back, but hes definitely not Walter Payton.

  7. gotbbucs Says:

    I wouldn’t be overly excited about giving Fournette a big contract. He ran scared during the season. He was saving himself for free agency.
    Ronald Jones is a much better pure running back, and Vaughn flashed the same ability of Fournette.
    I would rather sign James White to a one or two year deal than give Fournette what he thinks he’s worth.

    They won’t be able to keep everybody on this team. Fournette and Godwin will likely get more money elsewhere than the Bucs should pay them. Godwin is an incredible receiver, but it’s a replaceable position, just like running back. Shaq Barrett’s and Lavonte David’s don’t grow on trees. They have to be re-signed.

  8. kyle Says:

    Very proud of Ronald. This kid has worked his butt off and it shows in the games. He’s still really young. I’m happy for him and how far he has come since the Klueless Koetter days.

  9. Bird Says:

    That is high praise from mathieu who is a stud. And i think rojo is better runner then playoff lenny although playoff lenny is big part of why bucs are super bowl champs. But he is not as important as big 4- godwin , shaq , LVD and suh. So bucs cannot pay the man his value cause i think playoff lenny played himself into a decent contract even with past issues

    See these 2 comparables from last year

    Melvin gordon made 8 mil past year . 6 mil kareem hunt who had worse prior issues. Bucs cannot afford.

    So lenny will get something like gordon at around 8. He will want at least hunts deal on home town discount

    But this is why i am excited even picking last at 32. You know a running back or two will go right around bucs pick ( right before or after)

    The big two : najee harris and travis Etienne

    Bucs would be stoked to have either. And they would play immediately. And that is what you need with a team that can win another super bowl. You dont need to draft a guy that will sit behind shaq or suh or vea. Fournette was ok out of backfield but not great. Brady loves a receiving back that can catch. I think his numbers (completion % and yards) would be even better with third down back who also gets additional carries with rojo and maybe vaughn depending on vaughn holding onto ball. I actually like vaughn but you cannot continue to make mistakes.


    Worst case scenario…check out javonte williams out of NC. Put on highlights. Kid can catch too. 510 225 bowling ball that can catch. Last year 22 tds in 11 games. Scored td every 8.2 touches. He is expected right around beginning of round 2. He will be there.

    Go for two is the new motto. Get a back that can catch is the right move i think cause all dominant tackles / d ends and d tackles obviously off board.

    With next 2 picks get edge rusher and d tackle

  10. Steve In Mad Beach Says:

    Man, hearing some people complain about RoJo is crazy to me. RoJo has the longest run in franchise history and he’s still under contract on his cheap rookie deal!

    Y’all are forgetting the less than dominant Payton Barber years! He could catch, but he couldn’t run, averaging less than 3 yards per carry.

    I’ll take Rojo averaging almost 5 yards per carry with a complimentary pass catcher like a James White to dominate and win the Super Bowl again next year!

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    That kid ain’t no Walter Payton. Ever see Payton run?

    I worked an NFL QB Club Awards banquet once at Innisbrook back in the early 90’s.

    Payton was a guest speaker. He had lots of time to kill as well as I did cause I pretty much had a BS job title. I struck up an hour long conversation with Payton and it was one of the coolest moments in my life. The dude was THEE most down to earth guy I’ve ever met. Got lots of pics taken with him and a few autographs

  12. ncbucsfan Says:

    Rojo is uber-talented. He has Walter Paytonesque running style which is probably what Mathieu was referring to. And saying he’s one dimensional is a terrible take! He caught 28/42 (66%) balls…and had his share of drops, but averaged 5.1 yds/carry. Derrick Henry caught 19/31(61%) balls and I guarantee you’d trade Leonard Fournette, Rojo and a 1st rd pick to get the production he had in 2020. He just got more than twice as many carries as Rojo with half the production in the passing game. If Rojo had gotten as many carries as Henry he was tracking 1927 yds rushing. Tyrann knows what he was talking about and seeing.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    This is kind of out of left field…but I think the Bucs should trade for Carson Wentz.

    Hear me out on this:

    • No other team is offering a first round pick
    • We have the last pick in the first round, which is barely more than a top second round pick
    • We need an heir to Tom Brady
    • Wentz knows Brady will retire in year or two, so he would likely be willing to rework a deal
    • We stipulate that the Eagles be responsible for the $15m of his $25m salary this year. Which the Eagles might agree to if they are getting a first rounder. That puts us on the hook for only $10m this year.
    • Wents was considered elite 2 years ago, and he is only 28 right now. A year of training under Brady could be all he needs.

  14. ncbucsfan Says:

    And I definitely 2nd the comment by Bird on Javonte Williams!!!! He has the tools!!

  15. D1 Says:


    How much does fournette think he’s worth?

    I think Godwin is the player most likely to sign elsewhere. Or maybe it’s better to say, Godwin will have the most options and he’s going to shop around. He is a player we may not be able to sign.

    But there’s a lot of receivers available this year and teams across the league have been holding back on.extending receivers early with a long-term deal. The market price for Godwin or a similar player is not going to be as lucrative as in previous years.

  16. ncbucsfan Says:

    Um…hard, hard pass on that Wentz proposal!

  17. dmatt Says:

    I’d rather keep RoJo n work with him on his pass catching abilities. Heck, he was drafted at the young age of 20 n received no mentoring, support, or additional coaching from Koetter n his regime to remedy the problem n elevate his confidence. Former Giants Tiki Barber had problems with fumbling, however, thanks to TCoughlin’s great coaching, the problem was rectified. RoJo is a humble young man, n thanks to his up bringing with his military background, he’s self discipline, n contrary to Fournette, RoJo has no character issues, n he’s a teamplayer who is receptive to constructive criticism. Let Fournette walk because he had an attitude earlier in the season before the playoffs. RoJo has natural skills that can’t be taught. For a back his size, I love his spin move n agility. Work with the young man on his receiving skills to build up his confidence n once the connection is made, hand’s down, he’s a top 5 nfl running back. Average age of a player drafted in nfl is 23. Had RoJo remained in school, 2021 would actually be his rookie year. Give the guy a break.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Jones is one of the angriest runners I’ve seen in rears, ann flailing knees, elbows and shoulders…

  19. Godlovesbucs Says:

    I cant believe people would rather run with fournette than rojo. Fournette’s catch % is 76. Rojo’s is 72.

    Fournette had some easy drops. Yes he catches beter than rojo, but he is not an elite pass catching back.

    He also misses some blocks. He missed a blitz against green bay that got brady hit and he threw a pick. Yes he is better than rojo, but not by much.

    Rojo brings much more juice in the run game than fournette. Just watching them run rojo is a different animal. He is also younger and cheaper.

    Find a 3rd down back to compliment rojo. A guy that is really good at pass pro and catching. That is not fournette.

    Without fournette, we dont get to sb IMO. He stepped up when needed, but he is not the answer.

  20. KF Says:

    Anyone here interested in a gofundme for Antoine Winfield Jr?

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    *years, arms and,,,”

  22. unbelievable Says:

    I watched the entire SB mic’d up segment on YouTube, and had a big smile when I heard the honey badger say that about RoJo.

    Real recognize real.


    Obviously Mathieu has never tackled Walter Payton, all his runs were like Fournett’s bowling for dollars run that wiped out Sorenson and rolling over #56. Sweetness one of the best of all times. Sorry Rojo but not even close yet.

  24. Oxycondoms Says:

    Payton wouldve scored on 4th and 1 and not be stuffed by the refrigerator like rojo got stopped by vea.

  25. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    “KF Says:
    February 14th, 2021 at 12:00 pm
    Anyone here interested in a gofundme for Antoine Winfield Jr?”

    I was thinking the same thing!

    Set it up so that the fund goes to a local charity of his choice.

  26. Darin Says:

    Yes we’ve seen him play. Every time he stepped foot into Tampa and Hoolihans stadium we watched him. And yes I’ve seen Jones make some runs like he did. Consistency and longevity.

    And Bobby M. Rojos not going anywhere, at least yet. Look for Fournette to walk and Bucs to sign a pass catcher to go with rojo.

  27. SB Says:

    Bonsai You owe me a coffee for the one I just spit all over the floor. Not just no but hard heck no to Wentz

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    Ronald Jones is becoming my favorite player on offense. He is such a hard nosed player. Getting better and better at breaking tackles. He dont even break them no more. Just runs through them with ease.

  29. Winny Testaverde Says:

    “Hey Jason Licht…your Buccaneers just won the Super Bowl…what are ya gonna do now?!”

    “Even though we have the GOAT…I think I’ll take on the toxic contract of Carson Wentz to destroy the salary cap even though he was rated the worst starting QB in the NFL for 2020!”

    Bonzeee…stick to writing fantasy outside of football is my advice.

  30. Architek Says:

    Great RB2. Can’t catch a cold in freezing weather!

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh Bonzai.

  32. BradyBucs Says:


    He has improved so much since putting on that additional weight.

    Fournette certainly came up big for us in the playoffs, but Rojo is the future. He has so much POTENTIAL we really need to see what he can do with a consistent workload that he’s really never had.

    No more multiple-back attack. Feed Rojo the rock and let him get some momentum and see what he can do.

    He can work on becoming a better receiver.

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ronald Jones Jr vs Eric Dickerson

    Having seen Eric Dickerson run several times @The Murph & The Coliseum.
    Their running styles are very similar. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never seen a running kick in the door with two back to back unbelievable seasons like ED. But their running styles do bare an uncanny resemblance to each other.

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ronald Jones Jr vs Eric Dickerson

    Having seen Eric Dickerson run several times The Murph & The Coliseum.
    Their running styles are very similar. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never seen a running kick in the door with two back to back unbelievable seasons like ED. But their running styles do bare an uncanny resemblance to each other.

  36. Buxszntkt Says:

    Having a good few series of downs doesn’t make him Walter Payton. In the heat of the moment Matthieu is motivating the troops to stop RoJo with Field General talk. But how many times this year did RoJo have to alternate with Fournette. How many times could he not carry the team on his back. How many dropped passes did we endure, OK not that many because the team saw his off-season pass catching sessions didn’t pay off and didn’t trust him to catch.
    When he can produce for a solid year let’s herald him our back. Unfortunately they must figure out the running back for next year very soon, at whomever that dude is he has to be able to catch as well as run.

  37. lambeau Says:

    RoJo gets better each year–he’s a keeper. He doesn’t need to catch the ball.
    James White has studied film on blitzes for seven years and is a great blocker.
    Brady needs 3rd down protection and White is as good a receiver as Kamara and McCaffrey–watch SB 51 (14 receptions, 140 total yards, 3 TD’s. $ 3 M/yr.

  38. Bangkok Buc Says:

    Hope Rojo spends the entire summer with a JUGS machine.
    If that kid can learn to catch, he could become the all-round back we need. Until then, hope we can resign Fournette as he was an absolute beast for us when it counted most.

  39. cmurda Says:

    I still remember folks being apprehensive about ROJO catching the ball or blocking. They call it running back for a reason. It’s not catching back or blocking back. Look, I hope ROJO improves on catching the ball. He’s already improved on pass blocking. Most of all, let that man run. That’s first and foremost and he runs hard and tough and he has the breakaway speed. Would love to keep Playoff Lenny but I love ROJO.

  40. Lamarcus Says:

    It’s a claim and opinion…doesn’t means it true and denying its a knock on Rojo. He is imo a North and South runner only!!!

  41. adam from ny Says:


    it’s a shame you took down that youtube 40 minute mic’d up video yesterday so all buc fans could enjoy it…

    why wouldn’t you let all the joebucs fans enjoy it…

    i know you watched it…

    but snubbed your entire audience…

    not a move a true bucs fan would make

  42. adam from ny Says:

    all the regulars on here would have loved it…

    before it airs on nfl network later tonight

  43. adam from ny Says:

    i agree with jimmy jack…

    rojo runs thru people with ease now…

    he has work to do tho…

    in the receiving game, stiff arming and having a nose for the end zone…

    he should have found a way to reach out by the end zone and score that td…that’s on him…

    sure i like that he holds that ball hard and snug, but you also need to know when to reach out and squeak it past the plain…

    so he needs to work on that a bit – on vision

  44. adam from ny Says:

    also i think it would be interesting to see what rojo can do if we had a rainy condition day where everyone’s jersey is soaked in mud…

    and rojo carries the ball like 32 times like james wilder used to…

    would he rack up like 200 yards…he just might

  45. Bucanero Says:

    RoJo has Juice but he needs to work in ball security. We need RoJo and Lenny it’s a proven tandem. The window is this year we have to go all and plus in. Can you imagine winning two in a row?

  46. Pewter Power Says:

    Work on those hands this off-season for your next contract not in Tampa you drop all kinds of cash like Godwin did in the playoffs

  47. David Says:

    Rojo will be the man with Vaughn as his relief. They will both have an entire off-season with Brady. They’ll be learning how to block and run routes better. Running the routes better will help them catch the ball better.
    It isn’t like either one of them caught it any worse than Fournette. People seem to forget he dropped quite a few as well

    The point is for net is probably going to cash in somewhere and they’re going to have to let him go because they need to sign-

    Shaq. LVD. Godwin.

  48. Buxszntkt Says:

    RoJo will have to repeat last years offseason routine, catching 300 balls per day and learning new positioning of the hands.
    Perhaps the second year of doing that will give him the skill, or maybe just go get white.

  49. Rod Munch Says:

    Rojo is a great old school power runner, if he could have stayed healthy everyone would know his name right now since he would have been the guy getting the yards and TDs in the playoffs.

    As for him not catching the ball, that’s an issue, but then again Adrian Peterson didn’t catch the ball either (not that he’s in that class, but just an example). Lots of great RBs didn’t catch the ball, but in 2021, that’s not really an option. Hopefully he spends all offseason working on it.

  50. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Holy hell you guys are taking this wayyyyyy too literally and running with it in to some other dimension. In no world does Mathieu think or really believe he is like Walter Payton or have Walter Payton talent and I literally can’t believe I’m even having to say this. He clearly (or not so clearly to most of you) meant that if they don’t stop at point of attack, they’re making him LOOK like freaking Aalter Payton

  51. DalvinCookRules Says:

    Never knew Tyrann Mathieu was a time traveler, since

    Sweetness passed away more than 20 years ago. I sure hope RoJo is not running like him now.

  52. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    When Drew Brees hit the market years ago, I wanted him and people here said I was stupid, that he was washed up. Saints got him and never looked back.

    Last year I wanted Brady if we went free agent, and people here said he was washed up and had a weak arm. We never looked back.

    Now I’m saying we should go after Wentz, and people are against it. No one is saying why, are they? Wentz was considered elite two years ago. He had a down year and so everyone thinks he’s washed up…just like Brady had a down year and Breez had a down year.

    Wentz is a good idea, and in a few years we can all look back and say “Bonzai was right again!”

  53. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    February 15th, 2021 at 3:09 pm
    When Drew Brees hit the market years ago, I wanted him and people here said I was stupid, that he was washed up. Saints got him and never looked back.

    What year in particular are you talking about that you wanted him and he went to the saints?

  54. NDOG is an idiot Says:

    RoJo, Vaughn and James White for 2021