Ian Beckles Believes Ronald Jones Hit His Ceiling

April 17th, 2021

Talkin’ Bucs running backs.

In the mind of a guy who used to open holes for Gary Anderson, Reggie Cobb and Errict Rhett, Bucs fans have seen the best of Ronald Jones.

Speaking on his podcast “In the Trenches,” former Bucs guard and current popular local sports radio personality Ian Beckles said RoJo has hit his ceiling. He will never again match the 978 yards RoJo ran for this past Super Bowl-winning season.

(Pppssstt, someone tell Beckles there is a 17th game this year.)

Now Beckles recorded the following on Monday, before Giovani Bernard and his mustache signed with the Bucs. So Joe will take a leap of faith and guess Beckles didn’t change his mind on RoJo since Bernard signed.

Beckles believes running backs don’t often get better as they get older.

“We saw how much Ronald Jones can grow in a year,” Beckles began. “Listen, Ronald Jones has already peaked. I hope everybody knows that. As a running back, he has peaked.

“You get a running back, usually the first thing you see is what they are, OK? And RoJo improved in his first two or three years. But he’s not going to be a great — he’s not going to be a guy that has a bunch of big plays — but he has had some big plays, now.”

Beckles then reminded listeners that RoJo did have a 98-yard touchdown run. And Beckles remembered a 37-yard touchdown catch RoJo had against the Chiefs down the left sideline.

“But other than that, he’s not a big-play guy.”

Playoff Lenny taking over and not giving up the top dog spot at running back when RoJo got hurt late in the season may have spelled the end of RoJo being the Bucs’ No. 1 running back, Beckles believes.

“That’s just what it is now at the running back position,” Beckles said.

Beckles added there is “no way” Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht should draft a running back at No. 32. Instead, he directed Licht to load up on depth in the trenches.

“Dime a dozen,” Beckles said of running backs. “Other than Derrick Henry, there’s not many more. Dalvin Cook is nice but is he a franchise difference-maker? He hasn’t made that much of a difference to this point.”

As always, Beckles welcomes feedback and encourages listeners to submit Bucs questions by e-mailing him at IanBeckles@RadioInfluence.com.


Your video invitation to Big Storm Clearwater, Thursday night, April 29! Giveaways, special guests, and more. Ira Kaufman and Joe will be in the house starting at 7 p.m.

60 Responses to “Ian Beckles Believes Ronald Jones Hit His Ceiling”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    For once, I agree with this guy. Trenches.

  2. DaBux Says:

    There are good RBs in the middle rounds. Unless Najae Harris is sitting there at 32, load up in the trenches in the first two rounds.

  3. BucEmUp Says:

    The only reason he will never reach 1000 yards is lack of touches. I think he has a lot of explosion. Fournette is a better change of direction but rojo has better break away speed. Gio will make linebackers go nuts and help our tight ends eat

  4. Bobby M. Says:

    Rojo is still cheap and knows the system…..there’s some value in that however i could see them trading him for a late pick and getting something for him before his contract ends.

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    If the Bucs were satisfied with their backs, they wouldn’t have signed Gio.
    In principle I agree with Beckles. You don’t take a RB at #32. This is NOT an ordinary draft, however. Considering the Bucs may not be satisfied with what they have, and 2 of them are on the last/only year of their deal, is it really that far-fetched if a guy like Etienne is sitting at that spot. This is not a “need” draft. We’re drafting for depth and the future.

  6. lambchop Says:

    Ian Beckles peaked a long loooooong time ago too. Pretty much his first play and he was done showcasing what he could give. LOL.

    The competition will decide who totes the rock most, but I think it’ll be fairly split down the middle till the playoffs. There’s no point running a guy to the ground for the first 3/4 of the season.

    But, definitely he|| no to RB at #32.

  7. Beeej Says:

    Good trenches turn average running backs into great running backs

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    I disagree with Beckles. Jones is a fine RB, a guy who runs with speed and anger. I doubt last season will be Jones best, as in “peaked.” Even discounting the 98-yard run, he still averaged 4.6 ypc…which ain’t bad.

    Fact is, as the OL played better, the RB’s played better.

    No back is a “bell cow” in an Arians system. I like the committee this team has put together, vastly a better overall group than ever before in orange or pewter.

    What current NFL team has a better RB group than the Bucs?

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Beckles … “Load up on depth in the trenches”. Yea verily. And especially on the defensive side of the ball IF some quality DLinemen are still available when Bucs pick.

    Don’t really think that it’s all that important if RoJo has ‘peaked’ as Beckles says. It’s all about touches. RoJo averaged 5.1 yards per rush last season. I’ll take that all season long. Even if you subtract that 98-yd run, RoJo still averaged 4.6 yards per rush last season. I’d be happy with that too. Especially considering that Fournette averaged 3.8 yards per rush last season, Vaughn averaged 4.2 yards per rush, and Bernard (behind a different OLine admittedly) only averaged 3.4 yards per rush last season.

    And as far as RB ‘difference-makers’ go, that’s a silly argument on Beckles’ part. RBs are typically only as good as the OLine they run behind for one thing AND the TEAM around them. Minnesota’s OLine was quite good IMO, and their RBs ALL averaged well above the NFL average (Cook 5.0 YPC; Mattison 4.5 YPC; Boone 5.4 YPC; Abdullah 5.3 YPC; even Cousins averaged 4.9 YPC). Their offense scored 430 pts last season by rushing almost as much as they passed. But, oh ya, their defense sucked and gave up 475 pts on their way to a 7-9 record. Not much offense-defense BALANCE there obviously.

  10. Dewey Selmon Says:

    He would have hit 1,000 yards if they didn’t force 3 shuffle passes to AB so he could get his bonus. My biggest problem is he has had 3 years to work on his receiving skills and he still looks lost.

  11. Mitch Says:

    I don’t know. I have a feeling ROJO could have been a 1400 yard back on a different team.

  12. Ben green Says:

    Totally agree, LF is a much more complete back. If rojo was the primary back, I don’t think you win it all. Nobody wants to tackle LF he’s got legs like tree trunks and a big ass. Rojo stick his head in, but lacks the physical prowess to impose himself. I saw way to many 0or negative gains. LF can fall forward for 3 yards, even when hit at or behind the line. Second and 10 or 12 will catch up to you. The bucs looked bad when they couldn’t run, because brady can’t carry a team anyone. Draft a back hell draft 2, cuz if they can’t or won’t commit to running, they won’t win

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Rojo was always a hard runner but his pass blocking and catching ability has always been less than average and we need better than that at RB

  14. Aaron Says:

    Mama – dont let your son grow up to be a Running Back!

  15. Ben green Says:

    Yards per carry is a deceiving stat. A lot of the yards jones racked up were in garbage time. It’s easy to run through holes with people arm tacking you

  16. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Rojo is a 1 trick pony. He is not very good at receiving or blocking. If you are a 1 trick pony you had better be great or someone else will get more and more of your snaps and eventually you are playing for some other team. Rojo is decent, but not great. Good guy, but it is about performance in the NFL. GO BUCS!!!

  17. geno711 Says:

    OK with Rojo. I think I agree with Beckles basic premise. Rojo is not special so whether he gets 1100 or 700 yards not that big of deal for me. Almost for sure do not want to sign him to 2nd deal because I think money can be spent for other positions and running backs like Rojo (see playoff Lenny) are replaceable.

    If Rojo were special, he would have figured out a way to get a touchdown in the Superbowl. There was good blocking on those two plays at the goal line and the dude did not get in. He was not touched in the back field.

    Good player. Tough runner. Good speed. Bad hands, bad blocker. Not a special player. Can find fresh good running backs every year.

  18. Cainishere Says:

    Draft a QB at 32 so Brady can mold his starter for when he is the new head coach of the Buccaneers. Rojo will be just fine in this trio. Understand that the 3cwill get plenty of action to confuse defenses even more than before. It is all about surprise and deception with the Bucs. Blocking will be key for the backs as well but having 3 unique backs will make defensive coaches sweat trying to decipher the Bucs strategies. Go Bucs!!!

  19. Destinjohnny Says:

    He is a nice 2 down back

  20. Joseph Mamma Says:

    In the mind of a guy who used to open holes for Gary Anderson, Reggie Cobb and Errict Rhett, Bucs fans have seen the best of Ronald Jones.


    What about Lars Tate?

  21. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Where the white women at

    Beckles is losing it

    He used to have 2 blondes on either side of his arm

    Now a cardboard cutout

    Rojo cant catch that means he is dead to Brady

    Both Geniuses Licht and Arians wanted playoff Lenny cut but Brady demanded against it

    The only thing good that Licht and Arians does well is holding a bud light bottle and extending their gut

    Only Brady deserves to throw the Lombardi around”

    Kobe Faker

  22. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    So cry about not having a 1,000 yard back and then basically get one and now he’s garbage? He’s nothing special? So if a RB peaks at giving you let’s say 800 rushing yards and 300 rec yards, that’s trash? I honestly don’t care if he can’t catch. He’s a “RUNNING BACK”, not a receiver. I’m confused, but I guess.

  23. Medicated Pete Says:

    Ian has to go. Cannot listen

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    @ Ben green: you are the quintessential casual fan.

    Jones runs angry, all flailing knees and elbows. Jones *almost* breaks numerous runs for long ones.

    Fournette was practically invisible the first half of the season, save the one TD run against the Kitties (same “garbage” team Jones set the Buc record against.) He was pouting because Jones was a batter back at the time…unless you think the Super Bowl-winning coaching staff didn’t know what they were doing.

    Is Jones “special?” How many RB’s in the NFL are excellent at running, receiving AND blocking? That is a really short list…

    Fact is, the Arians offense does not utilize RB’s the same way that, say, Belichick’s does. Maybe Brady will help the Arians offense “evolve”, who knows? A deep vertical “no risk it, no biscuit” offense does not lend itself to dink and dunks to RB’s beyond checkdowns.

    If your ground game is by committee, the current group of backs can get the job done, and done well.

    Besides: a former Buc w-eating QB racked up 5000 yards passing…mostly in garbage time. Maybe the NFL should come up with a stat strictly for “garbage time.” Casuals would be pleased.

  25. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Lol Joe Mamma…. I thought about the immortal Lars Tate too. lol GO BUCS!!!

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    Was it Beckles that Lars Tate rolled over, landed on his feet, and scored a long TD?

  27. The Daily Coroner Says:

    Beckles was wrong about RoJo being a bust. He was wrong about the OL.
    It’s team. It’s not about personal glory.

  28. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:

    Rojo is a Top-5 DB in the NFL. Hands-down.

    I’m good with ’98-yd TD runs (and broken tackles all over the field and the potential for him to take it to the house on every run) being his ceiling…


  29. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:


  30. alaskabuc Says:

    I agree completely. This is a very unique year and situation. Some of the “traditional” draft rules go out the window if a talent like Etienne is available at 32.

  31. Ben green Says:

    Okay @Cobraboy you are the quintessential fan boy. I’m sorry your beloved lost his job. Go look at who got the ball when it mattered. I guess YOU think the coaching staff was wrong. I don’t know if you’re a relative or just love middling running backs or maybe you were one. Anyway you slice it. LF is a better back. He’s a better receiver and pass protector. That’s something even you’d have to admit. As far as your glorious coaching staff goes, they were all failures until no.12 showed up.

  32. SKBucsFan Says:

    Linear progression at RB is difficult. They peak early and if you are lucky you get a few good years from them. Rojo may have peaked, but we won’t know unless he gets the early workload. Draft for the trenches early and good things will happen to your team.
    Running backs are a dime a dozen. The only people that don’t believe that probably played running back in pee wee football and believe if given a better chance they could have been somebody.
    We potentially have a good one in Keyshawn Vaughn why waste a 1st round pick?

  33. Dt25 Says:

    RoJo’s improved drastically every season he’s been in the league and is still only 23. Anybody claiming he’s “hit his ceiling” is an absolute clueless clown.

  34. bojim Says:

    RoJo may have peaked thanks to all those who are screwing with his confidence again.

  35. Dt25 Says:

    @Ben Green

    No not any way you slice it lol. If you slice it “for the entire regular season,” no, LF was not the better back. He averaged nearly a yard and a half less than Jones (yikes) and was straight up benched following the bye week. He literally needed RoJo to get hurt to save his career. He had a hell of a run in the playoffs but let’s not sit here and lie to ourselves like Lenny was anywhere close to the better RB all season. RoJo averaged the most yards after contact per carry in the entire league, and was top 5 in YPC among RBs with over 150 carries behind only Aaron Jones, Henry, Miles Sanders, and Nick Chubb. These aren’t fan boy opinions, they are facts. The hate our fanbase shows RoJo is insane when you actually pay attention to those. But all people obsess over is the pass catching lol. Ignorance is bliss.

  36. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree we should focus on the trenches. As far as Rojo is concerned, just chill and see how it pans out. Arians has always committed to the hot hand. We’ve got 3 serviceable RBs now and an untested 2nd yr guy in Ke’shawn. They’ll all get their chances, and if one of them breaks out this year, that’s who we’ll go with. My guess is that all of them will play key roles throughout the season. It’s great to have depth!

  37. SB~LV Says:

    Well he may have hit his ceiling and he probably is what he is as a RB… that is not saying he can’t have his best year in the NFL running the ball in 2021, over the years he has had more than a few big runs called back and never shown in the record books.
    The draft will be very interesting this year!

  38. TSmitty300 Says:

    A back like Ronald Jones is a dime a dozen. A good player, but not someone youre going to pay big money to. He will have a nice career in the league. A weapon like Henry, McCaffrey, Kamara, and Cook aren’t a dime a dozen. If we are using that logic, receivers are a dime a dozen. Look at the number of big time receivers drafted after round 1.

    BTW if it is so easy to find a running back, how come the Bucs had so much trouble over the years finding one?


    Too many cooks in the kitchen. He won’t get 1000 yds because he won’t get the chance. Vaughn won’t see many carrie’s and he will split time with Lenny & Gio. BA has proven in the past he will stick with the hot hand as shown in the SB. I bet Rojo is gone next year when his contract espires.

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    Jones doesn’t need to be a big play threat. He needs to move the chains, pick up hard yards, and keep the defense honest. As a pure runner, I feel much better handing off to Rojo than I do Fournette. Fournette proved to me last year that he isn’t willing to stick his nose in there and push the pile.

    As a former offensive lineman, I’ll tell you right now, those o-linemen appreciate Ronald Jones more than Leonard Fournette. Fournette runs like a guy that expects a big hole on every carry, Jones runs like a guy that will help the big guys make a hole.

  41. D1 Says:


    Because the bucs only had 9cents.

  42. gotbbucs Says:

    @Ben Green

    You must have been watching different games than the rest of us. Fournette ran like a b!tch all year before the playoffs.

  43. Cobraboy Says:

    Ben green Says:

    Okay @Cobraboy you are the quintessential fan boy.

    You don’t know my background, do you? LOL.

    I doubt you even know what “quintessential” means.

    I don’t have a “beloved” ergo no job to “lose.” Hobbled with a badly pulled quad is not “losing a job” except in 6th grade. But I elevate you.

    Your boy LF was invisible for most of the regular season, outside one big play, moped and sulked until Arians sat his a$$ down and said “head out of your butt, or be gone, make your choice, Bubba.” Even LF admitted he was humbled.

    I am a big fan of depth and diversity of talent. LF fits that role and I am glad he’s a Buc. I do not think LF or Jones are “better” than each other because they bring different dimensions to the RB room. And stats show LF was not the great receiver he was cracked up to be, not even marginally “better” than Jones statistically.

    BTW: how many “NFL Coach of the Year” has Arians won? Which came first: Arians offense with superior talent for Brady, or Brady making mediocre Buc talent something special?

    Casuals: making themselves look moronic to knowledgeable fans daily.

    Who are you, “Ben?” NDoggie’s bastard spawn?

  44. SOEbuc Says:

    Never surprised on what this dumbass says in these articles,Joe 😞😞😞 RoJo has hit his peak?? He came into OTA with 10lbs of muscle. 5.1 yrd/avg and was ROBBED of a 1,000 yards so AB could get a penny to his bank account incentives 🤬 One thing I was truly pissed at the Bucs about.

    A 30/70 run/pass team ratio. Oh yeah…He’s done 😂😔

  45. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Cobraboy I was at the game in 88 against the Cardinals when Lars Tate scored his summersalt TD run, do not know if it was Beckles thou. lol That was Tates best play for the Bucs. Rough days for Bucs fans in the late 80’s.

  46. '79 Defense Says:

    Don’t know how long he’ll be around, but unless something crazy happens he’ll always have the record for longest TD run in Bucs history.

  47. Joe Says:

    Good player. Tough runner. Good speed. Bad hands, bad blocker.


  48. DingleBerry Says:

    Beckles is way off the mark on this one.

    Getting older? Last time I checked Ronald Jones is 23 years old. He hasn’t even reached his physical prime yet let alone scratched the surface of his potential.

    This will be his best year yet.

  49. DingleBerry Says:

    Hey Kobe Faker, remember when you said Dare Ogunbowale was gonna be a superstar running back and that you would never comment again if Ronald Jones managed to run for more than 50 yards in a game?

    Pepperidge farms remembers. Good times. As per usual, you know less than nothing.

  50. Darin Says:

    When Ronde was on his run shutting down the Vet I hit my ceiling too. Heads up!

  51. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Ben Green

    I don’t think there is “garbage time” for running backs. Running Backs are closers late in the game. If your up by a TD or two and you start handing off the ball two things happen. You are trying to protect yourself from a possible turnover and your running out the clock. It also keeps the opposing offense off the field. That wins games.

    Now if your losing by 3 TD’s late in a game and forcing the pass to your wide receivers. And there is virtually no possibility of your team getting 3 possessions before the game ends. The opposing defense is in a prevent and your throwing over the middle because it’s wide open. Thats garbage time.

    Running backs help finish the game out with a win. By eating up the time left on the clock keeping the opponents offense off the field and minimizing the chances of a turnover. Thats not garbage time to me. Thats sealing a win.

  52. Buczilla Says:

    I think that Beckles is right about Rojo and running backs in general. Derrick Henry is a special back and routinely trucks dudes. McCaffrey when healthy and Kamara are the other two who are special imho and deserve their money. Every other back in the league is just a guy.

    Anderson, Cobb, and Rhett. Thanks for reminding me of the bad old days. I was naive and giddy with excitement when we got Gary Anderson thinking that we were gonna make the playoffs. 😂

  53. Ben green Says:

    @Cobraboy the last thing I’m doing is getting into a”do you know who I am” because if I did you’d feel really foolish. Let’s just agree to disagree. When it counts means playoffs, and that’s clearly what I was referring to. Jones is a liability in the pass game and in pass protection. Go ask Brady who he’d rather have. I could give a fat rats ass who the lineman like. I’ll agree LF got off slow, but he’s learning a new playbook, new protections and new teammates. I think jones is a fine runner, however, his shortcomings make him expendable. brady demands more. P.S. I do hate y’all’s organization. Did I say that right? They destroyed Steve Young, a gift from the football Gods. Consequently they deserved the horrible past they’ve had. if poor steve would’ve had a stable franchises his beautiful career could’ve been top 5…….. Also for the record, Im a huge tom brady guy and relished the superbowl. It’s the junk franchises he plays for. If malcolm butler plays in that superbowl, brady is still in NE. That I can say with concrete certainty

  54. Cainishere Says:

    Don’t cater to Cobra. He talks alot of garbage to the tune that nobody likes and knows the Bucs better than him. You cannot win a debate with a moron so why try.

  55. Darin Says:

    Lol. The Bucs destroyed Steve Young? Good one. Daily laughs

  56. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Anyone who thinks that Founette would have ran the same the last 4 games of the season if the Bucs weren’t in the playoffs have bumped their head too many times. Like it’s been said He was nearly nonexistent during most of the season. constantly tap dancing behind the line. Whoever said he’s a better runner than RoJo is simply laughable. Rojo hasn’t peaked he is simply improving slower than most other backs. His biggest problem really in the beginning of the season was the line wasn’t opening up lanes for him, often getting hit or sidestepping people behind the line. Though his lack of elite hands and blocking is a bad thing his biggest problem is BA who throws little hissy fits the moment he makes one mistake. We probably would have beat the Bears if BA had stuck with him when he was ripping that defense apart even when they knew he was getting the ball rather putting the ball in Bradys hands who was finding it to hard to find/hit open receivers and forgetting what down it was! Rojo is 3x the better runner than Fournette, we could’ve done better than resigning him.

  57. Eric Says:

    My guess is Beckles is wrong he grades RB like Sapp grades DT, I think jones is getting started and I think fournette is as good as he going to get but opinions are like dookie shoots we all have one so let’s see what happens when the season is over!’

  58. Cainishere Says:

    I like Sapp grading DTs. Makes sense to have him evaluating because he knows what it takes to make it in the NFL.

  59. Brandon Says:

    Not a big play guy. 5.1 YPC. Should have have had 1000 yards but we force fed AB to get him a bonus. BS. Rojo is a beast. Like ALLLLL RBs… his hands will continue to improve over the course of his career. Cadillac Williams had some of the worst hands I’d ever seen coming out of college and ended his Buc career as the 3rd down RB.

  60. unbelievable Says:

    Don’t agree about rojo but I do agree about the rest