Who Is Your No. 1 Back?

June 11th, 2021

Fighting for carries.

This really is a perfect example of iron sharpens iron.

Last year Bucs running back Ronald Jones broke out. Finally. He damn near had 1,000 yards. If a certain quarterback didn’t want to get his tenant a bonus, RoJo likely would have had 1,000 yards rushing.

But when RoJo got hurt late in the season, Playoff Lenny blew up and had a dominant postseason.

So who is the Bucs’ go-to running back this fall? Joe and Ira discussed this in a recent “Ira Kaufman Podcast.” For Joe, the answer is simple.

Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians should sit down with RoJo and Playoff Lenny when training camp starts and lay it out real simple. Tell the duo that he won’t decide who the bellcow back will be. They will. May the best man win. Whoever balls out in July and August gets the starting nod.

What a great problem to have! It wasn’t that long ago that when the Bucs needed a touchdown late, they had to bank on the likes of Dare Ogunbowale.


Meanwhile, the Bucs put out on social media cool photos from minicamp this week. Joe swears Playoff Lenny wearing No. 7 makes him look leaner.

Enjoy the latest Ira Kaufman Podcast.

27 Responses to “Who Is Your No. 1 Back?”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    Competition is great and we have some good battles ahead.
    It bears mentioning that Gio Bernard is no slouch at running the football either.

  2. Pewter Power Says:

    Honestly it really doesn’t matter to me although I’m sure it does to rojo and Lenny. Either one of them works especially this year because we finally have a third down back

  3. Bird Says:

    Rojo and playoff lenny are the key to balance attack
    Got to run off the clock too

    And we need playoff lenny. Not first 12 games lenny

  4. dmatt Says:

    I would stick with RoJo. Contrary to Fournette, he’s humble, discipline, trustworthy, patience, a team player, n has proven multiple times that he can break for a long gain. On the other hand, Leonard’s attitude will be triggered once he’s not getting the ball because the other guy is out playing him. He’s a selfish player. Don’t need him. We had the likes of DeSean Jackson to prove what a selfish player can do to a team.

  5. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    There will be no stacking the box this season, no double coverage on one WRs, and no LB swith the safety help to cover the TEs.

  6. Buc50 Says:

    Agreed with dmatt. ROJO is the home run guy without all the drama.

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    If I had to pick one I would go with Ronald. But I dont think we need a bellcow back. Why not go with a 2 headed monster? I would say that Byron Leftwich pushed and the right buttons last year going back and forth between the two backs.

    Also what the big deal about 1000 yards? Unsure why that matters. Maybe its better for RoJo contract wise?

  8. mark2001 Says:

    To see where we went from just a few years ago to today, is pretty much like being in a dream come true. Frankly, this kind of thing has been seen a few times in NFL history… the great drafts and organization building of the Steelers and Cowboys late last century among them. But to have it happen in Tampa Bay? Don’t know how this year will turn out, but frankly boys, we are living the dream.

  9. Joe Says:

    It bears mentioning that Gio Bernard is no slouch at running the football either.

    So that’s why he was a backup for the Bungles!

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    Sorry guys Lenny earned his starting nod this year because of the playoffs.

  11. lambeau Says:

    I agree with JimmyJack–it’s a 2-headed monster. One might get a hot hand, one might get dinged up, or you rotate both with fresh legs. Ideal situation.

  12. DFWBuc Says:

    Joe Gio was behind a line that ended up getting their quarterback killed. He was glad to be a backup! There was little incentive to stay in Cinci and shorten his career.

  13. Hope springs eternal Says:

    I like ROJO. He hits the hole faster, has more break away speed and no attitude issues. Lenny had some big games in the playoffs but he has a tendency to hesitate while looking for an opening. That gets him stopped for no or little gain too often. The good news is having them both will keep them fresh for the long season ahead. And either is a dam good back if the other gets dinged up during a game. Its a good “problem” to have as long as neither sulk about fewer chances.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    Joe- I never said he was Barry Sanders! LOL!
    Only one can be the “starter”. Probably should throw Vaughn in the mix too.

  15. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    It’s going to be Jones. The O-line is going to be very good so the advantage goes to the guy who can break the big ones more consistently and I just think that’s Jones. Hopefully he’s continued to work on his receiving skills because the guy has just gotten better every year. If Vaughn plays well in preseason I see Lenny as trade bait come Halloween.

  16. Bobby M. Says:

    I think Fournette is the initial starter…..he’s a known commodity and most well rounded of the bunch. The only time i see that changing is if there’s bad weather where we are more inclined to run or its obvious we need to burn clock. In that scenario, Rojo is the better pure runner and will take the carries.

  17. QUE589 Says:

    I’d name both as starters and would alternate who starts each game. More than likely both will have good camps and they are the same caliber RB. Keep competition and morale high all season.

  18. Craig Says:

    Don’t name a #1 for the season, make whoever is on a roll during weekly practice the starter.

    I am not sure playoff Lenny has grown up yet, but he got closer to it last season than he was at Jax. He had a bad attitude there and when he got here and sat. He was not at his best during the playoffs, but it was good enough.

    If Vaughn has reached NFL speed, he should have a place in the mix, it would keep defenses guessing and, maybe, allow the Bucs to build some overwhelming leads early.

  19. Duane Says:

    I anticipate running back by committee. They got talent, ride the hot hand. If it comes down to just one guy getting most of the snaps, I remind myself that Rojo couldnt win the job over the poor rushing stylings of Barber and Dare. If I remember correctly, he was the one that BA said was the starter, and given the job. A year later and now its a competition. With an offseason this year, I do not think Rojo will be able to hold out against Playoff Lenny. The run game in the playoffs was noticeable, and the offense became fully realized. May be wasted energy to think about considering ME13, CG, AB, and Gronk are even better options.

  20. Godlovesbucs Says:

    If I had my choice, rojo would be the #1 with good as the change of pace/3rd down guy. Fournette can spell and back up rojo, vaughn can spell and back up gio.

  21. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Not good, gio.

  22. m0j0 Says:

    Bucs made it work with both Alstott and Dunn back in the days. Don’t see any reason why we can’t do the same with Fournette and Rojo, with Gio coming in as the 3rd down specialist and Vaughn as a change of pace back.

  23. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Great problems to have. A legitimate stable.

  24. Sumosam Says:

    Share the snaps and keep them both healthy. You have 2 #1’s but playoff Lenny is the best running back for sure. Remember him coming out of college? He will be that person this year. I have no doubt. He has a lot to play for.

  25. Jaaon Says:

    Rojo !!!!!!!!

  26. Oneilbuc Says:


  27. @its.skip.b Says:

    I’m still annoyed that Ronald didn’t score with 2 shots from the 1 in the Superbowl. Lenny would’ve punched it in and based on his postseason play, deserves the nod as lead back!!