Bucs Risk “Killing The Mojo” If Ronald Jones Starts

August 10th, 2021

Leonard Fournette

A former Bucs one-year wonder, a man with a Super Bowl ring, sees a bad risk for his beloved Buccaneers.

Joe’s talking about retired receiver Michael Clayton, the legendary 2004 rookie who quickly became known for blocking, drops and disappointment after his 80-catch, 1200-yard first season.

Clayton is always good for an interesting and thought-provoking take, even if it’s wacky on the surface.

This week, Clayton visited WDAE Radio and had plenty to say. One thing he made very clear, though, is that the Bucs will be taking a dangerous risk if Leonard Fournette is not the opening day starter at running back.

“It won’t kill the mojo if Ronald Jones is a backup. It will possibly kill the mojo of the team if Leonard Fournette shows out and, you know, in the Super Bowl run he’s no longer Playoff Lenny, he’s Super Bowl Lenny now, and then he’s a backup,” Clayton said. “That just doesn’t make sense for the mojo. Leonard Fournette will be their starter.”

Joe almost agrees with Clayton. Almost.

No, Joe does not expect Fournette to pout if he’s the No. 2 guy with only, say, seven carries on opening night versus Dallas. But Joe would lean toward starting Fournette because of what he delivered down the stretch last season and to see if he can keep the momentum going.

If RoJo ends up having a much better August, then that’s another story. But Fournette is human and has proven to be a little fragile mentally. What’s the harm in handing him the rock early as the No. 1 guy to see if that’s the best path to success and team happiness?

Bucco Bruce Arians isn’t a babysitter, but managing egos still remains a challenge of the sport. Joe’s really eager to see how Arians/Byron Leftwich/Tom Brady divide the running back work.

35 Responses to “Bucs Risk “Killing The Mojo” If Ronald Jones Starts”

  1. Robert Says:

    from your reports is sounds like Lenny has been balling out in camp. He earned it last year and should keep the number 1 job if the offense stays the same. If they go back to BL’s offense, then yeah, put on Rojo……..and take away 1/2 of TB’s capabilities.

  2. Tkras red Bozo lips Says:

    Clayton always has the pulse of this team and is dead accurate on his post game shows (especially when evaluating #13).

  3. Jeff Says:

    How in the hell did the Jags draft him so high? He’s not that fast or powerful. His hands are sketchy and his seems to be a little mentally off. I wonder what round the Pats had on him. 4+ probably or not at all.

  4. Steven007 Says:

    I see it as more of a 1A, 1B type situation. Two headed monster. Jones has clearly shown more on a carry by carry basis. Vast improvement since he began here. Fournette seems to play well when motivated to do so. And if that’s the case, logic would seem to dictate that more motivation would come from being the 1B back.

  5. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Check the Bucs record book for the longest run in team history-you will see Ronald Jones. Jones is the home run hitter , not Lenny.

  6. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Agree with Joe. This is the reality of the situation.

  7. webster Says:

    Jeff the pats have not drafted a pro bowler since 2011 so how they had fournette ranked is irrelevant. No one should be handed a starting position. Let the best man win. What happen last year has no bearing on what will happen in 2021. F@&K mojo if rojo proves to be the best again.

  8. Duane Says:

    Clayton is always going to go to bat for the LSU guy, but its just a bad argument. Both players have egos like every other pro. This team has gone out of its way to baby and bring Rojo along, and he has not taken the job. If Rojo has a good season, you just going to pay him starter money? I wouldnt. Fournette was drafted by his original team, won the starting role, was the only offensive threat in town, and has consistent tape. There is no logical comparison between the two where you would give the nod to Rojo. I like Rojo, but he isnt Cadillac, Doug Martin, or even the Great Earnest Graham. Rojo wants to get paid, and even if he balls out, he is going to be the first salary cap casualty next season. Fournette already got paid, and just wants to find a place to stick and win games. Both of these players are longshots in the future because we dont feature the run, and Sneak is younger, cheaper, and likely has more upside for this offense.

  9. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Jeff there is a reason that Jacksonville has been an outright after thought of a laughingstock for 19 of the last 21 years. They are a bad franchise ran by incompetent morons. Fournette had no business being drafted in the top 20.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree with the 1a & 1b …….

    Starting at RB doesn’t actually mean that much…..same with WR, TE……it’s a rotational position……flip a coin.

  11. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    I wouldn’t compare running back to those other positions bucfan. Who your running back is doesn’t matter. Every other starting position on the offense and defense matters infinitely more.

  12. Beeej Says:

    I was forseeing a ‘running back by committee’ thing anyway

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    Good problems.

  14. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Haven’t you wrote on many occasions how hard the coaches have worked to build rojos confidence? I thought he was fragile too? So don’t you risk the same thing happening I’d you bench rojo after the regular season he had? Until he got hurt then covid, they almost cut fournette. Rojo was killing it. I see it the complete other way, you know what fournettes ceiling is, but rojo has only grown every year. Start the young man, if he regresses then put in Mr average at everything.

  15. Wild Bill Says:

    Start Rojo as a reward for last season totals. But give Lenny a lot of carries too. And in games with big leads, give the other ribs a good look to. If someone gets an attitude, sit his ass down until he gets a team attitude. No primadonnas.

  16. mark2001 Says:

    I’ve heard Rojo has outplayed Fournette so far in the preseason. But the preseason isn’t over. Let them both play, run, block, catch and do their jobs. Than give the best man the nod.

  17. Eric Says:

    Without even reading this article I knew it was the Clayton lol tell him we respectfully disagree Rojo is simply the better player

  18. Biff Barker Says:

    Joe, Clayton is a fraud. Dominick bit hook. line and sinker. Loyal Bucs fans suffered greatly every time he dropped a very catchable ball. Yup, Ol greasy hands sure forgot how to catch so we paid premium money for a blocker after squandering a #1 pick
    Kinda like the other fraud from FSU.

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    I agree. If Rojo has a thigh injury and C0vid LF should be the starter. If Rojo is healthy he starts.

  20. Biff Barker Says:

    Lenny has earned the right to start the season. Alternate starts thereafter. The most productive back will emerge shortly.

  21. Darin Says:

    Nobody’s earned the right, preseason games haven’t started yet. Dont count out alot of snaps for Bernard. With Tommy around there’ll be no whining.

  22. Mike Says:

    Last year was last year. This is a new season. These guys are competing to start, and may the best man win. Period. End of discussion.

  23. Alanbucsfan Says:

    They will both start, depending on practice reps and opponent.

  24. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    So just because Fournette did good in the playoffs and Super Bowl give him the reigns? No, sir. He didn’t do any of that during the season. Rojo proved he can be the starter and would’ve had 1,000 yards had not TB decided AB needed a few extra coins. But what does it matter when we’re doing the “ride the hot hand” nonsense anyway.

  25. SOEbuc Says:

    If Joe and Clayton knew anything they would say the Super Bowl is behind us, including Lombardi Lenny. Back to basics.

  26. SOEbuc Says:

    The real question is are the Bucs gonna run more than 30 percent this year???? We’ve added Gio to the RB room, OJ has returned, and AB is one hot little pepper.

  27. Buckaroo Boozie Says:

    Playoff Lenny gots much to PROVE
    Rojo gots much to LEARNS…

    Much like Joe’s

  28. mark2001 Says:

    Buckaroo’s…Ouch. If both Joes thought to much alike, it wouldn’t be as good a site.

  29. BillyBucoff Says:

    Watch them come out in the I formation after all this

  30. BCM2112 Says:

    Fournette is a very solid RB. His rookie year, he was facing stacked boxes more than any other RB in the league. If anyone here thinks they rode Bortles to the AFC championship that year, well…..problem with him is that year gave him a mentality complex. All those dogging him about his RB capabilities need to go back and watch his tape. ROJO, in my opinion, will have first crack at it this year. I think he has earned it! But, and every one knows this, if he fumbles at a crucial time in a game, their roles wil most likely flip. All this being said, is everyone seriously overlooking Gio?

  31. DPewter Says:

    Rojo is the better ball carrier but Lenny is the better all around back. Wouldn’t mind if they pulled a Belichick and started different rbs based off opponents weakness or game plan.

  32. Brandon Says:

    Rojo is an infinitely better runner.

  33. Ash Says:

    Rojo will start but I think gio is going to have more carries than people expect him to

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah but there’s story after story about how Ronald Jones is out performing every running back in camp to the point to where it’s not even close. If anyone but Ronald Jones is not the starting running back, the Buccaneers will be a laughingstock as Ronald Jones literally was one of the best running back‘s in the NFL last year and was extremely limited on his carries. Check the stats numbers don’t lie

  35. Joe Says:

    Yeah but there’s story after story about how Ronald Jones is out performing every running back in camp to the point to where it’s not even close.

    That’s news to Joe and Joe hasn’t missed a practice. How many have you been to?