Maurice Jones-Drew To Ronald Jones: Quit Pressing

October 8th, 2021

Bucs RB Ronald Jones.

It’s hard to believe a guy who made his bones at UCLA would ever give a former USC star advice, but that’s where we are with Maurice Jones-Drew and Bucs running back Ronald Jones.

MJD, now an analyst for NFL Network, listed three running backs who are not getting the most out of their talent because they are pressing too much.

One is RoJo.

Jones was the Buccaneers’ RB1 for the bulk of Tom Brady’s first season with the team, racking up 978 yards on 192 rushes (5.1 yards per carry) while adding seven rush TDs in 14 games. He went on the COVID-19 list for two games late in the year and lost his starting job to Leonard Fournette, who’s been the featured back ever since, including during the Bucs’ playoff run last season. This season, Jones fumbled in the season opener and has seen a limited role.

Through four games, Jones has just 21 carries for 77 rush yards (3.7 yards per carry). He began to make more of his opportunities last weekend against the Patriots, when he had 25 yards and his first rush TD of the season on six attempts. That’s a good start, but he must build off the positive performance and avoid trying to do too much. The door is still open for Jones, as the Bucs rank 30th in the league in rushing with Fournette averaging 4.2 yards per carry and yet to find the end zone.

Joe isn’t sure if RoJo is always pressing. For example, when he walked out of bounds earlier this year just shy of a first down in a close game, that’s not “pressing.” If anything, that’s from not giving enough effort. Joe still doesn’t know why RoJo did that.

Catching the ball? Maybe his struggle doing that is from pressing.

Inability to block? RoJo has never been able to block. And Joe doesn’t think RoJo’s habit of going into a mental funk after foul-ups is from pressing.

The way Joe looks at it, RoJo cannot catch and cannot block. So don’t ask him to do that. That’s really not rocket science.

So having RoJo perform tasks he can succeed with should result in a boost in confidence and better results.

39 Responses to “Maurice Jones-Drew To Ronald Jones: Quit Pressing”

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    If he can’t catch and can’t block, and he’s shown he can’t, then he needs to go elsewhere. He’s a liability. He’s a trigger.

  2. D-Rome Says:

    RoJo doesn’t deserve another contract. Once he gets that money he’ll be another loser like the Muscle Shamster.

  3. Rico210 aka wutdaBucisthis Says:

    Well this sucks, because he can and does run hard. I wouldn’t say cut him. Somethings gotta give though. C’mon Jones, we need you!

  4. Medicated Pete Says:

    A cat has 9 Lives & Ron Jones has had double that the last 4yrs.

  5. Robert Says:

    It’s in his head. He’ll shine again if LF goes down and he is confident knowing he’s the #1.

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    Jones has great skill, but his head is his worst enemy.

    That will limit his NFL career.

  7. Beeej Says:

    Do we have ANY 2-back sets? I noticed the Pats did that a few times, don’t think I’ve ever seen Rojo and Lenny on the field at the same time

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Perhaps he’s not pressing enough……I like Rojo but agree that he’s not worth another contract……RBs are very easy to draft & to find in FA….he needs to up his game.

  9. Patrianakos Says:

    Sorry, but if you cannot block blitzers, you cannot help protect the GOAT, and if you cannot help protect the GOAT, you cannot line up in the Buc backfield. QED.

  10. VSyl Says:

    lol make him do things he can do?? If can’t block and can’t catch what will he do? Just run ofc, then our opponents will know that when he is on the field, it will be a run. Too bad. He should be gone by now.

  11. SteveK Says:

    Not instinctive as a pass catcher or protector. Enough with “confidence” dude just lacks the focus.

  12. SB~LV Says:

    Just feed him the rock until he is too exhausted to think!
    Rest and repeat!

  13. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Didn’t RoJo catch a 35 yard td pass last year vs Chiefs?
    Yeah, he has some things to clean up, but he’s talented and isn’t a problem in the locker room and still very young-
    He’ll have some big games this year. Glad Bucs have 2 good backs.
    I think expectations are a little high for him because of last year – but he got most of starts and carries last year- opportunities haven’t presented themselves so much this year, and yes that’s mostly his fault. I say be patient…

  14. Beeej Says:

    He can usually catch swing passes–hit that guy in stride and he’s gone

  15. Beeej Says:

    Derrick Henry had 378 rushing attempts last year… Just 19 receptions (I guess he blocks ok?)

  16. HeyItsAdam Says:

    To edit a phrase from a legendary coach:

    “He can’t block or catch…. Otherwise he’s in great shape.”

  17. Brad Says:

    Just play vaughn already so you don’t have to worry about not catching or tipping the plays

  18. ModHairKen Says:

    Warwick Dunn was phenomenal at blocking. He took down guys who outweighed him by 50-100 lbs. He also could catch. That’s a guy you want. When he’s on the field, the entire playbook is in play.

    I’d like to see ratio of run to pass then versus now. I think TBBF is right. RBs are not nearly as important as they once were. I get the Derrick Henry citation, but he’s a different guy on a whole different plane. You could build your Offense around him and with a decent Defense, win a lot. No one could build and Offense around Jones. Not a knock. Just Derrick Henry is the GOLD standard right now.

  19. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    “…RoJo’s habit of going into a mental funk after foul-ups is from pressing…”

    I disagree. From Mr. Koetter to BA, they have talked about Rojo’s lack of confidence. Rojo is obviously immature. Pressing can come from putting to much negativity in your head when you mess up (vs “on the the next play”). We all have seen him do this.

    Rojo can still produce like he did last year and we may need him to do that. But, yes, no second contract from the Bucs

  20. Goldenbuc Says:

    Rojo is an old school back give it to him 25 times a game and watch your team win

    He would do better in Cleveland or Tennessee, or maybe even Pittsburgh, unfortunately Tampa has gotten away from that style which is why it’s no longer a good fit.

    If he would have gotten it together when jamies was here he’d probably still be here, they would have been perfect together.

    but I’ll enjoy the bling instead 🏆

  21. Hodad Says:

    Maybe we need a back who can run, block, and catch. All our backs have a weakness. When teams know what they are they can tell what’s coming just by who’s back there. Don’t know why Licht hasn’t been able to find a complete back in all the time he’s been here.

  22. Craig Says:

    RoJo seems to be prone to mental lapses. He presses after that and really screws it up.

    He has been a running back long enough that it should be automatic, but it isn’t. He knows what he should be doing, but doesn’t get there. I doubt his contract will be renewed because he hasn’t seemed to learn from his mistakes and most coaches will allow a mistake once, but will not tolerate a repetitive problem.

  23. JimBuc2 Says:

    Scared of contact Rojo? Ok, we got this. You’re on special teams until further notice. Gunner. Better show good. You like that? No? Too bad. Get your arse out there and knock someone up into the stands!

    LFG Bucs!

  24. Goldenbuc Says:

    It always just reminds me OJ or Dalvin…they picked OJ and tried to make up for it the next year with ROJO

  25. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I think the point MJD was trying to make was that Rojo just slams into the assigned hole many times whereas Lenny has patience and sets up and uses his blocks.

  26. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I’ve thought the same thing, Kentucky Buc said.
    RoJo slams into the piles and gets no yardage.
    Then he’s back on the sidelines, because he’s getting no yardage.
    (or missing a block, maybe)

    I’m not not hating RoJo either.

  27. SlyPirate Says:

    It’s way past time to move on from Rojo. Just another overrated player from the University of Spoiled Children (USC).

    Zero articles about Gholston. Gholston has been the best DL this year. Better than Vea, JPP, Suh, and Shaq. Show my boy some love!

  28. MOK Says:

    I don’t necessarily agree that Rojo just slams into where the hole should be. He has many times cut to see the hole. He runs with wreckless abandonment, which is what he should do. Watch Lenny run, seriously, he goes down on first contact 80% or more of the time. He hesitates when he should hit the hole. I am not saying Rojo is a Pro Bowler, but how can you get better if you aren’t played? You have this young man who did quite well last year and how do you show him you have confidence in him? Bench him for any mistake he makes. His job as a RB is to block only for a second or two…he whiffed on ONE. Our O-Line has whiffed on blocks too but no one is yelling at them like they do Rojo.

    Rojo is by far the most talented back on the field that we have. Just put him in and Run the F-ing ball.

  29. Ed Says:

    Out of place in this offense. Bucs are a passing team and they use the running game sparingly. Jones has been too much of a let-down on missing assignments and dropping passes.

    If you are 3rd and 2 or goal-line situation, there isn’t a better running back to put in the Bucs backfield but thats a specialty back.

    There aren’t many NFL offenses that feature a back as the main option to move the ball. Not many Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell, Christian Akoye, Jerome Bettis, Walter Payton backs to build an offense around. Derrick Henry is the only superstar back in the NFL these days.

    Fournette is an average runner but his football IQ is way above Jones’ and he does block better than Jones.

  30. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    *I’m not hating on RoJo* I meant to say.

    Sorry for the typo. My editing department, called in sick today.

  31. Bobby M. Says:

    The problem with Rojo on the field is he handcuffs Brady’s genius. If Brady wants to attack the defense a certain way other then run it at them, Rojo is a liability….not for just a play, but for the entire season when he misses blocking assignments. If he ends up getting brady killed, then what? The Bucs have a lot invested in this team to succeed with a healthy Brady. No sense in risking that to appease Rojo’s pouting or skill set.

  32. Says:

    @joe… Rojo fumbled the ball fighting for extra yards… I think that played back in his mind when he ran out of bounds

  33. BuccaneerButters Says:

    I want him to do well. It seems like something great happens a penalty negates it or he messes up and we don’t see him do as well for a while. It’s frustrating to see. I love how he attacks the hole, just wish it wasn’t up the gut or a pass in the backfield. Anyway, I think at this point, he hasn’t earned a second contract with us at least. Whether that’s partially Koetters fault or his or combo, idk. Bruce has done so much and still he isn’t dominating when he gets the touches. A change of scenery may be best.

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    We’re in a “win now” league and patience is running thin, especially for a guy who has ONE “good” season out of four.
    Produce or move on.

  35. BucEmUp Says:

    Rojo problem is he literally runs into the backs of our linemen. He doesnt wait for something to open up. He needs to read the lineman and anticipate. He is just running into their backs and basically pushing them pon many plays. Dude is fast and can run well but he needs to follow the blocks rather than push them.

  36. unbelievable Says:

    Yeah I really don’t understand what MJD is saying here?

    What is he supposedly pressing too much on? Is he saying Jones is trying to do too much? I don’t really see that either…

  37. Fundamentals Says:

    The primary job of a running back is to run! Rojo is by far the best running back on the roster. The decision to become a pass only offense will soon any chances of a repeat Superbowl. The one that needs to go is Arians. His offense is extremely predictable and was grossly out coached this past weekend.

  38. Stanglassman Says:

    Who would have though Snoop McPlaybook would be out playing ROJO at this point in their careers.

  39. B-Bro Says:

    That’s BS not being able to block you’re not able to block if you don’t put an effort in learning to block studying films etc. If he’s going to have a special role where he doesn’t come in during blocking plays then he needs a special check payout that reflects that.