Right now, that’s the challenge being issued by current Bucs starting running back, Peyton Barber. The draft brought Ronald Jones II, who was expected to be the guy, the one who was going to carry the load from the backfield and take pressure off Fitzpatrick, and when he returns, Jameis Winston. So far, through two games in the preseason, Jones II just hasn’t looked like that player that was drafted, right now he’s being outperformed by every player in the running back group. If it wasn’t for his draft status, then Ronald would be fearing for his place on the roster. For now he’s safe and will get some time to figure things out. Is anyone else worried that he needs to figure things out? Apparently, he plays in the position that is easiest to transfer into the professional game.
Meanwhile, it seems that the Buccaneers had the answer all along with Peyton Barber. Undrafted out of the University of Auburn, Barber was signed by Tampa Bay and worked quietly but effectively when given the opportunity to do so, he could be forgiven for thinking that he would be filling the role of dutiful deputy once again with the drafting of Ronald Jones II. With 55 yards on 10 carries and a TD, Barber is fully in the driving seat to be the starting back come week one.
There isn’t a mystery to this and Koetter is expected to keep starting the guy that is playing the best and earning that role, right now Peyton Barber is gripping that starting position as firmly as he’s gripping the football.