Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians held his press conference Thursday afternoon. He had plenty to say which we will address later. One thing that stood out for me was when asked about running back Peyton Barber, Arians said:
“Is he going to hit home runs, 70 yards? He’s going to pound people, and that’s what we like. I’m really anxious to see Ronald Jones. He progressed so much through the spring. Looks in great shape, and he’s hungry.”
The first thing that jumped out from that quote for me was, “He’s going to pound people.” That struck the “old school football” cord in me. After all, the Buccaneers haven’t pounded their opponents on a consistent basis for quite a while. At 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds, Barber has all the tools to be a pounding-style back. This seems logical if you have that speed or scatback to compliment him.
“I’m really anxious to see Ronald Jones. He progressed so much through the spring. Looks in great shape, and he’s hungry.”
This is the part of the Arians quote I think is the most revealing. When a coach is asked about one player but answers the question by bringing up another player from the same position group it can be taken two ways: One, that the coach is more impressed with the second player, or two, the coach is eluding to a tandem-style backfield. In this case, I believe Arians spoke on Jones not just to build Jones’ confidence, but more so to elude to a backfield tandem.
Could the Buccaneers be bringing back the “Thunder & Lightning” running attack… One that is reminiscent of the “WD-40” Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn combination? If so, then yes, please!