After an abysmal rookie season last year, Ronald Jones is looking to save his career in his second season as a pro. The former USC Trojan averaged only 1.9 yards per carry in 2018 and was already viewed as a bust by many.
This offseason, however, he received plenty of praise from Bruce Arians. Apparently, Jones used the offseason to bulk up and get himself in NFL-shape. His hard work seems to be bearing fruit, as he has pleased the new coaching staff so far.
In addition to that, he made a great first impression in the preseason opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones was given four carries and gained a total of 18 yards. Granted, that is nothing overly spectacular. Yet, considering his past performances, the difference seemed as obvious as day and night. Remember, Rojo averaged less than a single yard per carry last preseason.
Furthermore, he caught his lone target for a gain of 5 yards. Catching passes out of the back field is another area where Jones struggled mightily as a rookie.
Bruce Arians decided to make him the kick returner of the game’s very first kickoff. Maybe this was exactly the confidence boost Ronald Jones needed.
All in all, he looked quicker and more determined as far as decision-making is concerned. As a matter of fact, he looked like he belonged in the NFL. That is something we simply were not able to say last year.
Conclusively, while his performance looked very promising, we should not get overly excited about Ronald Jones just yet. It was only one preseason game. He will most certainly see more playing time in the second game. He has to prove the game against the Steelers was no fluke in order to receive playing time when the games count.