Second year player, Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones, is looking to erase the memory of a 2018 season that saw him listed as a healthy scratch some games. Jones was Tampa Bay’s 2018 second round pick and looked to team up with Peyton Barber to help lessen the blow of losing long-time work horse, Doug Martin, last season. After watching his junior season at USC, it was easy to see why he was held in such high regard. Take a look.
Video credit: JustBombsProductions
After seeing this, no one can truly blame the Bucs brass for choosing to take a flyer on Jones that high in the draft. He’s a shifty runner with more of a one-cut, to the house kind of skill set.
Jones Out Of Place Last Season
However, these traits didn’t translate well into the preseason in 2018. Beyond some apparent offensive line issues, Jones repeatedly failed to hit open holes, pick up the offense quickly and, for a while, seemed out-of-place. Here is a quick look at some of his runs during the preseason last year:
Video credit: Jismacked Media
It’s pretty hard to watch, honestly. Tampa Bay can only hope that the hire of Bruce Arians can bring out the potential they saw in him at USC. With that being said the Bucs have loved everything they have seen from Ronald Jones going into this off-season. Just a couple of weeks ago, Arians gave praise to the second year pro and boasted about his position as a Buc. Per Tampa Bay Times:
“Some really young players really stepped up, especially Ronald Jones,” Arians said. “He had a really good day today. I really enjoy watching where he’s at right now in the backfield.”
Later on Arians would go on to say:
We can still see his vision,” Arians said. “RoJo made a couple of really nice cutbacks today. We don’t run a ball a lot in these periods. Maybe we had nine running plays today, but he took full advantage of his, that’s for sure.”
This tells me the talent is there and Jones will be playing like a completely different back this year. Still, with Barber getting the majority of snaps this year as the feature back, expect Jones stats to jump, but only moderately.
– 400 Rushing Yards
– 250 Receiving Yards
– 4 Total Touchdowns
Jones will definitely take a huge step forward in just his second season in the NFL. Are they stats worth of a former early second round pick? That one is still up for argument. For now, let’s wait and see how Arians will utilize Jones in the already deep Buccaneers offense.
Tampa Bay Times