On Wednesday, August 5th, head coach Bruce Arians held a press conference with the Tampa Bay media. With the recent signing of LeSean McCoy, a big question was how the work load would be distributed among the running backs. Arians answers and also gives his thoughts on what the screen game will look like.
Arians on Running Back Depth Chart
“RoJo [Ronald Jones II] is the main guy. He’ll carry the load. All of those other guys are fighting for roles. Who goes in second when he gets tired, maybe who is the third-down guy. But they’re all fighting for a role and special teams will have a lot to do with that. LeSean, adding him- he’s a great veteran, he’s a very bright guy and he is already coaching those guys and helping them out. He will find his niche easily.”
Arians on Confidence in Ronald Jones II
“Just the way he handled it. He improved dramatically from last April to December. He has shown that he is the guy. He has a lot of talent. He is excellent in the screen game. His run after catch is good. Just for him- how much can he expand it? But I have all the confidence in the world in him. He put a lot of time in working out and catching balls to improve his hands in the offseason and it’s showing up already.”
Arians on the Screen Game and Tom Brady
“I thought we were a pretty solid screen team last year. When we went back and evaluated wide receiver screens and running back screens, we were fairly effective. We had a lot of big plays. It’s about who you are throwing them to. Chris Godwin, obviously, was excellent at it. Dare Ogunbowale and RoJo were probably the best screen runners, although Peyton Barber did a pretty solid job. I think it’s a big part of our offense and what we’ve always done. To me, they are really running plays.”
“Tom has always been great at screens. He gets it out of his hands so fast and so accurately that it’s an easy ball to run with as soon as you catch it.”
Arians on LeSean McCoy in the Screen Offense
“Oh yeah, he’s a heck of a receiver. That’s the one thing that gets me excited having played against him all these years. He’s a hell of a receiver and he’s still got a very explosive first step. Yeah, I think that will be a big part of it.”
Though it appears Arians was happy with the screen offense last year, Bucs fans can’t help but get excited about what is to come in the 2020 screen game. One of the best receiving running backs to ever do it in McCoy, paired up with the best quarterback to ever play the game in Tom Brady, could make for a match made in heaven. Add that to an improving Jones and this offense has the potential to put up numbers that this franchise has been lacking from the running back position for quite a few years.