One hot topic that currently surrounds the Bucs is the one concerning their running back room. Ronald Jones II has shown that he is a capable starter, but Leonard Fournette’s postseason performance was absolutely integral to Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl run. It’s safe to say that without Fournette, there’s a good chance the Bucs don’t go the distance.
Many assumed Fournette would find a nice payday with another team and leave the Bucs for a bigger role. Well, that didn’t happen. Now, the Bucs have the luxury of both players for another year.
But Bruce Arians doesn’t look at his running back room and see Jones and Fournette by themselves. There’s another back who, according to Arians, should make a name for himself in 2021.
That’s right. It’s Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
“Obviously we have two really good players at that position and I really like Ke’Shawn Vaughn,” Arians told reports on Tuesday. “I think, with an offseason, he’s going to have a breakout year.”
Vaughn’s rookie season featured both highs and lows, which is normal for a third-round pick. Also, Vaughn had no offseason program last year, which played a role in his development and on-field production. Arians is aware of this and knows how important it is to have an offseason in 2021. He’s also willing to bet that a full offseason (if there is one) will go a long way in not only helping Vaughn, but other players, as well.
“It’s mandatory that we have this offseason for the young player development,” Arians said. “Not for the veterans, because it’s voluntary, anyway. But for the young player development, it’s huge. And to see those first-, second-, and third-year players take another step forward, we need the spring and we also need the preseason.”
Who knows what an actual offseason will do for Vaughn, but there’s one thing that’s for sure: The Bucs offense will be exponentially harder to stop if Vaughn does indeed breakout.