It’s no secret that part of the Bucs problem, especially in the last couple of games, is they haven’t been running the ball hard like we know they can. After watching Jones closely this year, three things have become very clear to me. One: that he is better than just good; dare I call him special? There’s something special there for sure, how special remains to be seen, which brings me to the second thing. I feel it’s time to do the inevitable, and name Jones the starter, and quit screwing around with it. Peyton is decent enough, but he is no Jones. Jones can break one for the house from anywhere, rushing or receiving, and that leads to the third thing. They need to give Jones no less than between 20 to 30 touches per game. You just want the ball in a player like that’s hands. Barber would remain important, as he would become the change of pace back, maybe when a little more rear end is needed in short-yardage situations.
Eventually, the Bucs will have to choose who they want to re-sign and give a nice contract to. I would be surprised if Barber didn’t ask for a raise and test the free-agent market if the Bucs don’t give him that raise. If it comes down to just one of them, which I think it will at some point, I don’t think there is any doubt that they would choose Jones. So just go ahead and pull the trigger. The more he plays at this stage of his career, the better he’s going to get. Where Peyton is, pretty much what you see is what you get at this stage. I don’t know if it’s about hurting feelings or what, but a move like this I would have thought would have already been made, as I see it as one of the things on the clipboard of things to do to turn the Bucs into a consistent winner.
It’s something the Bucs have lacked for a while. In 2015 when Doug Martin was still balling had to have been the last time we had an above-average running back. Beyond that, it would probably be Cadillac Williams. I believe Jones has the potential to be better than both those guys, as I don’t see him as a flash in the pan as those guys were. The Titans game has now come and went, and we can add it to the list of games we didn’t run much. Maybe it was the turnovers that kept us playing from behind. Although I have a feeling even if we hadn’t, the run wouldn’t have been any more prominent. Here’s hoping Leftwich regroups for the second half of the season and does what is needed concerning the waste of talent that is Jones. Go Bucs!!