Last season, the Bucs running game started off with no effect whatsoever. After no success with Peyton Barber as their starting tailback, the Bucs turned to second-year RB Ronald Jones to get the ground game going. Jones did his part, totaling over 1,000 yards of total offense with 172 carries for 724 yards and 6 TDs on the ground as well as 31 receptions for 309 yards. One knock on Jones coming out of USC was that he didn’t have the best hands and therefore fell to the second round. Yet Jones seems much improved in this aspect with several of his catches going for big gains. he had a long of 41yds.
Jones has shown that he can be a complete RB on this team and a threat to score whenever he gets his hands on the ball. He even put on some size the last offseason going from 208lbs to 219lbs of solid muscle, making Jones the same size as the bruiser Peyton Barber.
There was one problem I had with the way the Bucs offense handled Rojo, as he was used, so sporadically, that he never really got into any kind of rhythm during games, and that’s something RBs need. Jones never even had a game with at least 20 carries as the most he had was 19 in week 4. Jameis Winston would end up throwing 40 to 50 times per game while Jones sat back and made the most of his opportunities, showing fans what he can do when he really gets going. In his final game, this season Jones ran for 106 yards on just 11 carries.
Next season, HC Bruce Arians needs to take note that Jones is an extremely important player, one that can stop on a dime and make a near 90-degree cut. With more carries for Rojo, will come more success and fans will be able to see what he can really do. I’m definitely excited to see how this plays out.