Winston throwing the ball 50 times a game – left little room for running backs
Over the last five seasons, running backs have not played much of a role in the Bucs offense, save for Doug Martin in 2015 with a healthy 1402 yards rushing. Let’s face it; it’s been a good while since the Buccaneers relied on a running back for much more than being a blocking dummy on game days. 2019 was another one of those types of seasons; however, there was a glimmer of promise from Ronald Jones II. The final game of last 2019, against the Atlanta Falcons, sticks out the most because Jones finally broke the century mark, having a really nice game, racking up 106 yards, on only 11 attempts for a nice average, and a long of 33 yards. I personally believe that Jones can have multiple games in 2020 like that one. I believe that a one-two punch of Ronald Jones and Ke’shawn Vaughn could be very formidable. Brady has a way of spreading the ball around; just ask running back James White of the Patriots, who has been the recipient of a good number of Brady’s passes and touchdowns.
Brady distributes the football very well to the running backs!
In the last eight seasons in New England, Tom Brady brought the running backs into the passing offense. During that span, in every season, running backs recorded at least 40 receptions, at least 400 receiving yards, and at least three touchdowns. During those same seasons, only Charles Sims in 2015 equaled that feat for the Buccaneers. Sims caught 51 passes for 561 yards and four touchdowns that year. The point is that it is an element that Bucs fans should expect to see right away if this season takes place.
A shiny new dimension
The new dimension itself could have a flashy crease to it with the Rookie Speedster Raymond Calais, joining the running back stable. He’s a small speedster, and you know Brady would like to deliver the football in some space for him to burn. Let’s not forget that Ronald Jones II is no slouch when it comes to the stopwatch, either. Add to that fact that he’s been working out again this offseason with trainer Luke Neal in the Arizona heat, he added ten pounds to his frame and now goes at 225 pounds. Jones II knows Brady throws to the backs a lot, and he is determined to be one of those guys and not come out on third downs. He had this to say about it recently:
“My hands are better,” Jones said of his off-season work, per the Athletic. “Just catching more passes, every day. Like 300 a day on the JUGS (machine), and I’ve been working out here with high school and college quarterbacks and working with Brady, so I’ve caught every kind of ball you can imagine. I’m ready for that challenge.”
He then spoke more on returning to Tampa to work out with Tom Brady privately.
“I just tried to soak in everything he was telling me, his attention to detail,” Jones said. “We were running against air, but just still, being out there with him, getting that chemistry down, I felt that was important and it’s going to help us when camp starts soon.” – All quotes per the Athletic, and Greg Auman.
Jones went on to say that, “Team success brings individual success, so just being out there, making a difference, that’s the biggest thing to me,” he said. “Every back has got to get a grand, and then there’s the passing game, so I’m looking to be a multi-threat in the backfield.”
The thought here is that he will indeed show his doubters that he is a top of the line back in this league, and expanding his game into the receiving stats would go a long way in helping to accomplish that.
And that’s not all
Throw the “hard-to-bring-down-rookie, Ke’shawn Vaughn” into the mix, who also is adept at catching the football, and the Bucs may have themselves some real horses that love to run. If used correctly, that team of backs should keep the defense guessing as to what is coming their way. Expect Tom Brady to do what Winston did not: Distribute the football into more hands to maximize our potential. I truly believe this unit of runners is going to be a big boost to the overall value and strength of the offense, adding a dimension that a playoff team must have. They are going to be a devil to stop, and the added dimension of throwing to running backs out of the backfield will be a big reason why. Go Bucs!!