After watching RoJo last year, I saw something in him that told me he could be a top tier running back in the NFL. Having the talent and using that talent to become a more balanced and lethal offense apparently so far has been lost on our offensive coaches. Last season as well as the current one, I have asked, Why not give Jones 25 carries a game? Ronald Jones II is ranked fourth in the NFL this season in rushing yards. Where are we ranked among NFL teams in rushing attempts? 29th.
We have a top five running back with 28 teams devoting more rushing attempts than we do. To give you a better understanding of the problem, consider that the running back in 3rd place in rushing yards is Jacksonville’s James Robinson. He has been given 49 more attempts but only has 148 more yards than Jones II. Derrick Henry is leading the NFL in yardage per the usual. Henry has been afforded 129 more carries than Jones. Do you see a pattern here? To me, it says that the three running backs ahead of Jones in yards are devoted more carries to their backs. Quite a bit more in some cases. This means that those backs are putting up bigger numbers because of the support of their teams allowing them to run the ball more. Jones II is in fourth place in spite of not being given more carries like the backs ahead of him. That averages out to just a tad over 11 carries a game on the season so far for Jones II.
I’ve always felt like the very best coaches always mold their game plans to the strengths of their players. They do not expect their players to adapt to the coaches favorite way of doing things. Flexibility is king in planning game day attacks. At the very least, coaches should at least tweak their attacks to include their athletes strongest assets. This isn’t being done in Tampa and it has hurt our production mightily. At present, teams can pretty much pin their ears back and come full tilt at Tom Brady. There must be respect for the run game as well. Defenses should be forced to gameplan for Jones II. Why have such talent in the backfield and not use it to enhance the entire offensive attack?
Going forward, if our Bucs are to be afforded the best chance at victory, Jones II and the run game must become more involved in gameday attacks. To not do so is irresponsible. In my book, that is unforgivable. Arians is supposed to be a good coach. If he doesn’t change this aspect of the offense, he is less than average and should be shown the door. We have what it takes to be a better team if the staff would just take advantage of the advantage Jones II presents. Go Bucs!
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