Jones shines for Arians during pre-season workouts
The fact that Ronald Jones II bolted in Free Agency a few months ago was the easiest call to make out of all the Buccaneers who qualified. Jones’s ability and skills were being absolutely wasted here in Tampa, and he knew it early on in the Bruce Arians system. I’m sure that it’s probably not so much that there was any bad blood between Jones and the staff, it’s just Arians, and his biscuit offense was just no place for a true running back that gets stronger as he gets more carries. After dropping a few balls over the last three seasons, Jones was basically placed on a shelf and left there. Injuries also played roles at certain times. Let’s face it, even when he was healthy last season, Fournette became the Golden Child. Even when Fournette went down for the last few games of last season, the team went with KeShawn Vaughn and even signed journeyman LeVeon Bell for a short stint. Jones remained the forgotten man.
2nd round – number 38 overall – Ronald Jones II comes in with high expectations in his Rookie year
The fans in Tampa, for the most part, didn’t much appreciate RoJo, while he had his supporters, me for one; so many just didn’t see the value in the USC product taken with the 38th overall pick in the second round. At one time, leading into the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones was considered by many to be the top back coming out. An injury that ruined his 40-time just before the draft saw him fall off many boards, allowing Jason Licht to snag him in the second round. Sadly for Jones, the Arians’ era would soon be coming to town, which scooped him up and showed everyone how good he could be, then let him fade into anonymity and bolt for Andy Reid, Mahomes, and the Chiefs this offseason.
Who could blame him? Sometimes players and teams just don’t line up for the best outcome for the player. Consider the Broncos so easily letting Shaq Barrett get away to lead the NFL in Sacks the very next season here in Tampa. When RoJo left, he released a statement that went like this about joining his new team.
“They fit very well, talking to Coach (Andy Reid) and Coach EB (Eric Bieniemy), just seeing the things they do with running backs. I think my skill set translates perfectly,” Jones said to reporters at his introductory press conference a few months ago. “I think that’s another thing about the Andy Reid system; everybody’s going to eat. So, I’m excited to see my number get called and take it from there.” – Per CBS Sports
Everybody gets to eat, says it all to Jones
Everybody gets to eat. Yeah, I’d say that about sums it all up, and although Jones will be splitting carries with Clyde Edwards-Helaire in KC, his numbers will surely surpass anything he did here in any one season. Jones does leave here owning one team record. Jones in 2020 averaged the most yards per carry a game at 5.1 yards than any Bucs running back in its history. He also is tied for second in the longest touchdown runs in NFL History. Bucs fans, make no mistakes about it: the Chiefs are getting a very, very good running back. A running back capable of fighting down to the wire for the season’s Rushing title. Many may say I’ve lost all good sense. The talent is there though folks, and as sure as I said that Shaq Barrett would do big things for the Bucs when he was signed on the cheap from the Broncos, Jones is going to make Bucs fans wish he was still here playing for us before it is all said and done. This year, next year, the Chiefs, the Raiders, etc. Jones will reveal the beast that’s been trying to bust out over the last few years here in Tampa. I believe it will happen. It couldn’t happen to a more deserved player, either. It’s showtime for Jones, officially. Go Bucs!!
*Mark October 2, 2022, on your calendar, Jones and the Chiefs return to RayJay for an 8:20 pm primetime matchup.