Ronald Jones’ potential emergence could solve one of the three biggest questions surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to USA TODAY’s Jim Reineking.
The Buccaneers rushing attack ranked 27th in the NFL last season with just 1450 total yards on the ground. General manager Jason Licht selected Ronald Jones II in the second round in the hopes of creating a viable running game.
According to Reinking, one of the biggest questions as the Bucs head into training camp is who will be shouldering the load on the ground for Tampa Bay?
Jones appears to have a legitimate shot to win the job in training camp. Veterans Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber will all get their shot as well.
The running back by committee approach will likely be the plan, at least early on in the season. Jones does have the talent to take over as a three-down back very soon.
Reineking continued with the question regarding Tampa’s defensive rebuild. The Buccaneers invested a ton of money in their defensive line in free agency. They also selected defensive tackle Vita Vea in the first round of the draft.
"“It seems that the Buccaneers are borrowing a page from the Eagles’ defensive playbook by building a strong rotation of players along the defensive line.”"
Not only are the Bucs taking a page from the Philadelphia Eagles, they are mimicking the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars. A pair of teams which reached their respective conference championship games.
The final question focuses on quarterback Jameis Winston. Will he be able to right the ship and bring the Buccaneers to the postseason?
Winston will have his work cut out for him. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, the Buccaneers may get off to an 0-3 start. He will open the season in New Orleans, before hosting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the following weeks.
If Winston can somehow guide the Bucs into contention he will not only save his reputation with the fan base, but set himself up to make over $20 million per year.
The answer to all of these questions will define the Buccaneers season. If they can solve these problems, success will come. If they fail, there is no telling how ugly this season might get.