Ronald Jones still set to be the RB1 for the Bucs in 2020

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Despite all of the draft picks and the signing of free agent LeSean McCoy, Ronald Jones is still set to be the lead running back in Tampa Bay this year.

Ronald Jones is in desperate need of a massive year in 2020. The Buccaneers invested a second-round pick in Jones back in 2018, and if they don’t see returns soon, RoJo could need a new team.

Tampa Bay used a third-round pick, a seventh-round pick, and a free agent signing to add depth to the running back room this year, but the organization is still firmly behind their starting back from half of 2019.

Signing LeSean McCoy and drafting Ke’Shawn Vaughn may seem like the Bucs are putting some pressure on RoJo, and to some degree, they are, but in the end, they have made it clear where their support lies.

Bruce Arians didn’t waste words and was very clear on Jones’s stance in a quote tweeted by Carmen Vitali.

If Arians was unsure of RoJo’s abilities, this quote could have been very different. It is no secret that Jones did make mistakes last year, and Arians was quick to sub in Peyton Barber, but sticking with Jones is the right decision.

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Arians could be attempting to misdirect, which he has done before, but the options outside of Jones are far less effective.

On a team like the Buccaneers that utilizes a pass-first offense, the running back by committee approach only serves to take backs out of their rhythm. Jones would start to build momentum, and then Barber would be subbed in, killing the run.

Because the offense will be changing very little the year, the Bucs will need a back to make the most of their limited reps, and allowing for momentum to build is paramount.

Arians was also clear with his quote that the other running backs are “fighting for roles.” McCoy is the obvious choice to take third-down duties, but 20 touches a game seems unsustainable for the 32-year old.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Dare Ogunbowale, and Raymond Calais are the big names battling for the remaining spots, but Jones still has the experience and the talent to gain an edge over all three as the workhorse.

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While many things can change during camp, it appears that Ronald Jones will retain his role for the time being. This year will be indicative of Jones’ future on the roster, and he will get an opportunity to make a case for himself as the starting running back on a team that will live in the limelight.