The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t been known as a team with a dominant run game for many years, but that could change in 2020.
It has been many years since the Buccaneers were known as a run-first team. Even though some of the most recognizable players in the team’s history are running backs, Tampa Bay has struggled in this area heavily for the better part of a decade.
Even though the game plan will still feature the pass primarily, Tampa Bay could see a resurgence in their rushing attack this season.
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Ronald Jones, the current primary back for the Bucs this year, has steadily improved throughout his time in the league. Some shortcomings have caused the fanbase to turn against the young back at times, but the franchise appears to be fully behind RoJo for now.
Jones performed at a pace that would have landed him north of 1,000 yards rushing last season if Peyton Barber didn’t receive an equal number of touches. While Jones certainly won’t receive more touches with the talent on the roster, he does still have room to improve on an efficiency basis.
Last season, the only efficient back for the Bucs was Jones. Barber and Dare Ogunbowale both underwhelmed in this category, and Fournette and McCoy are both immediate improvements that only improve the future outlook.
By using Fournette and Jones as the early-down backs and McCoy as the third-down option, the Bucs have created a level of depth that the rest of the league could only dream of having. All three backs were starters last season, and they all succeeded through the air, giving Brady even more options.
There will be some kinks to work out before the first game, but the talent is obviously there. If Tampa Bay can find a way to efficiently use all of their backs in the best situation possible, their backfield has the potential to be one of the top units in the NFL.