Introducing Leonard Fournette, RB1 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The run game was extremely lackluster for the Buccaneers in their week two matchup, but Leonard Fournette has emerged as the favorite to be the RB1.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneer backfield has been extremely hard to piece together for the past few months. Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, and LeSean McCoy all made convincing cases to receive a sizable amount of reps, and the backfield by trio approach seemed to be the likely future.

Jones was listed as the starter for the first two weeks, but now it appears that Fournette could take over the starting duties as soon as this week.

Other than an impressive early touchdown, RoJo was mostly non-existent during the game. Bruce Arians moved away from Jones after a miscommunicated fumble with Tom Brady, and Jones played very little after that.

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On the other hand, Tom Brady showed an immediate connection with LeSean McCoy in the passing game, where McCoy could have been one of the top receivers on the day if not for one awful drop in the end zone and a penalty.

The run game was nothing to be happy with, but Fournette was clearly the best runner on the day. The Buccaneers continue to call run plays at the worst times, setting their backs up for failure, but Fournette was able to pad his stats with an easy goal-line touchdown and a long touchdown run at the end that skews the numbers a decent amount in his favor.

Bruce Arians and the rest of the coaching staff have been very clear in their support for Jones, but Arians is also the coach that rides the hot hand heavily in game scenarios. Fournette was the first 100-yard rusher for the Bucs this year and also added two rushing touchdowns, which translates to one of the most impressive days rushing for an individual Buccaneer in a long time.

After a game like that, the Bucs have no excuses for keeping Fournette out of the game. This duo with Jones is still just as potent, but Fournette is the better between-the-tackles runner than Jones and will be more effective than his speedy counterpart with the current play calls.

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It may take some time before a full shift occurs and Fournette is listed as a legitimate starter, but it has become clear that moving forward, he is the new RB1 in Tampa Bay.