Buccaneers: Bruce Arians has to be done with one of his starters

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Ronald Jones era with the Buccaneers looks to be coming to a close.

The Buccaneers have only played two games so far this season, and while there is still time for players to make a change, Ronald Jones has an extremely tall task ahead in getting back in the coaching staff’s good graces, specifically Bruce Arians.

Jones has experienced a very up and down career. From a dismal rookie season to a 2020 campaign that fell just short of 1,000 yards on the ground for the first time in Tampa since Doug Martin, RoJo is a tough player to figure out.

The running talent is there; that much is clear. Five yards per carry last season shows that Jones could make the most of his touches between the tackles and on the outside, but the other areas of Jones’ game are lacking.

Pass-blocking, ball security, and catching are staples in the modern NFL, and Bruce Arians has been quick to criticize Jones when he struggles in these areas, which is often.

After “starting” Jones in Week 1 only to pull him after a handful of reps and doing the same thing in Week 2, Arians is clearly not sold on his young back in a contract year. When Leonard Fournette gets more touches and Jones gets pulled after every mistake, you can probably bet that this will be Jones’ last season in Tampa.

There is clearly some upside to Jones as a player, but a Bruce Arians system has certain needs that Jones doesn’t meet. The Bucs invested some early draft capital in a running back just last season, have been very active in the free-agent market for the position, and could likely take another back early in the 2022 NFL Draft at this rate.

Jones still has talent, and fans shouldn’t overlook a solid 2020 season, but Bruce Arians’ words and actions show that Ronald Jones has already fallen through the very thin ice he was standing on at the start of the season.

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