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It’s been a brutal start to the season for Bucs running back Ronald Jones through three weeks, and not much changed on Sunday. In Los Angeles, Jones ran just five times for 11 yards. On the season, Jones has rushed 15 times for 52 yards, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. His longest run of the year is 10 yards.

Still, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians came away impressed. Given Arians’ recent criticism of Jones, this could also have been some coach-speak.

“RoJo” ran really well,” Arians said after the game. “And especially in that one drive. But then when you get down, you got to go to the two minutes and speed it up and throw it. So, it wasn’t a game where you could, ‘hey, let’s stay in the running game for a while.’”

Jones longest run of the game was a five-yard carry in the first half. Quarterback Tom Brady led the team in rushing with three carries for 14 yards. For the second game this season, Jones was out-snapped significantly by the rest of the running back room.

Because Jones isn’t a factor on passing downs, the Bucs have become predictable when he’s on the field. Few backs across the league have struggled to the degree Jones has as a receiver and pass protector. In games where the Bucs are trailing, don’t expect to see him much, regardless of how Arians feels about his 2.2 yard per carry average.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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Joseph
20 days ago

Rojo ran well? I don’t think we watched the same game Bruce wow

Captain Sly
Reply to  Joseph
20 days ago

I think he ran the ball well with all things considered. Probably the toughest defense you’ll face this year and we were playing from behind. Arians is right!

Captain Sly
Reply to  Captain Sly
20 days ago

Hey Jon, speaking of being predictable when RoJo is in the game, that’s exactly what we were when your man Gio was in the game. The defense sat back waited for the bubble screen or sent a free rusher at Brady that tiny Gio couldn’t block. Exposed!

eaustinyoung
20 days ago

I love Arians but again…he dies on these hills for his favorite players when it’s clear that RoJo had 0 impact on the game. RoJo on the field = automatically broadcasting a run play since he can’t catch or block.

Ron Potter
20 days ago

Stats don’t tell the whole story. RoJo did well with his touches, but the blocking for him was not good. This was supposed to be a game where Ali Marpet removed all doubts for for his lack of All-Pro appearances and hate to single him out but he did nothing to make a case for his first All-Pro selection. Not only was there little room to run for RoJo and LF, but Brady was under pressure all day. Increasing snap counts for Gio made this offense look even more predictable and their DL tee’d off as a result. Gio is… Read more »

DT25
Reply to  Ron Potter
19 days ago

All of this. There are times RoJo deserves an entire article dedicated to bashing him (even if that seems to happen far more for his mistakes than anyone else’s…see Gio making the same exact mistake as him last week and nobody mentioning it even once). This isn’t one of those times. Typically enjoy Ledyard’s analysis but this just seems like an unnecessary hit piece. Looks like RoJo tweeting at him this week may have gotten under his skin.

Last edited 19 days ago by DT25
Ron Potter
Reply to  DT25
19 days ago

Agreed. There’s a Gio bandwagon across all of Buc media and Buc fans tho too. Not sure if Ledyard just likes to go with the flow or if his analysis is lacking as he is completely silent on Gio’s sack allowed. So was Scott Reynolds on his “Most Impressive” list… there Gio did no wrong too. And I’m listening to other media outlets and haven’t found anyone mentioning it either so far, after a week of comprehensive RoJo bashing. Seems to me it’s not just PR who lets the tail wag the dog. Speaking of Ledyard analysis, he speaks highly… Read more »

fredster
19 days ago

Seems like he’s trying to boost RoJo’s confidence. Numbers don’t lie he’s stunk this year and the Dallas fumble was bad. Dude is one trick pony and like others said he makes you predictable and one dimensional. Time to move on next year and draft a RB. Vaughn is not the answer either imo. Time will tell.

Eddie
Reply to  fredster
19 days ago

Or trying to pump up his value for a trade

gg720
19 days ago

Gio is our best option for running back this season just because of his ability catching the ball and gaining yardage compared to Fournette or Jones! Leftwich is favoring Forunette and Jones will never get a real chance to show something with 5 to 10 carries a game. Not to impressed with our offensive play calling to begin with.

Eddie
Reply to  gg720
19 days ago

Gio needed to be there due to AB’s absence. And the offense has not used to working with a play catching RB yet. Just looked at how Brady and James White worked together back in NE. They were very effective and had lousy receivers other than Edelman.

surferdudes
19 days ago

Bucs need to get more creative in the running game no matter who the back is. Not only do they know Rojo is going to run the ball they know right where he’s going to run it, up the middle. Do some pulling, misdirection, zone run, not just hand off up the middle.

DT25
19 days ago

The double standards in coverage on RoJo are starting to become painfully obvious. Stats were not great but he ran hard against a defense that played the run well all game. He played ONE series due to game script yet gets an entire article telling us how bad he was? In one series. Meanwhile he picked up a blitz on that drive which led to a 1st down. Not a word has been spoken about it. Gio whiffed on a blitz later in the game and got Brady sacked. Not a word has been spoken about it.

Eddie
Reply to  DT25
19 days ago

Gio did not whiff, he got blown up!

Ron Potter
Reply to  Eddie
19 days ago

Still not a good look on Gio or the bandwagon Gio fans.

drdneast
19 days ago

What did RoJo ever do to you.

eaustinyoung
Reply to  drdneast
19 days ago

Literally never live up to his hype at any point in his career so far. Kind of a big one.

DT25
Reply to  eaustinyoung
19 days ago

Lol what hype? He started his career as a backup. He worked his way into averaging over 5 YPC last year. There’s no hype from anyone. He’s been a solid pure RB, that’s it. He’s literally never been hyped as anything else. But claiming 5+ ypc isn’t “living up” to anything is just dumb. He is what he is, yet for some weird reason Bucs fans and media are hellbent on making him something…less? It’s a really fucking weird thing to tear down a guy by ignoring what he does well by acting like there’s anyone defending him being a… Read more »

Ron Potter
Reply to  eaustinyoung
19 days ago

Hype? Did you watch the games last season and how we got to the post-season? RoJo played a big part in that.

cashmherecf
19 days ago

I’ve been a long-time reader of this site and never used to comment, but it’s absolutely insane how much scapegoating there is for RoJo right now. Reading this makes Jon seem just as out-of-touch as any other national pundit that would only look at the box scores and not watch Bucs games in years past. Yes, RoJo’s been disappointing this year statistically. But his miscues are being overblown a bit. Fournette hasn’t been that much better considering he’s taken the bulk of the snaps, and Bernard got blown up on a blitz pickup and it seems like only few recall… Read more »

scubog
19 days ago

I’m sure not going to judge any of our RB’s statistically below average performances these past three games since the overall running game has been an afterthought. I know this much. Each of the backs has had a lot of success in the past. Seems to me the game plans have been focused on taking advantage of our strength in the passing game more so than a reluctance to run the ball because the coaches think the group of RB’s is sub-par. It’s compounded when the opponents have had success moving the ball and scoring with quick passes and seldom… Read more »

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