Last week we got a chance to hear from some of the Buccaneers assistant coaches for the first time since the 2017 season really came to a close and the swing of the 2018 season had officially begun.

One of the topics that Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken touched on was the situation around his team’s running back depth chart, specifically, whether or not the most efficient running back on the team in 2017, Peyton Barber, would get a vote of confidence from his staff to potentially be the starter going into 2018.

After drafting running back Ronald Jones II in the second round of this year’s draft, the team certainly isn’t just going to come out and say that Barber will be the starter getting the first handoff in Week 1 no matter what — they’re hoping that Jones not only pushes for that spot, but pushes Barber and the rest of the team, in turn, as well. However, though he wasn’t crowned No. 1 on the depth chart after that question, it’s clear that they believe Barber can set the tone for a drive when citing yards after contact like that.

Later in the day running backs coach Tim Spencer also touched on Barber as a player and what kind of impact he could have for the Buccaneers in 2018.

Barber finished the 2017 season with 423 rushing yards and a healthy 3.9 yards-per-carry average with three touchdowns in 2017. He also recorded the Bucs longest rushing touchdown of the season, but that was just at two yards. The Bucs want to see that number be much higher in 2018, and though Barber will have a place, they’re hoping he and Jones compliment each other well enough to not just take carries, but elevate each other’s game and the offense overall. Gettin dynamic was the goal going into last season, and the Bucs offense, especially the running game, did not do that. Don’t expect that motto to go away until they achieve it.

Though they drafted Jones decently high, they believe in Barber’s impact towards becoming a dynamic football team.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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nybuccguy
nybuccguy
4 years ago

I see the two splitting snaps almost evenly, so I don’t think calling Barber or Jones the “starter” makes a big deal. They compliment each other well. Let’s just hope they stay healthy.

geno711
geno711
4 years ago

Barber possesses good running back vision as well as a great work ethic and character. He can be a solid piece for the team. I hope that as time goes on, we are looking at him as a complimentary runner to Jones’ dynamic running ability.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

I have made no bones about how much I like Barber
IMO if the coach had played him more at the start of the season it may have made a difference. I also like Jones.

gcolerick
gcolerick
4 years ago

To say our running game was uninspiring last year would be a total understatement but I do have high hopes for this year. While the addition of Ronald Jones has a lot of people hopeful (myself included) that we will make big strides with our running game this year, I believe the off-season addition of Ryan Jensen from the Ravens may have a bigger impact than any running back we drafted. Putting him at the center position and allowing Ali Marpet to move back to guard will make a huge impacts two fifths of our interior line. J. R. Sweezy’s… Read more »

BucWonder
BucWonder
4 years ago

I think Jones/Barber 2018 could be better than Martin/Sims 2015. A really good retooling of the backfield by Licht. Go Bucs!

drdneast
drdneast
4 years ago

What a luxury it is to have either back coming off the bench.
Last year Marcus Mariotta took the Titans to the playoffs behind a strong running attack and a solid defense.
He contributed to the cause by throwing more INT’s than TD’s. A fact not widely known or reported.
In his second playoff game, he literally stunk up the place against a good defense.
Winston, on the other hand had neither a good running game or even an average defense. He did manage to throw more TD’s than INT’s.

chefboho
chefboho
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

Unfortunately, a certain few on here only see Winston’s win/loss record because apparently it’s his fault his defense was literally the worst, no running game, a mediocre offensive line, and filed goal kickers who give games away. But yeah, it’s all jameis fault. Smdh

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

At least someone sees what is real and not looking through their biased glasses to prove an agenda. With even a mediocre running game, defense and place kicker, Jameis Winston would have been the winning QB in at least four more games last season. It’s a disgrace how bad our running game looked. Our opponent’s must have been laughing when preparing their defensive game plans. How do we stop Doug Martin? I can imagine the coaches going into a Bay City Plywood laugh dance.

plopes808
plopes808
4 years ago

“Starting” RBs really don’t exist much in the NFL now days. There are your rare bell cows but most teams are opting for the committee approach. Not only does it keep the legs fresh, but also guards against injury to your “starter” having a big impact on your offense.

I see these 2 splitting the carries with Barber specializing in the short yardage or goal line situations. They will both be interchangeable in any situation though and compliment each others’ styles nicely.

surferdudes
4 years ago

My worry is we don’t know how good Barber can be because Koetter insisted on using ineffective Martin, and Sims, what if he does the same with Jones? Koetter doesn’t seem to trust his rookie backs so what if he uses Sims, Barber, and Quizz instead of feeding the rock to Rojo? We’ve seen the success rookie backs can have, look no further then our division with Kamara. Jones should be the lead back from day one, with Barber getting the leftover carries. My fear is Koetter’s loyalty to his vets, and his worries over pass pro will keep Jones… Read more »

Charlie
Charlie
4 years ago

I think as long as both Barber and Jones both average 10-15 carries a game, they will be effective and so will the offense. Less passes for Jameis.

Suave
Suave
4 years ago

LMAO man that’s depressing to say our longest rushing TD of the year was 2 yards. 🙃