The Bucs Training Camp Diaries are an annual feature on and we have two gems this year in veteran nose tackle Beau Allen, who will give readers insight into the Bucs defense during training camp and the preseason, and rookie running back Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay’s second-round pick, who will offer his perspective on the offensive side of the ball.

Jones is battling Peyton Barber for the right to become a starter during his rookie season. With breakaway speed and electric acceleration, Jones brings a different dimension that Tampa Bay’s offense has lacked for quite some time. Because both Barber and Jones will play in the Bucs’ “Bash and Dash” backfield, the rookie from USC will need to prove in camp and the preseason that he’s mastered the playbook and can handle a sizeable workload during the regular season. In his three years with the Trojans, Jones rushed for 3,619 yards and 39 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. During his junior year, Jones had a breakout season, rushing for a career-high 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry.

The biggest area in which Jones needs to grow is in the passing game. The USC product had just 32 catches for 302 yards and three touchdowns in his three years with the Trojans. Jones had a career-high 14 catches for 187 yards and one touchdown as a junior, but clearly needs more work as a receiver and pass protector because he wasn’t asked to play a large role in the passing game while at USC. That will be a big point of emphasis for Jones in August.

Hand Are The Biggest Thing I’m Working On
As told to Mark Cook

Playing and traveling with the team to my first NFL game in Miami, it was good, you know, it was similar to college. Team meeting, walk through, all that stuff, so that was good. The following week in Tennessee was a little bit different because we had the joint practice, so we didn’t have a locker room and things like that but it was good competition going against those guys and then playing in the game. I’m just trying to get better.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs RB Ronald Jones – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

As far as Thursday against Tennessee in the joint practices, it was reported that I had a fumble. It wasn’t a fumble, it was just a toss (I mishandled). Well, I guess it is a fumble, but we let the defense have those in practice. But, that’s on me. I’ve just got to secure it and then sometimes my track is too wide, so the quarterback ends up stretching it. That is something we identify on film, as far as my track, and then we work on correcting it the next time we are on the field. Just easy stuff that I could fix easily. It’s part of being a rookie – just working on my track and my angle point and then attacking the line of scrimmage.

In the Miami game I was able to score a touchdown, but I’m still waiting on the regular season games so touchdowns count. It was good to get that confidence going and get the chemistry with the offensive line and all of that so the coaches can have some confidence in me going forward.

In Tennessee there were some USC guys like Adoreé Jackson (Titans first round pick No. 18 overall). I got to talk to him after the joint practices and after the game. And then my other boy, Deontay Burnett, a receiver, and then Nico Falah, a lineman. So I got to talk to those guys. They, like me, say everything is way different from college, but we’re grateful and blessed to be here in the NFL and want to make the most of it.

My roommate wide receiver Justin Watson, he balled out in the Tennessee game. I told him, because he got on me in Miami after I scored for no touchdown dance, and then you know he scores and doesn’t do one either! He said he was just too hyped, but we’re working on getting right and getting some touchdown dances going!

Bucs RB Ronald Jones - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs RB Ronald Jones – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

This week’s game against the Lions, there’s more game planning this week, so we won’t just be running things that we were running in practice against Tennessee, so we’ll actually have a game plan I guess.

But this week in practice I’m thinking my hands are the biggest thing I’m working on. I spent 20 minutes after practice (catching passes from the coaches) then caught a bunch of balls from the machine today. It is something I am working on improving when I get a chance. I know the production in the running game will come, too.

Follow Bucs rookie running back Ronald Jones on Twitter at @RoJo

The next RoJo Bucs Training Camp Diary will be posted in a few days as well as regular Beau Allen Bucs Training Camp Diaries. Be sure to visit multiple times throughout the day during training camp for new stories and updates from practice live from One Buccaneer Place, and follow us on Twitter at @PewterReport.


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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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3 years ago

Give it time you’re going to be fine. Thank you for writing your Diary.

3 years ago

Glad to see he is working on his hands. Maybe with a better game plan against Det, we will see the real RoJo!