Around the NFL  

 

Spytek: Ronald Jones adds new dimension to Bucs O

Print

Now that former All-Pro tailback Doug Martin is in Oakland, the Buccaneers are counting on second-round draft pick Ronald Jones to lead their backfield in 2018.

Whereas Martin earned the Muscle Hamster moniker for his compact, tackle-breaking style, Jones relies more on speed and explosiveness.

Jones' playmaking ability gives him an edge on the competition that includes holdovers Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims. In fact, director of player personnel John Spytek noted that Jones' skill set is different than that of any back the Bucs have utilized in recent years.

"Just excited about the dimension he adds to our offense," Spytek told Good Morning Football on Monday. "I don't think it's something we've had here since I've been down here in Tampa."

Jones enjoyed a stellar 2017 season, rushing for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns while finishing third among draft-eligible backs in forced missed tackles. A former track star at USC, he's drawn comparisons to big-play backs such as former Chiefs star Jamaal Charles and speedy Falcons standout Tevin Coleman.

Although the Buccaneers' offense struggled with turnovers and red-zone conversions last season, they ranked ahead of high-powered attacks such as the Rams and Eagles in yards per drive and Football Outsiders' Drive Success Rate. With Jones in line for a prominent role alongside a talented young nucleus, fourth-year quarterback Jameis Winston should be a popular pick for a long-awaited breakout campaign.

Print