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Ronald Jones ready to put disappointing season in past

The rookie season of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones was a forgettable experience.

"Last year, it was definitely disappointing for me for myself and from a team standpoint," Jones said during minicamp, via the Tampa Bay Times. "Definitely, for me, it's about getting on the right track. We have a new system, a new staff, we're trying to make our mark in here."

A second-round pick, Jones struggled to get on the field and didn't impress when given a chance. The running back was a healthy scratch for the first three weeks of the season. He then dealt with a hamstring issue later in the season. In all, Jones participated in just nine games and wasn't remarkable when he got the ball. The 21-year-old compiled 23 carries for only 44 yards, a ghastly 1.9 yards per tote, with one TD. The back also struggled as a pass-catcher, hauling in seven balls for 33 yards.

After compiling just 77 scrimmage yards all last year, Jones has a fresh start in a new offense under Bruce Arians. Running backs coach Todd McNair said Jones looks like a different player than the one who struggled last season.

"He was drafted where he was drafted for a reason," McNair said. "He's got a wealth of talent. Our goal is to take the anxiety away from him, take the expectations off him. Let just focus and make this thing small. And it seems to be paying off. He's working hard, and he's going to keep working hard."

The Bucs did little to upgrade their running backs room this year leaving Peyton Barber and Jones as the projected top runners. Jones should get every opportunity early in the season to prove he's put a disappointing rookie season in the past and is prepared to move forward.

"The offense is a lot more free," Jones said. "I think we're able to play within ourselves and be ourselves. I like it a lot. For me, it's fun. They're all great coaches, but I think just for me, I'm starting to put all the verbiage and everything together.

"I'm definitely ready and I can't wait to get the most of those opportunities, but I've just got to show them that I can be a dependable player and they can count on me in critical situations."

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