Bruce Arians: Ronald Jones Still Bucs Starter
Every Ronald Jones fantasy owner threw their cell phone across the table after they read the news: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Leonard Fournette. It was hard not to blame them for doing so. BUT… NOT SO FAST? Bruce Arians made a shocking revelation when it came to who gets the starting nod. Fournette will have to earn playing time.
Arians made it clear that Ronald Jones is still the guy. A move I’m not sure anybody saw coming:
“When you can get a player of that caliber — I got great reviews from people that know him and who have coached him — he’ll fit right in, and we’ll see what role happens and how fast it can happen,” Arians said Thursday of Fournette. “But RoJo’s our guy, Shady [McCoy] is ready for his role, so it’s just gonna be building roles as we go along and having enough quality players to finish this thing.”
“It’s his job. Nothing’s changed for him. We’ve just added a heck of a piece of insurance and [we’ll] see what kind of role he can cut out. But RoJo — it’s his job if he wins it or loses it. He’s already got it, so he’s gonna have to screw it up. I don’t see that happening.”
In the past, Arians spoke highly about the man they call Rojo. Even before adding Fournette, the Tampa brass made it clear Jones is the guy. Even after adding a player like Fournette, that has not changed. We’re in coach mode right now, so maybe this is all smoke. Time will tell.
There was one line in that statement I found the most interesting. I assumed that after adding Fournette, it meant LeSean McCoy was going to get released. That does not appear to be the case. “Shady is ready for his role.” Does that mean KeShawn Vaughn is just going to be a special teams guy as a rookie? Is Dare Ogunbowale getting cut?