Bucs RB coach doesn’t mince words discussing Ronald Jones’ shortcomings

By Jesse Reed

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Ronald Jones II out of USC in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, hoping he could become an instant-impact player.

So far, that hasn’t happened. In fact, Jones has been one of the most disappointing players in the league this preseason.

Jones has averaged less than a yard per carry, and even more frustrating, he’s dropped both passes that headed his way in the team’s first two preseason games. Speaking about this, Buccaneers running back coach Tim Spencer didn’t mince any words.

“In college, there was probably a reason why he was only thrown the ball 17 times,” Spencer said, per Jenna Laine of ESPN. “But I think he’s worked on his game, he’s worked on his hands, his eyes. To me, [the thing] I see with him, is eye-hand coordination and following the ball, concentrating and believing you can get the job done.”

So far, that’s been far easier said than done. But it’s something the Bucs are hoping Jones can figure out, sooner rather than later.

“He’s never going to be the best catching guy on the team, but he certainly can improve on catching the balls that we want to throw to him — especially the routes that we have,” said Spencer. “With his speed, we need him to be able to catch the balls down the field.”

It’s been a frustrating summer for top rookie running backs.

Jones’ issues with catching the ball, along with his struggles around the line of scrimmage in the run game, are ones he’ll have to fix quickly. If he continues to have issues, then it’s likely the Bucs will have to turn to other players who can be consistent come game day.