Tampa Bay has their work cut out for them if they want to make the playoffs in 2018. Dirk Koetter and company must answer these five questions.
To put it mildly, the Buccaneers have suffered through a tumultuous offseason. The issues surrounding Jameis Winston have provided more drama than they can handle in Tampa Bay. Fortunately for Buccaneers fans, the actual season is coming soon.
Of course, the team will have to play their first three games without Winston at quarterback. He won’t be eligible to return until Week 4 after violating the league’s conduct policy. Winston’s off the field issues have put his teammates in a very tough position to open the year.
Despite all of the attention paid to the quarterback position, Tampa Bay have quite a few other questions to answer about their roster. We’ll examine the top five questions here. We start by taking a look at the Buccaneers’ ground game.
5. How much will Ronald Jones produce as a rookie?
With all due respect to Jacquizz Rodgers, it’s inevitable that Jones is going to take over the starting running back position this season. Rodgers is a nice change of pace, but Jones is the sort of running back you can build your ground game around.
That’s precisely why the Buccaneers spent a second round pick on Jones despite having plenty of other needs on the roster to address. The coaching staff understands they need to have balance on offense to be successful. That means Jones has to be a productive player starting in Week 1.
Jones has plenty of long-term potential, but it’s difficult to produce as a rookie in the NFL. Some running backs make the transition look easy, while some take a season or two to really adjust to the pro game.
Jones doesn’t have that luxury. He’ll be given the ball early and often by this offense. If he can have a big season, a surprise playoff berth might be possible. If he can’t, the Bucs may really struggle to put points on the board.