Game On…with Rob Kriete

“Game on!” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s training camp translates to the official commencement of the Tom Brady era. After an ambitious offseason for the Bucs and General Manager Jason Licht, that not only included the addition of a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback but also a veteran running back in LeSean McCoy. Third-year Buccaneer’s running back, Ronald Jones II, recently met virtually with the media to discuss playing this season with these Tampa Bay newcomers with impressive resumes.

When the season begins, Tampa’s established ground game will help keep Mr. Brady on his feet and the field. By having a stock of productive backs, led by McCoy and Jones, establishing a solid running game is key to the Buccaneers offense. When talking about working with McCoy, Jones stated, “He’s been contributing, giving tips and pointers since Day 1 when he got here. You know his resume, you know what he’s done for this league and at the running back position, so [I’m] just learning from him day in and day out. It’s been great having him in there and being able to learn from him too.” A committee of running backs collaborating and working together is refreshing to hear, especially early in training camp.

Ronald Jones’ enthusiasm was also apparent when talking about working with Tom Brady. Jones detailed the veteran quarterback’s keen ability to put the ball seemingly wherever he chooses. Jones gushes, “For me, it’s exciting because you get more touches that way. I look forward to the challenge being more of a receiver this year and getting the ball in space, too. As a running back you can’t ask for much more, so that element, that part of it, is definitely more exciting and is something I worked on all offseason. So, I’ll be ready for that and when the time comes, hopefully I can double that number.”

It is hopeful and exciting to hear Jones speak about the team and opportunities for this upcoming season. When asked about what he needs to do to prepare for this season, Jones replied, “I say for now, just getting that chemistry with the [offensive] line and with Tom Brady as the quarterback. Since we won’t be having the preseason, that first drive is going to be flying bullets Week 1. I’m excited, we’re excited, but I think just getting the timing and stuff down – things like that – so when we go out there, things just flow.” For one, I cannot wait for all things NFL, and the Tampa Bay Bucs, to “flow!” The Bucs offense, dynamic the past several seasons, is looking to be more consistent with Tom Brady under center and an aggressive running game featuring Ronald Jones II. I think we are all looking forward to getting our NFL “Game on!” Be safe, everyone.