Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones saw his team go 12-20 combined in his first two seasons and miss the playoffs each year, before ultimately going 11-5 and winning the Super Bowl this past season. Sure, it had a lot to do with Tom Brady, who has cemented his legacy as the GOAT. Tampa Bay’s offense, though, was absolutely stacked this year. Because of this, Jones recently sent out a strong message about the Buccaneers and put the entire NFL on notice.
Ronald Jones has become a successful NFL running back
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Ronald Jones in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft. He didn’t play much during his first season, though, and the Buccaneers were one of the worst teams in the NFL. Jones ran for 44 yards on 23 careers, and Tampa Bay went 5-11 and missed the playoffs.
Jones, however, then proved his potential during his second season, as he ran for 724 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. He also went from averaging 1.9 yards per carry to 4.2. As a team, Tampa still wasn’t great, but improved slightly in 2019, going 7-9.
However, Tom Brady then joined the Buccaneers in 2020, which helped them improve significantly and helped Jones have the best season of his career. Jones ran for 978 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games for the Buccaneers. He also had some pretty big performances, including a 192-yard game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10.
The Buccaneers, of course, also became one of the best teams in the NFL, as they went 11-5 and ultimately made the playoffs.
They didn’t just make the playoffs, though.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl
Tom Brady, Ronald Jones, Mike Evans, and all of the Buccaneers’ incredible offensive weapons helped lead them to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season in 2020. They then had a challenging game right off the bat, too, as the Washington Football Team played them tough in the wild-card round. The Buccaneers came out on top, though, winning 31-23.
Tampa then had an excellent divisional-round matchup against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. The Bucs, however, ended up winning 30-20 before playing NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game. Rodgers played well in that meeting, and the Packers gave the Buccaneers a tough game, but Tampa Bay ended up coming out on top, 31-26.
In the Super Bowl, many people expected the Buccaneers to lose since the Kansas City Chiefs were the reigning champions and had the most talented quarterback in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. However, the Buccaneers had arguably their easiest game of the postseason, as they won 31-9 to become Super Bowl champions. While many players played well for the Bucs — Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes — Ronald Jones played well, too, as he ran for 61 yards on only 12 carries, which equaled a 5.08 yards-per-carry average.
Now, as Jones and his teammates celebrate a Super Bowl win, he has a strong message about his team.
Ronald Jones sends a strong message to the NFL about the Buccaneers
One thing was clear about the Buccaneers’ offense this year: it was absolutely stacked. It had Tom Brady, Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski. This and the fact that the Buccaneers just won the Super Bowl led to Jones sending out a strong message about his team.
“B will tell you, we still haven’t played our best game as an offense,” Jones said on the Feb. 9 episode of The Pat McAfee Show. “That’s kind of scary when you look at the group of guys that we have and the pieces that are coming back. So, I just feel like we’re just getting started, honestly, because Brady’s not slowing down anytime soon, and neither are we. So, Tampa, we going to be here again.”
Well, that’s a bold statement, especially when the Buccaneers have a 43-year-old quarterback. However, if we have learned anything this year, it’s to never doubt Tom Brady. If Ronald Jones is right about Tampa not yet playing its best game offensively, we should all expect to see the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl yet again next season.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference