A lot of rookies walk into the NFL like they’ve already arrived. In a sense, they have. However, many don’t realize how much more work they have ahead of them to not only make the team, but to earn the playing time they saw at the college level.
A lot of these guys have been catered to and fawned over since they were in high school. They were always the best of the best. Now, they will face athletes and football players that are every bit as elite - if not more so.
Ronald Jones II isn’t taking this opportunity for granted. Like anyone else, he’s excited to reach the pinnacle of America’s most popular sport. But now, he realizes the work that has to be put in to be talked about as someone who belongs in this league.
Jones spoke about some of the differences he’s noticed between the two games already and what he knows he has to work on to improve his game;
“Probably the responsibilities. You’ve got a lot dual-reads. You have to check three sides – backside, weakside – and college I was just primarily, it’s one-two and then I’m out. But [in the NFL] you have to do one, two, three, four, five, and then you get out. So it’s a lot more but I’m picking it up.
Just my details. Just knowing my whole overall assignment and just being out there playing fast. Not guessing because then you can play fast.”
There’s a lot riding on Jones’ performance this season and beyond. The first three weeks will be critical given that the Bucs will be playing with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.
In order for Koetter’s offense to run effectively there has to be a solid, reliable run game. They didn’t have that in Doug Martin last season and Ronald Jones is now the man responsible for revitalizing that part of the offense.