Noah Spence and Ronald Jones have two things in common right now outside of being teammates. They’re both previous second-round draft picks by Jason Licht for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they’ve both been labeled busts.
Now, how fair it is to label players with so much career potentially ahead of them is a discussion for a later day - or maybe a podcast episode.
However, the conversation about whether or not these two young Bucs who once stirred so much excitement with the fan base can get things back on track under new head coach, Bruce Arians.
Licht commented on both guys while at the scouting combine this week, saying about Jones,
“I think Ronald needs a confidence boost. And I think he’s going to get that, well I know he’s going to get that. Todd McNair is extremely excited about working with him. And Bruce Arians is as well, as well as Byron....Nobody has given up on Ronald Jones. I expect Ronald Jones to have a big jump this year.”
Asked about defensive line evaluations (specifically undersized 4-3 defensive ends) for the upcoming draft, Licht took the opportunity to comment about Spence who found himself on the outside looking in with the Buccaneers in 2018.
“This scheme allows those guys to make plays and to fit into a role whether it’s first and second down or rushing the passer. So, guys like Noah Spence might have new life in this scheme.”
Scheming for talent instead of coaching for scheme has been the theme of hiring Bruce Arians and his staff, and has remained the theme since.
With known talents like Jones and Spence having underperformed recently, it’s encouraging to hear Licht talking openly about his expectations for both of them under the tutelage of this new staff.
Continue coming back to Bucs Nation as we continue to cover the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.