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Ronald Jones II comments on friendly competition to ‘keep the edge’ in the Bucs running game

Bucs backfield focusing on battling opponents, while competing internally

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ronald Jones II was the main man entering the 2020 NFL Season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A true RB1 for the team he was once on a ‘bust’ path with.

Then came Leonard Fournette. After being released from the Jacksonville Jaguars, the man labeled a ‘cancer’, ‘troubling’, or just not known for playing well with others, was headed to Tampa Bay.

Just like that, Rojo was back to being the second guy in conversations, in a lot of fantasy football drafts, and in touches during the early part of the season.

Just like any football season though, there are highs and lows and an injury suffered by Fournette opened the door for Jones to rip off three straight 100-yard rushing performances. Boom, Rojo was at the top again.

Or was he?

All season long there’s been a ‘hot hand’ back and forth between Jones and Fournette. At the end of the day the coaching staff, roster, and most fans will tell you they don’t care who out touches who or which back gets more yards as long as the team is winning.

Well, unless you have fantasy football implications involved.

In the postseason, it’s been the Fournette show as ‘Playoff Lenny’ has emerged as a big-time contributor both on the ground and as a pass blocker. For example, the big touchdown strike to Scotty Miller against the Green Bay Packers doesn’t happen if not for Fournette’s quick thinking in pass protection. Something Brian Baldinger outlined on his ‘Baldy’s Breakdowns’ segment.

With all the back-and-forth you might expect a bit of an internal rivalry. Something Bucs Nation’s James Yarcho wondered about during Super Bowl LV media sessions when he asked Jones if there was an internal battle or if the two were just cheering each other on when they each have their opportunities.

“A little bit of both you know, definitely,” Said Jones. “So, yeah, we’ll say like, ‘Who’s going to get the most yards tonight?’, things like that. Little things like that keep the edge going, keep the rush going.”

It’s good to know the two backs are competing - while supporting - each other internally as they look to each provides a spark and big play or two for their Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

To beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Bucs will need all hands on deck for sure, and we now know at least two of those skill position players are going to get after it, and help each other be as successful as possible.