Although Ronald Jones II hasn’t played in an NFL game yet, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers second round pick is very disappointed with the projected win total for the Bucs.
Current betting sites have the Buccaneers over/under win total at 6.5 games on the heels of the NFL’s three-game suspension of star quarterback Jameis Winston. Despite the suspension of Winston and the fact the Bucs begin the season travelling to NFC South champion New Orleans and hosting Super Bowl champion Philadelphia and AFC North champion Pittsburgh, Jones doesn’t get the low win predictions surrounding his team.
“I think that’s a little messed up that they aren’t predicting us to win many games because we got some new talented players, and I’m looking for our win total to improve,” Jones said at his summer camp. “Pressure makes diamonds and obviously we are still in the learning process, but I am expecting myself and a lot of the young guys to help turn things around.”
After rushing for 1,550 yards and 19 TDs as a junior at USC last season, Jones the 38th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, will be leaned on heavily this season to help a Bucs offense which consistently struggled in 2017. Tampa Bay could very easily give Jones even more touches than anticipated to help generate offense in the first three-games of the season.
Along with others in the Buccaneers organization, Jones would love if Winston was around to run the show from the first game of his career. But, unlike many Bucs fans, Jones is just as confident in the fact that backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can hold down the fort while the troubled Winston is away from the team.
“I’m looking forward to running with Fitzpatrick as I run with him at practice when I run with the 1s and 2s,” Jones said. “I’m just looking forward to making plays regardless of who the quarterback under the center is, but obviously we need our captain and lead signal caller back. It’s really not that big of difference between the two because at the end of the day everyone is a pro and is working to make strides to help us win games regardless of one position.”
With an offense full of talented playmakers such as the wide receiver tandem of Mike Evans and Desean Jackson along with productive tight end Cameron Brate, Jones knows he has a big pool of teammates to learn from.
Though he’s only been through a few OTA practices with his new team, Jones feels very strongly about the talent of one of his offensive teammates.
“Mike Evans, to me, is a top three receiver in the league and I’ve been very impressed with how hard he works and how good he is,” Jones said. “In practice, [Evans] catches every ball thrown his way and he often busts loose for big plays. He also even takes time to help us run routes and get better which only makes us better.”
With the Winston imbroglio in full effect and a talented rookie class on board, whether the Bucs can match or reach the over on their 6.5 game win total will be an interesting story line to watch all season long no matter where your money is at.
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