The Tampa Bay Buccaneers simply signed previous fourth overall draft pick Leonard Fournette, who was deferred by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, yet coach Bruce Arians said Ronald Jones is the team’s beginning running back and showed that veteran LeSean McCoy will even now possess a spot on the list.
“When you can get a player of that caliber — I got great reviews from people that know him and who have coached him — he’ll fit right in, and we’ll see what role happens and how fast it can happen,” Arians said Thursday of Fournette. “But RoJo’s our guy, Shady [McCoy] is ready for his role, so it’s just gonna be building roles as we go along and having enough quality players to finish this thing.”
At the point when gotten some information about how signing Fournette and McCoy could be viewed as a prosecution on Jones – especially in light of the fact that Jones’ hands are as yet a work in progress – Arians stated, “It’s his job. Nothing’s changed for him. We’ve just added a heck of a piece of insurance and [we’ll] see what kind of role he can cut out. But RoJo — it’s his job if he wins it or loses it. He’s already got it, so he’s gonna have to screw it up. I don’t see that happening.”
Arians said Fournette’s role is to be determined, but since of the position’s high propensity for wounds, the coach figured the team could make a move and carve out a role for Fournette later.
The Bucs will depend on their ground game to make play-activity opportunities for quarterback Tom Brady. They’ll additionally utilize running backs vigorously in the passing game – something Brady has done all through his career – and they see Fournette as a well-rounded player who can contribute on each of the three downs. (Jones generally observed activity on first and second down a year ago, in spite of the fact that Arians believes he has become more of a three-down back.)
With Fournette needed to go through a physical and pass three sequential days of COVID-19 testing, and the team having both Sunday and Monday off, the most punctual Fournette would have the option to practice would be Tuesday. Arians foresees that Fournette will meet with individuals from the coaching staff and partners once he passes COVID-19 testing and perhaps play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.
“I think right away,” Arians said. “He’s a very bright player, and everything I’ve heard from the guys coaching him [is] he’ll pick it up really quick. We’re not gonna force him — we don’t have to force him — so we’ll just let him get it at his pace. If I know him, he’ll be pretty fast-paced. So we’ll try to get him up to speed as fast as we can and see if he can have a role for next week.”
In three NFL seasons, Fournette was suspended once, deactivated for a game and saw an assurance in his agreement voided for battling. At the point when gotten some information about character concerns, Arians said he had none.
“Not afraid to give second chances, Arians said, “The people I trust gave him high, high marks in everything I care about. I can’t say what’s going on in Jacksonville, but all’s I can say is, [with] what’s happening in Tampa, he’ll fit right in.”
Bucs inside linebacker Devin White played with Fournette at LSU and credited him for preparing him as a pro. The two additionally made right when the Bucs confronted the Jaguars in Week 13 a year ago.
“He different. He can play in any system. He catch the ball, he can run the ball, he can get in between the tackles, he can play in space — we just getting a heck of a football player,” White said. “He a workload. I remember when we was game-planning – it was all about him. They got great players — D.J. Chark, a receiver who played for LSU plays for those guys — but our whole game plan [was] if we stop this guy, we win the football game, we’ve gotta get him to do different stuff, get him uncomfortable, we’ve gotta rally to the ball.”