Bucs’ Jones remains the team’s starting runner

by Gary Shelton on December 5, 2019

in general

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Ronald Jones is still the Bucs' starter./TIM WIRT

He backslid a little bit, but Ronald Jones is no longer running in place.

"He's still my guy," says Bucs' coach Bruce Arians.

Jones was benched against Jacksonville Sunday for missing a blitz pickup, finishing the day with only eight yards on six carries. To some, it might have been reminiscent of his 44-yard rookie season.

Arians, however, continued to support Jones in his Wednesday press conference, saying he was still the Bucs' starter.

"I don't sugar-coat it," Arians said. "I'm just honest. He's been great. I just reaffirmed that he's our starter. We're in the playoffs now. He's my guy. We can't have that or you'll be standing next to me."

Quarterback James Winston said he supported Jones.

“Like I say every week, we all make mistakes," Winston said. "We are going to continue to get better. We’re always going to build on the positives and eliminate the negatives. That just comes with me and him working [and] comes with him putting in extra time after practice. But he has been an excellent player for us this year, so we just want to keep his confidence [high]. He’ll keep on doing what he does and we are going to fix that collectively because everyone has their hand in that. It’s not just on him

"He'll be fine. He's a baller.”

The Bucs, after winning two road games, are home this week against the Indianapolis Colts.

Winston had a no-interception day Sunday, in which Breshad Perriman and O.J. Howard were his leading receivers.

“It’s always good when everyone is getting a chance to stick their hand in the pie," Winston said. "Breshad had an excellent game. O.J. – we’ve been waiting for O.J. to have a big game. The opportunity presented itself [and] both of them showed up and showed out. But those are the type of players that they are. The more that we can get more people the football and keep balance – whether it’s running the football, whether it’s throwing the football to different guys, it keeps the defense on their toes and it helps our offense overall.”

Winston said the Bucs could close out the game better.

“I think we all can just finish better. We always talk about stepping on their throat [and] making sure that we ice this game away. I think the defense did a pretty good job of doing that and we know. Every week, we go into ‘What have we got to get better on?’, so now, we’ve got a lead, so we’ve got to finish.”

Sunday's game is at Raymond James Stadium. It begins at 1 p.m.

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