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Bucs journal: Arians impressed by strides made by Ronald Jones

New coach knows second-year back has tons of talent and he is seeing it on the practice field
MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians watches the offense run drills during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organized training activities on May 21, 2019 at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Florida.
MONICA HERNDON | Times Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians watches the offense run drills during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organized training activities on May 21, 2019 at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Florida.
Published May 21, 2019

TAMPA -- Tuesday marked only the fourth of 10 offseason training activities practices for the Bucs, but head coach Bruce Arians lauded the session as his team's most impressive so far.

“Probably our best practice speed-wise and execution-wise,” Arians said.

Arians’ model of having two practices fields going at once — one with first- and second-teamers and the other with those players getting third- and fourth-team reps — played out Tuesday in sweltering heat.

Some players such as receivers Bobo Wilson and Scotty Miller switched between the fields.

Arians spotlighted second-year running back Ronald Jones on Tuesday. Jones, last year’s second-round pick out of USC, averaged just 1.9 yards per carry in limited playing time in a disappointing 2018 rookie campaign.

"Some really young players really stepped up, especially Ronald Jones," Arians said. "He had a really good day today. I really enjoy watching where he's at right now in the backfield."

While there's only so much can be taken from evaluating running backs when practicing without pads, Arians said Jones has stood out.

"We can still see his vision," Arians said. "RoJo made a couple of really nice cutbacks today. We don't run a ball a lot in these periods. Maybe we had nine running plays today, but he took full advantage of his, that's for sure. "

Still, there will be lots of backfield competition behind starting running back Peyton Barber. Second-year player Shaun Wilson has shown some flash this spring, Arians said free-agent addition Andre Ellington — who played for Arians in Arizona — finally appears healthy, and rookie free-agent Bruce Anderson will have the opportunity to create a niche for himself.

Injury report

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman didn't participate in Tuesday's practice because of a shoulder injury he sustained while making a diving catch in a practice last week. Arians said he expects the receiver back next week.

Perriman has battled lost of injuries in the past. A knee injury cost him his entire first year and nagged him early in his second and he’s had hamstring and concussion issues.

Second-year receiver Justin Watson took first-team reps on the outside in Perriman’s absence with Chris Godwin continuing to work in the slot.

Center Ryan Jensen also missed Tuesday with back tightness, giving Mike Liedtke first-team reps at center.

IndyCar Series drivers James Davison and Sebastien Bourdais visited Bucs practice on Tuesday and exchanged jerseys with defensive tackle Beau Allen and tight end Cameron Brate [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]

Need for speed

IndyCar Series drivers James Davison and Sebastien Bourdais visted Bucs practice on Tuesday and exchanged jerseys with defensive tackle Beau Allen and tight end Cameron Brate after the practice.

During the exchange, Allen jokingly asked Davison whether his moustache would play in IndyCar, and Davison deadpanned that it may be better for NASCAR.

Both drivers will run in Saturday's Indianapolis 500 -- the circuit's premiere race -- at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.


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