TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “The people that I really really trust gave him high high marks,” said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Bruce Arians. “He will fit right in.”
He is referring to the Buccaneers newest running back, Leonard Fournette.
Fournette, who was selected as the fourth overall pick in 2017, joins the Buccaneers from the Jaguars. He spent three seasons in Jacksonville rushing for more than 1,000 yards in two of those seasons. He also caught 76 passes for 522 yards last season.
“When a guy has interest and you have interest and it helps your football team,” explained Arians, “you are going to do it no matter what position he is.”
Although Arians has not spoken to him yet, he feels Fournette will be able to learn the offense quickly.
“I think right away because he is a very bright player,” he said. “We will just let him get it at his pace and, if I know him, he will be pretty fast paced.”
The addition of Fournette gives the Buccaneers five options at the running back position.
Ronald Jones, who has been referred to as “our guy” throughout training camp by Arians, is likely to get the most carriers to start the season.
“It is his job,” said Arians. “Nothing has changed for him. We just added a heck of a piece of insurance.”
Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy, who signed with the Buccaneers at the beginning of August, will be getting touches too. You could argue they have an advantage over Jones when it comes to catching the ball in the backfield.
Dare Ogunbowale and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, a rookie, complete the list.
When Arians was asked about the possibility of keeping five running backs on the 53-man roster, he provided a simple but inconclusive answer.
“Anything is possible. We will put all of that together in the next 48 hours,” said Arians, “but cutting day is always a very very tough time.”