-This offseason, Bucs running back Ronald Jones turned himself into part "cheetah," part "gazelle," and part "shark," according to a new feature by Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne.
"He's never seen anything like this in his life," Dunne writes about Jones. "'I don't know how much better you can get,' Jones says.
We all know those names on the marquee. Who we don't know is the starting running back, the weapon Brady will be giving the ball to most this season, the quiet 23-year-old who asks to go by one simple, two-syllable moniker: 'RoJo.'
RoJo is the unknown. RoJo is the key to America's most fascinating football team."
The article details Jones' offseason training in Arizona, which is where he gets the aforementioned three animals. It also goes into Jones' hopes for this season and of course, working with the greatest quarterback of all time.
-Hey, there's a new episode of In the Current out...
-We got to hear largely from the defense today in media availability on Friday.
Arians has said throughout camp that he feels practices have been a good 'ebb and flow' on the two sides of the ball and that there hasn't been an outright winner between the offense and defense – even if the offense is garnering a lot of the attention.
"I don't think there's been a winner [on] either side – they've been competing extremely hard," said Arians. "It's a tough run defense, but we've run the ball [well] at times. I was not pleased with it a couple days ago. But again, our pass rush is good. It's been a great ebb and flow. Like I told the guys, in a real world we would've already played Pittsburgh, practiced against Tennessee and we'd be practicing against Jacksonville this [coming] week. But, we're still hitting each other and that gets really old, fast. Each guy knows each guys' moves and sometimes it gets to be counterproductive."
One of those guys who has continued to make great strides despite the perhaps, more repetitive nature of camp, has been defensive lineman Vita Vea. Entering his third year in the league, he's been working on the finer points of his game and it hasn't gone unnoticed by his coaches.
"I think you just hit the nail on the head when you say technician," Defensive Line Coach Kacy Rodgers said about the differences in Vea heading into this year. "You described all the physical attributes, now he has to just continue to become the ultimate professional and become an expert at his craft. [The] physical tools we have there, continue to work on his technique and take the challenge of being one of the biggest guys to play [on] third down in the NFL. Not many guys in the NFL over 340 pounds play on third down, so he's constantly perfecting his technique."
It's probably also helped that Vea is playing between two vets. He's got defensive lineman Will Gholston to one side, who is entering his eight year in the league and then an 11-year NFL vet in Ndamukong Suh on the other side. The former had a few things to say about the latter today, in fact.
"It's fascinating," Gholston said of Suh's work ethic. "It's amazing the stuff that he does, not just with his game play, but with his knowledge of the game that he has, playing with a tremendous amount of violence and being able to show us exactly how to do it. There are certain situations where I come to lean on him when I need to work on my techniques to see if he would do the same thing. I see the younger guys do the same thing. I think that's why they're so sped up to be rookies because they're not playing rookies right now in practice. The mental aspect, the physical aspect – he's an all-around good player and a good leader in the room."
Suh is leading a room that he sees continuing their success against the run into 2020, but knows that it won't happen without putting in the work.
"I think our strength will continue to be stopping the run, but we have to prove that each and every play. That starts up front with myself, Vita [Vea and] Will Gholston, as well as the linebackers, Lavonte [David] and Devin [White]. We have to set the tempo each and every day in practice and have that translate into particular games. Obviously, our young guys in the secondary – we've got some guys returning going on their second and third years and a little bit more – we expect for them to continue to play at a high level. They're also going to come into the run game, as well, because we saw how we were attacked. We're going to understand how to adjust to those particular pieces and how we can all help each other. The more they help us, the more we can help them, especially when it gets to the passing game. We know that Coach Bowles is obviously a guy that's not going to hold back by any means. We're going to pressure people, so we've got to be prepared [and] be on point. [We've got to] understand the way that the way to execute is knowing exactly what you need to do – as well as the man next to you – and being able to communicate and understand when you have changes so everyone is on the same page."