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Bruce Arians says Bucs don’t need star running back

Bruce Arians, Buccaneers

In recent seasons, it’s become increasingly popular to buy into the devaluation of the running back position. The length of their careers, the lack of relative consistency, and the ease with which you can find production at a low cost have all added to the argument that it doesn’t make sense to pay top dollar for a superstar running back.

While some teams (Giants, Rams, Jets, etc.) have pushed back against that notion of late, you can count Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians as a true believer.

I mean, I don’t overpay for that position. David Johnson (in Arizona) came in as a rookie, lit it on fire. You just got to find the right guys to fit what you want to do,” Arians said.

The Buccaneers look to be heading into the season with a backfield of Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones II, and a group of free agents off the street behind them. But Arians feels confident that they’ll do just fine with that unit.

“I like our backfield. I think it’s [an] ok backfield. There’s not a David Johnson or a Todd Gurley. But you don’t need one.”

It’s certainly possible the Buccaneers could get a whole lot more out of Jones this year than they did last, for example. He was an explosive second-round pick with high expectations in 2018, but he was inactive for much of the season and carried the ball only sparingly when he did play.

If he can’t, Arians obviously feels confident he can piece together enough of a rushing attack this season to at least be effective.