Buccaneers: How LeSean McCoy’s signing affects Tampa Bay’s backfield

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

What does McCoy’s addition mean for Tampa Bay’s backfield?

Just a season ago, the Buccaneers deployed a backfield of Peyton Barber, Jones, and Ogunbowale. But with Barber no longer in the mix, it appears that Jones will be the starter in 2020.

Even though he struggled in pass protection, which is a no-no for Arians, Jones showed the most explosiveness among Tampa Bay’s running backs in 2019. Despite sharing touches with multiple guys last year, Jones finished with 1,033 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns.

And with Tom Brady now under center, Jones is seemingly a perfect fit for what the Buccaneers are looking for at the running back position. The former second-round pick out of USC averaged 9.4 yards after the catch per reception (fourth-best among RBs in 2019). So what does McCoy’s addition do for Jones?

In all likeliness, barring injury, McCoy’s arrival likely won’t affect Jones’ role with the team much. If anything, McCoy’s signing was made due to the uncertainty surrounding Vaughn’s status in his rookie season. Heading into training camp, Vaughn has already been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list.

The Buccaneers drafted Vaughn in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, with the shortened offseason, Vaughn may not see much playing time. Until he proves he has a steady grasp of the offense, Vaughn may be watching idly from the sidelines. Provided that, McCoy could see some time as the No. 2 back to start the 2020 season.

Last season, McCoy would start in nine games for the Chiefs, rushing for 465 yards and four touchdowns. He would be the second-leading rusher for Kansas City, behind Damien Williams.

McCoy, who turned 32 in July, showed he wasn’t the dynamic player he once was. As a result, the Chiefs made him a healthy scratch in the team’s Super Bowl win back in February. Is that the sign of a running back that is going to see the most snaps for the Buccaneers? Absolutely not.

In conclusion, the pecking order of Tampa Bay’s running backs seems to be Jones, McCoy, Vaughn, then Ogunbowale as of this moment. Of course, that could be subject to change if something drastic happens. At the least, if you’re someone that confidently took Jones in fantasy football drafts, you shouldn’t be nervous about McCoy’s addition. On the other hand, the same can’t be said for Vaughn and Ogunbowale.