On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs introduced new running back Ronald Jones through a Zoom press conference with Kansas City media. The 24-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Chiefs on Saturday — and he described that his reasoning for choosing the Chiefs was simple.
“It came down to some teams, and in the end, I just wanted to be in a situation where I have the best chance to compete for that second ring and make my mark on the game.”
Spending the first four years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones has compiled 488 rushes for 2,174 yards (4.5 yards per attempt). That should fit well with the Chiefs’ new-look offensive line established in 2021.
“The young guys that they do have are the best in the league,” said Jones, likely referring to center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith. “And so that’s another thing — just looking for those opportunities, and we’re going to complement each other well.”
In addition to his downhill running, Jones should also offer the Chiefs a quick target in the passing game.
His yardage on the ground comes with 76 catches and 571 yards through the air. He has the skills to do both, something we know head coach Andy Reid likes as he builds out his offense.
“I think [my skills] fit very well,” said Jones. “Talking to coach [Eric Bieniemy] — just seeing the things they do with running backs, I think my skill set translates perfectly.”
After leading the Buccaneers in carries in 2019 (172) and 2020 (192), the team favored the elder Leonard Fournette in 2021; Jones had more than 100 fewer touches than in the previous season. But he seemed to believe that in Kansas City, there would be plenty of work to go around, despite Clyde Edwards-Helaire being ahead of him on the depth chart to at least begin the 2022 season.
“In Andy Reid’s system, everybody’s going to eat,” he said. “So excited to see my number get called and take it from there.”
Jones previously played for a familiar name to Chiefs fans — former running backs coach Deland McCullough, who spent 2018-20 in Kansas City before eventually landing at Notre Dame. McCullough coached Jones in at USC, where he played alongside now-Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster from 2015-16.
“JuJu, he’s a physical, great athlete, great in space,” described Jones. “I’m excited to get to work with him again, and we bring a lot of success wherever we go, so I’ll be anticipating that.
Jones accumulated more than 1,500 rushing yards in his one season (2017) under McCullough.
“Coach McCullough always told me — guys come here, they work, they get better,” added Jones. “The expectations are so high, so you can’t do anything but succeed, so that’s what I’m ready for. I’m ready for the challenge; I’m ready to put in the work.”
Jones should be used to lofty expectations, coming from the team that defeated the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. He spent last season helping to defend the Bucs’ Super Bowl title, and though they came up short in the Divisional Round to the eventual champion, the Los Angeles Rams, Jones comes to Kansas City with an understanding of the weight in being one of the top teams in the conference.
“When you’re at the top, there’s always a target on your back,” he said. ‘There’s no easy week in this league. It’s everybody else’s Super Bowl. Just going out there taking it week by week. I look forward to [those] new challenges ahead.”
The running back then finished his press conference with a message.
“Thank you for having me. Go Kingdom!”