Hall Of Fame Chance For Charles Sims?July 3rd, 2014
The discussion of why Tampa Bay drafted rookie running back Charles Sims in the third round is one that might last a while. Simply outlined, the Bucs had strong running backs depth before the pick, and selecting a back that early — in a position that has been greatly devalued in the draft — was an eyebrow-raiser.
There’s even been heated debate of the motives at JoeBucsFan.com headquarters.
Three important things are known.
1) General manager Jason Licht says every last key staff member at One Buc Palace was on board, happy and pleased by the successful targeting of Sims, and every other offseason move.
2) Licht also has stressed “value” repeatedly, how he’s a running a value driven personnel operation.
3) Doug Martin is a great talent, and he was healthy and the No. 1 running back through all spring practices and minicamps.
As Joe’s written previously, Joe believes Sims was brought on board to limit Martin’s carries and preserve his career. However, many other running backs could have filled that role, guys off the street, guys on the roster, or a much later draft pick. The third round was an awfully high pick to be a backup running back in an offense that was — and is — desperate for more offensive line talent.
So why the relatively huge investment in Sims?
Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud hopped on SiriusXM NFL Radio recently for chat with weekend host Howard David, who’s called many NFL games during long career.
David thinks Sims has Hall of Fame talent in his body and the Bucs were big winners in the third round. Stroud agreed.
“I think they got themselves a steal here. I don’t want to give him the bust into Canton just yet, but I think he’s got a chance,” David said.
Stroud was all-in with that take.
“He has a real chance. And you know Spencer Tillman, the guy that’s the Bucs running backs coach, you know, he kind of found Matt Forte, as well,” Stroud said.
“You bring in a new coaching staff, and they just wanted something a little different. This guy’s 6 foot. I mean, he’s a bigger back, but he’s so versatile. I mean, he’ll play as much slot receiver, maybe, as he will at the running back position. But he’s still got plenty of ability to run the football. So It’s rare to find guys who are natural catchers of the football out of the backfield.”
Stroud went on to say his analysis of Jeff Tedford’s offense at “Cal” leaves him to believe Sims is the ideal fit for the Bucs offense.
So where does that leave Martin? Frankly, it leaves Martin exactly in the situation he should be in — serving as the No. 1 back with a talented young guy breathing down his neck for carries.
Sims, for sure, will get a massive load of work in preseason. Joe wants to see what that looks like before using “Canton” and “Sims” in the same conversation.