Don’t Rule Out Koetter’s Love Of His RBsFebruary 12th, 2017
A lot of Bucs fans might not want to read this, but it has to be written.
Legions of fans are clamoring for a shiny new highly-drafted electric rookie running back to be added to the Tampa Bay stable.
There’s a good chance that won’t happen, in part because Dirk Koetter is very pleased with his current crew.
First, there is no bigger Charles Sims fan than Koetter. The head coach has made that clear on many occasions. Sims was dynamite in 2015, and then was a game-changer in two of the Bucs’ first three games of the season. His touchdown against the Falcons on opening day is still amazing no matter how many times you watch it.
Sims lost half the season with a knee injury but returned.
Don’t mistake this as a Joe endorsement. The point is Koetter adores and appreciates Sims, who is entering a contract year.
Remember Koetter’s handshake agreement with Jacquizz Rodgers right after the season ended? That was no joke. And Koetter loved Rodgers so much he made him the inspirational focal point of the locker room in midseason.
And then there’s undrafted 2016 rookie Peyton Barber. On more than one occasion, Koetter praised his positive runs and said the team needed to get him more touches.
Barber found a way to have more yards per carry than Doug Martin, even if you subtract Barber’s 44-yard touchdown run against San Francisco (and why the hell would you do that)?
There was a telling moment during the season on the Buccaneers Radio Network. General manager Jason Licht chatted with iconic play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff about Barber. Deckerhoff praised Licht for finding this hidden gem of a back. Licht coyly and humbly responded saying that Barber wasn’t hidden at all. He ran for 1000+ yards in the SEC in 2015. (Barber had 238 carries for 1,017 yards and 12 touchdowns for Auburn.)
What Koetter things of Barber after thorough offseason evaluation is a big X-factor when it comes to the Bucs’ running back position.
The point here is there is a chance the Bucs do nothing at running back other than keep the backs noted above and select one on the third day of the NFL Draft, when many standout backs are taken.
Joe’s simply preparing fans who are confident the Bucs will make a massive investment at the position.