Who Goes?May 15th, 2014
Now Joe was dragged through the mud a few weeks ago when he wondered aloud just how secure Doug Martin is with Lovie Smith. Joe loves Martin but running backs are a dime a dozen and, Joe thought, maybe, Martin might be used to obtain draft picks in a trade last week or next year.
Of course, nothing happened last week.
But now a national reporter with close ties to the Bucs is also debating Martin’s job security.
This scribe’s name is Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. He thinks the Bucs have too many running backs and one of the five will not be on the Bucs roster come September.
Newly drafted running back Charles Sims is pretty much a lock, however.
The Bucs already had Doug Martin, Mike James, Bobby Rainey and Jeff Demps on the roster, so this was hardly a position of need. It makes me wonder if the coaching staff isn’t high on Martin. After an outstanding rookie year, Martin struggled catching passes out of the backfield before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury last season.
In new coordinator Jeff Tedford’s offense, it’s very important for the running backs to catch passes, and that’s what Sims does best. I don’t know if Sims is ready to challenge Martin for the starting job. But I can easily see a scenario where Sims is used as a third-down and change-of-pace back.
Or a slot receiver, which both coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht confessed is a possibility for Sims over the weekend.
It stands to reason Demps could stick around only because of his blazing speed. Now at the combine back in February, Lovie told Joe he likes what Bobby Rainey brings to the table and that Martin will be his bellcow. Lovie doesn’t talk a whole lot about Mike James. Would James be the odd man out?
Of course, Lovie also talked about how Darrelle Revis can play on his defense and that mattress-in-the-yard Mike Williams would not be jettisoned for taking a blade to the thigh.
The team narrative of Mike Glennon is Joe Namath will take a bit longer to play out than the eventual sorting out of the crowded running backs house.