The Bucs’ Running BacksJuly 6th, 2014
On paper, Joe is damn impressed with the Bucs’ stable of running backs. If there is a deeper position on the team than running backs, then, please, tip Joe off.
From the Muscle Hamster himself, Doug Martin, to Bobby Rainey to Mike James to highly touted rookie Charles Sims to an Olympic track star in Jeff Demps, that’s a pretty damned talented and versatile backfield.
So it surprised Joe when he read the words typed by Buccaneers.com multimedia maven Scott Smith, who seems lukewarm on the potential of the Bucs backfield. Smith was asked if the Bucs running backs are a top-five group in the NFL.
In terms of depth, I think you have to give it to San Francisco, which still has Frank Gore in the lead, a very capable backup in Kendall Hunter (4.6 career per-carry average) and the talented Marcus Lattimore returning from his pre-draft injury. To that group, you add Carlos Hyde, a highly-regarded draft pick, and you probably don’t even have room for LaMichael James.
I know we’re talking groups here, but I kind of feel like any group that features Adrian Peterson and other people with legs is going to be top-five. The pairing of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson is pretty potent in Buffalo, and there’s some reasonable depth behind them with Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon. Seattle’s group will be among the league’s best if Robert Turbin and/or (especially if it’s “and”) Christine Michael prove to be a dynamic complement to Marshawn Lynch. The Eagles added Darren Sproles to the amazing LeSean McCoy. Even with the unfortunate retirement of Johnathan Franklin, the Packers have some depth behind Eddie Lacy with James Starks and DuJuan Harris. If rookie Lache Seastrunk can make his speed work in the NFL despite his lack of size, the Redskins would have a different sort of weapon to combine with Alfred Morris and Roy Helu. That would be pretty strong. And I guess we still have to consider Carolina as long as they have Johnathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams together.
Joe isn’t blown away by the Packers’ depth at running back and the 49ers may be a bit overrated. Lattimore, from the whispers Joe has heard, is having setbacks recovering from his horrible knee injuries in college. James hasn’t done much more than Joe has on an NFL field in his short time with the Niners.
So the Bucs have a top-5 running back group? On paper, it sure seems very possible.