More Mike James Love

May 24th, 2013

Now Let Joe be bluntly honest here: No Bucs running back is going to take snaps away from Doug Martin. That would be nuts.

Martin is among the best running backs in the league. If anything, you want to give him more carries (though to be careful, you don’t want to wear the guy down).

Joe finds it interesting that that a sixth-round pick like Mike James is getting so much love. Sure, James, a Polk County guy, seems to be a really good dude, a guy you want to root for. That written, he was a sixth-round pick.

Matt Williams, an NFL scout for ESPN, has written about the Bucs running backs and he too seems smitten with James.

Doug Martin was a phenom in his first season, accumulating nearly 2,000 combined yards even though the Buccaneers were missing their high-priced guards to help pave the way. Martin entered the league NFL-ready with an excellent all-around game. He is a very good, but not great, receiver. The same is true for his pass protection. He should only get better in both areas. But Martin is already a very good runner who can get to the corner with speed, break long runs and handle the physical pounding at the position. He is an excellent interior runner. Rookie sixth-round pick Mike James could be Martin’s direct backup, but Tampa Bay also used a seventh-round pick last year on Michael Smith. Brian Leonard is on the roster, as well. James isn’t flashy but has size and isn’t a dancer. Smith has more quickness to his game, but probably wouldn’t be suited for a large role if Martin were to miss time. Leonard plays hard and is a good blocker and receiver. He is also an accomplished special-teams player and knows how to help a team. Don’t be surprised if the Buccaneers consider adding a veteran running back before training camp opens.

Perhaps there is something to the bouquets being thrown to James. Running backs are a dime a dozen, Joe has often written. Shoot, Mike Shanahan is notorious for finding strong running backs in the middle- to late-rounds. It all depends on the front line.

And yes, the Bucs have strong offensive line, especially with Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks coming back healthy. Last year the offensive line, in the latter stages of the season, wore down. That was not just because Joseph and Nicks were out, but guys starting were worn out because they were not used to starting many weeks in a row.

This became a snowball effect. With Nicks on the sidelines, Donald Penn started to get overextended. Jamon Meredith was definitely exposed.

So with a healthy line, maybe there is reason to be excited about James?And Michael Smith is still captain of the inactive list.

14 Responses to “More Mike James Love”

  1. Macabee Says:

    I like Mike James too! Or I like what I see on his highlight tape, especially his receiving out of the backfield. I understand that he is an excellent blocking back also. Looks to be a solid addition!

    If the Bucs do look at a veteran RB, Ahmad Bradshaw is still available and he knows the offense too! I don’t know the status of his foot injuries, but whatever his persistent foot problems, he doesn’t miss games and he’s a consistent 1000yd rusher.

    Long shot because it’s not in Buc DNA to do veterans, since Gruden left!

  2. MR.T Says:

    I think it a bit premature to anoint Michael Smith as captain of the inactive list again. They clearly see potential in him. He should be a contributor this year to some extent, if not, I cant see them keeping him on the roster inactive for another year, that would make no sense. As you said, serviceable running backs aren’t that hard to find. I hope whatever perceived problems he had are now or will be corrected, I’d like to see that 4.3 speed in action, that would be fun to watch. We’ll see.

  3. WestCoastBucsFan Says:



    I wouldn’t mind it one bit of Smith came in and had a dominate camp and claimed the number two spot that seems to be so heavily favored to Mike James right now. There draft position is close enough that Michael Smith’s experience should actually give him a slight advantage over Mike James in the competition for that number two spot. Could be one of the more interesting camp battles this summer.

  4. Andrew 1 Says:

    I like the Mike pick. he is pretty good, and he will definitely come in handy in a backup role. However, watching the U games you cant help but notice how good his counterpart Duke Johnson was in comparison. its to bad he is only a sophomore otherwise I would much rather have him.

  5. joe Says:

    …did you even read what you linked to? All the article says about Mike James is that he could be a direct backup to Martin.

    Yes, of course, Joe read said article a-hole. Perhaps you didn’t read Joe’s article?

    Using Joe’s name as your handle and then going after him is begging to get bounced. Your wishes are granted. — Joe

  6. tampabaybucfan Says:

    Falling in love with later round draft picks is like falling in love with a stock you purchased…..very hard to get rid of. The higher the pick, the more of a chance the player gets.
    We were offered a 6th round pick for Smith right after we dreafted him. Tandy & Goode see less action than most.
    I suspect since we got rid of Blount & then picked James that he will be given every chance to be successful.
    How ’bout Myron….talk about not knowing when to let go.
    Buy & hold…..someday you may be successful.

  7. Raphael Says:

    Lol. C – ya. Fake joe…

    Right on real joe !

  8. Biff Barker Says:

    Interesting mix at RB now. Leonard and James are versatile enough but are pretty much the same type of back. Leonard is not the front line type to take 25 carries a game if Martin goes down. James needs to show up early or one is going in favor of a better ball carrier.
    Smith seems out of the running, pun yes, unless he can run kicks back. I’m not sure his freaky speed translates well as a RB. Frankly, he looked awful in preseason.

  9. Illuminati Says:

    I liked us drafting Smith because I sort of saw him as a poor man’s Doug Martin. But then as I saw some film and read some scouting reports, I also saw why he was inactive all year. On the other hand, he does have good hands and good straight-line speed. I’m surprised we didn’t try to get him on the field a little later in the season. It seems like he could be a dangerous change-of-pace weapon if we could find some creative ways to get him open in space.

    Neither James nor Smith have the vision, elusiveness, or cut speed of Martin, but I feel better knowing James is in the mix now, and I think he’s the more viable reserve back to Martin than Smith would be.

  10. PRBucFan Says:

    Being a Hurricane fan and having the opportunity to follow MJ during his college career I was so pumped when we drafted him because I knew he was a steal especially getting him in the 6th. MJ is more than just a body on the depth chart and a nice, humble dude. He is also a competitor to the nth degree and can flat out produce. He will be the perfect other halve to a deadly 1-2 punch with Dougie leading the way. IMO

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My theory is that James will be groomed as fullback (or a floater between the two) and that Michael Smith will be the backup. If Michael Smith was really in the dog house he would have been cut by now. And even though Banks has stated he would be willing to return kicks, I got the impression that he has not been asked to…which makes sense if the Bucs want to keep him healthy.

  12. Tampa2 Says:

    Was fake Joe a douche, sure. But I thought the same thing. I don’t see anything close to even resembling “smitten.” Am I missing something? He was a footnote in the article. Bouquets being thrown to James? Umm Ya when I hear things like this expect to read a little more than an obvious observation of him likely being the back up..

  13. Tampa2 Says:

    Also, maybe the poor bastards name was actually Joe. Should he change it in order to comment? I mean, it IS prob the most common ‘murican name. If I name my kid Joe that means I don’t want to spend more than 2 minutes thinking about a name for my kid.

    Wife – Hey what do you want to name our son?
    Me- Hmm..Aw hell i dunno, lets just name him Joe or something.
    Wife – Okay done

  14. Captain Stagger Says:

    Smitten? Bouquet? Really Joe???? The guy listed our depth chart with out one flattering comment other then “he doesn’t dance”….which he does……