“An Export Business”

May 28th, 2014
Mike James says he understands the writing on the wall

Mike James says he understands the writing on the wall

The Bucs are loaded at running back, and second-year RB Mike James knows he’s gone from shining Schiano Man to a guy fighting hard for a job.

James is battling for a role complementing Doug Martin, and Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey and Jeff Demps want the same thing.

Few teams carry four running backs.

Will the Bucs have a fullback?

James told Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com he gets that he could be the odd man out. “You always got to understand this is an export business. You know, you’re in; you’re out.” James said, via this video.

And in a moment that warmed Joe’s heart, James talked about himself in the third person, saying he’ll battle hard and let the front of do its thing, “I’ll take care of Mike.”

Of note, Smith referenced that James wasn’t 100 percent healthy for his ankle injury when the Bucs began their offseason program, but James is at full speed now.

It’ll be an interesting numbers game at running back, one Joe is confident will come down to special teams. James, when drafted, was billed as the next Earnest Graham, a selfless player who can contribute in all phases of running back play and special teams. Joe doubts Rainey or Demps can bring that kind of versatility.

As for Sims, he’s a roster lock, of course, as a third-round pick.

46 Responses to ““An Export Business””

  1. pablo Says:

    Pablo knows for a fact that Mike James > Bobby Rainey

  2. willie Says:

    Don’t forget about Eric Page, in his first year in the NFL he was a top 33% return man. He is only going to get better with an entire off season with the team. Come on Joe give EP some love. He gets ragged on a lot because he take kick offs out of the end zone but with the new Kickoff field position a lot of teams are taking more chances out of the end zone. His fumble was that other guys fault not to mention 9 out of top 10 return men fumbled at least once.

    Page is not a running back. Joe has given Page lots of love. –Joe

  3. Espo Says:

    I’d like to keep Dougie, James, Sims, and possibly Demps if he can provide a spark in the return game. Do I remember hearing last year that James used to play fullback? That versatility might save his roster spot.

  4. DallasBuc Says:

    Can Demps returns kicks? Seems to me that with diminished impact of kick return game due to the new rules that we can drop Eric Page and let Demps take over kick returns and backup RB

  5. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Still say Rainey will end up as odd man out

  6. ruggyup Says:

    Roster lock or not, the fact remains as to whether we have another “Bullet Bob” Hayes or just another super fast dude with inconsistent hands.

  7. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Dougernaught, Sims, James in that order with Lovie just having to keep Demps for speed in space. IMHO

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hang onto Rainey & James…in particular…because both of them are tradeable…..Teams will have RBs go down in pre-season…..hopefully, we won’t…..we don’t need both of them as they bring similar skillsets…..Demps is another matter altogether….if he can hang onto the ball…he’s a keeper!!!

  9. THETRUTH Says:

    James can do it all, he can catch and run but most important block. He showed he can play in his few games. If lovie cuts him I will start to question his moves, most Tampa bay media is scared to question Lovie ..

  10. willie Says:

    come on give Eric Page some props, he was pretty good for a rookie out of the MAC! top third in the NFL as a returnman!

    Page is not a running back. Joe has given Page lots of love. –Joe

  11. Mumbles Says:

    You can do it Mikey!

  12. buccaneer man Says:

    We have to keep Mike James, he was a breast for us when Doug got hurt… he’s better than Bobby Rainey EASY

  13. Architek Says:

    The great thing about this problem is he has great film out there and he has a clean name.

    If and that’s a big if he were cut, he should have no problem getting a job somewhere based on his potential as a runner.

  14. Northern Buc Says:

    Question: Does Pablo have a job? (other than to respond to Joe’s articles as fast as possible and in the most annoying way.)

    Statement: I am done reading the comments section of this blogsite. It is not worth the time. ‘Just a collection of middle-school comments, grammatical errors and general idiocy. If you don’t have a football perspective that is on topic then nobody cares (and you are likely not as funny as you thing you are.)

    Joes: Kuddos to you. I love what you do. I live over 2800 miles from Raymond James Stadium. I have never been to Tampa but I have been a Bucs fan for over 15 years (since I discovered the NFL.) “JoeBucsFan” is my connection to the team (other than watching the games) — thanks for that — I hope to join you for a beer in Tampa sometime next season.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Northern Buc

    Ignore Pablo….hang around….you aren’t permitted to be a Buc Fan unless you can endure “middle-school comments, grammatical errors and general idiocy”
    We need smart Northern guys like you to teach us Southern boys how to communicate!!!

  16. Matt B Says:

    @ Northern Buc

    “…and you are likely not as funny as you THING you are.”

    Irony. I love it.

    I agree with Pablo and many of the others; James should beat out Rainey.

  17. willie Says:

    yes Mr Joe but it seems there are 4 or 5 players fighting for the return job. It seems early in the preseason that 4th running backs or 5th or 6th receiver depend on who is the primary return man is. I would argue that Page did nothing to lose that job and somebody is going to really have to beat Page for that job.

  18. Orca Says:

    I’m starting to think pah-blow is an alias for one of the Joes, given how fast he is to respond to every post, and that he also has the habit of writing in third person. The purpose of this alias is to provide another punching bag on each post, driving up page hits and adding another element of entertainment to the site. In a short time, everyone on here has come to know pablo as the one with the annoying comments. Joe, congratulations on the new character. I like the strategy.

  19. Orca Says:


    Page will have to prove himself in a crowded field of WRs to earn that roster spot. I think it’s more likely Sims or Herron will earn the PR job, and they offer more on offense.

  20. Orca Says:

    Matt B Says:
    May 28th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I agree with Pablo …

    Don’t ever agree with Pahblow. We don’t want to encourage him… even if he is just an alias for Joe.

  21. cmurda Says:

    Haha Buccaneer man said breast. I like the way you think. With that said, we are talking about RB’s not Rachel Watson. I’ll chime in with the sentiment with most of the posters above. Keep James and sadly Rainey is odd man out. I think James runs with purpose and is a little stronger as a backup over Rainey.

    TBBF, you can’t keep them all. One of our RB’s has to go and by one I dont mean camp meat. If Demps is truly committed to football, he ‘s in. The Muscle Hamster is a no-brainer at this point and Sims was drafted by the current regime and has tools that Tedford likes. He’s in. It’s doubtful we carry 4 RB’s and none of these guys fit as a fullback. Somebody is going and I’m putting my money on Rainey.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would rather lose Rainey and Demps than lose James…but I’m hoping we keep 4 + a good FB.

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ cmurda

    I didn’t say we should keep them all…only hang on as long as possible….into pre-season….then trade.
    FYI….there was a point last year where we had 4 FBs on the roster at the same time….so, stranger things have happened….
    Most of this will depend on how many WRs…TEs & even CBs….

  24. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    ‘Just a collection of… grammatical errors…”


    Misspelling is not a regional affliction.

  25. cmurda Says:

    Fair enough TBBF. I remember when we had 4 Fullbacks and the funny thing is how many do we have now?

  26. Baz Says:

    I hope we find a way to keep Mike James, he seems the only RB (other than Martin) who can get the tough yards up the middle. Speed in space is great, but another way you create those offensive openings is by controlling the line of scrimmage with your linemen and being able to run up the middle.

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m not sure Tedford values FBs that much in his Offense……or he probably would have kept Lorig…..I do think he likes RBs that can block…..Sims/James……2 back sets….& so do I.

  28. Scott Says:

    Not the right thread, but, team owner Malcolm Glazer has passed away.

  29. Dan A Says:

    Say a few words for the Glazer family….. Malcolm Glazer the man who brought respect to Tampa Bay died this morning…. Go Bucs

  30. Larry Says:

    RIP Malcolm Glazer.

  31. Sneedy16 Says:

    I got the notification too Scott

  32. Jeagan1999 Says:

    RIP Mr. Glazer and thank you for bringing a Super Bowl victory to Buc fans!

  33. BoJim Says:

    R.I.P Malcolm.

    Keep James.

  34. owlykat Says:

    Last year James had the best average yards gained of any Buc’s running back and I believe he is even better than Doogie. He can block better than Doogie too and catch passes out of the backfield. He also is the best back we have running between the tackles. Sims has great hands and is very fast and very elusive. I believe he should try out for return duties and learn the slot position as well as provide speed in space from the backfield (but he runs too upright between the tackles and is not near as effective there as James.) Both he and James can be used as a third down back too. I would prefer we keep James, Sims, Demps, and Doogie and Pruitt as our fullback with James as his backup, but if one has to go, it needs to be trading Doogie, who we can get the best draft choice for. We need to keep James’ production. Now if Demps doesn’t show the good hands he displayed as a Gator, and is not good enough as a return man, I would keep Rainey in his place, because Rainey is very quick and elusive, and can also run inside if needed. Lets see their production after Preseason is over, and let Tedford decide who to keep as best for his offense.

  35. Lucifer Says:

    Like james more than rainey and demps.
    Also, joe, what gives with the talkie ads? mad annoying.

  36. Kevin Says:

    I REALLLLLY like James. Hope he stays. Rainey I do not understand why he is even in the conversation. Not bashing the guy I’m sure he can run better than me….but he is the last man on the rb depth chart in my eyes. Excited to see what Demps does since Lovie says he has his full dedication to the NFL starting this offseason. This will be the year we get our sure answer with Demps. Either he’s got it or not…

  37. Kevin Says:

    With all of the depth we have at RB and the new guy we should make a trade a needed position. Or at least try to find a trade out there.

  38. clafollett Says:


    I am in agreement. I actually think Dougie could be odd man out if a trade exists.

    We are definitely stacked at RB. Darned good position to be in for the Bucs. Not so good for one of those RBs.

    RIP Malcolm

    GO BUCS!

  39. kh Says:

    Rainey is the odd man out. I was much more impressed with James then Rainey last year in spot duty.

  40. Andrew 1 Says:

    I expect us to only carry 3 RBs and 1 FB on the 53 man roster, So I think Doug, Sims, and Mike James are all safe. That leaves Rainey and Demps cut from the team. Or if they are able to list Mike James as a FB, then maybe Rainey or Demps could sneak on the roster. Either way I think James is safe. Hes not spectacular but he is a solid football player.

  41. Buc the Haters Says:

    I agree that James should stay. He’s really our only ‘big’ back. And damn that boy is a talented, versatile, complete back. I do feel bad for whoever the odd man out is, but it seems that Rainey’s attributes & style are more similar to Doug’s, Sims’, & Demps’ than James’ are… Kinda sucks, but a good problem to have. – Also, I was rippin Pahblow pretty hard for a few days, but it does actually seem like his takes have gotten slightly less stupid the past couple days.

  42. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I agree with the consensus here, as far as RB’s go, Rainey and Demps are most expendable in that order. I did’nt see much of James, but I liked what I saw. Keep him or regret it later.

  43. Destinjohnny Says:

    Sims will be the 5th wideout allowing us to keep james who is a tuff cat

  44. Suq Maddiq Says:

    Don’t cut james. He would be our next Michael Bennett.

  45. Danati74 Says:

    They will keep James, he’s from Miami, Fl.

  46. wil Says:

    Orca – I agree Page is no lock. Lovie has put everyone from QB to Punter on notice. Even Vincent Jackson has competition for that #1 Spot. Page takes big hits and holds on to the ball at the NFL level which actually says a lot for a player. It comes down to whether Page can make some plays on offense. He does that I am pretty sure he will keep his job.