Mike James Not Forgotten

July 31st, 2014
mike james 0718

Bucs coach Lovie Smith broke his months-long silence on RB Mike James today.

Even a guy walking around with a white cane can see the Bucs have a loaded backfield. Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey, Jeff Demps.

Oh, yeah. And Mike James. Maybe you remember him?

The same guy who ran for 158 yards against eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle last season?

For a while, it seemed easy to forget James was on the team, as he missed a good chunk of last season with a broken ankle, having played in but five games.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith, since the combine, rarely uttered his name (never a good thing). James has also been hard to find at practice, often relegated to working with the third team. Those are a bad combination for a player’s future.

Today, Bucs coach Lovie Smith broke his silence about James, a native of Haines City, mainly because Lovie was directly asked about James.

“I saw from last year, [he is a] good football player,” Lovie said. “Good size. Of course, that injury [last season] kind of set him back a little bit. But he’s one of our running backs. We’ve made it known that we’re going to play more than one. You need a lot. In order for us to be a good running football team, we need to have more than one good player, and we feel like we have at least about four that we feel like if we went into a game with them, we could have a good running game.”

So is James one of the chosen ones? At best, he would be the No. 3 running back behind Martin and Sims. But James could also find himself down the totem pole below Rainey and Demps.

Time will tell, of course. It would behoove James to shine in preseason games if he plans on staying on the Bucs roster.

24 Responses to “Mike James Not Forgotten”

  1. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’d hate to lose him, but in a way it’s a good thing. When was the last time we had to get rid of a good player, because there were so many guys better than him? It’s a great thing to have some depth.

  2. kevin Says:

    I will be fuming if rainey makes the team over james. Maybe neither one makes it but if they keep four rbs then james makes the squad. He got the tough yards that martin could not. We need that bruiser. Hes not that big but he is stronger than his size. Hope he stays somehow

  3. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    The best RBs will make the team, period. Neither James or Rainey is making big money, so that’s not an issue. Both showed a lot of promise last year, and I don’t want to see either go. However, it’s a numbers game, so I would suspect one will be gone. My guess is James, but I’m sure the preseason games will be the biggest factor.

  4. BucinNC Says:

    Why do people keep gushing over Rainey? He had one monster run against the bills but that’s it. He’s not that great. Anyone who watched last years knows James looked the best out of all our backs including Doug….and wasn’t Rainey cut by Cleveland mid season?

  5. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Really? One monster run? You apparently didn’t watch too many games. Perhaps you missed the Atlanta game when he had over 160 yard rushing and 3 TD’s? How about the Miami game when he scored the game winning TD? Keep in mind we probably had the worst OL in football, the worst coach in football, a rookie QB, and a completely injury depleted team. Sorry he didn’t become Adrian Peterson!

    I don’t know if he’s better than James, but I do know that I trust Lovie over you (especially when you claim he only had one good run). I’ve yet to see one person “gush” over Rainey, but let’s not go making Mike James into Jim Brown either. I like James a lot, but there’s such a small sample size it’s impossible to tell how good he is. Again though, if he’s good enough, he will get carries. It’s really as simple as that. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably aren’t in the building, and you probably don’t see all the practices and coaches film, so forgive me if I take your talent evaluation with a grain of salt. I’ll go ahead and trust Lovie on this one, but that’s just me.

  6. SAMCRO Says:

    I still think we could end up keeping all five RB’s if just one of them can emerge as a return man and take Eric Page’s roster spot on special teams.

  7. BucinNC Says:

    My apologies I forgot about the Atlanta game. So let’s take out the Atlanta and buffalo game and he didnt have a game with more than 45 yards rushing. Now, I am no lovie and I am absolutely not claiming to be a talent evaluator, but those stats are pretty bad. And it’s not like schiano wasn’t force feeding him the ball. Clearly O line and play calling had a lot to do with this and I get it. I’m not comparing either to jim brown or ap and you know that.

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    From the camp updates, it sounds like Rainey has been getting as many reps as Martin.

    I like James. I hop he stays. Demps can go jump in a lake so far as I care.

  9. brendon Says:

    James is the best pass blocking of the backs. He can catch the ball, he always falls forward, never takes a loss. He gets the tough yards and keeps the chains moving. I will be disgusted if Rainey makes it over James.

    I still think Demps is too inconsistent (from what I read) if he’s not the return man, I don’t know if 5-6 snaps a game is worth keeping him in. After all he is fast, but not percy Harvin in terms of football skill.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    BucinNC Says
    “Why do people keep gushing over Rainey? He had one monster run against the bills but that’s it.”

    I liked James more, but in regard to Rainey, I think his 532 in the last 8 games, 15 receptions and 6 touchdowns had a little to do with it. If he had the opportunities to start all the games, it is possible he would have had over 1,000 yards rushing and 10 TDs.

    James had better yards per attempt, and would have averaged more yards per game, but Rainey scored TDs.

    Still, I like James because of his running style.

  11. Danimal Says:

    I find it funny Joe has Sim’s at # 2 thats totally baseless.

    On the team
    1 Martin, but if he starts like last season will be on bench.
    2.James, 2nd most capable everydown back
    3 Demps, will make it based on big play ability as 3rd down threat.

    Fighting for a spot
    Rainey/Sims and Sim’s has a big advantage being this years draft pick.

  12. Hawk Says:

    The Bucs are in an enviable position. If someone’s RB goes down, in preseason, Rainey/James/Demps could be worth a lot (guard/high draft pick?).

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Lol, Sims is a lock. As much of a lock as you can be.

    I also think it’s hilarious how people say, “take this game or that game away”. You can’t just take away games as if they don’t exist.

  14. BucinNC Says:

    Hawaiian has some sand in her hula skirt.

    But yeah, sims is a lock.

  15. BucinNC Says:

    Hawaiian, I’m sorry I didn’t mean that.


  16. Danimal Says:

    I thinks Sims is in too, and all of these guys making to the regular season healthy is a very long shot. I look for one of them to start the season on the IR. And by the time he is ready come off IR It will have sorted itself via injury or poor performance.

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Of course buddy, it’s all good! Just football talk. There’s no fun if we all agree. And yes, I do get a little sand in my hula skirt every now and then, lol.

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    And to be clear, I actually like James a little better from what I have seen. I think Rainey is just a little too much like a poor man’s Doug Martin, so I like to have a different kind of back. That being said, I trust Lovie 100% on this one. If everything works out great, they won’t be getting too many carries anyway, because Sims and Martin will be injury free and setting the league on fire.

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    I want James to make the final roster. Tough guy who played at Miami which produces good NFL talent. A logjam at RB for sure, James is a good player who should stick if healed.

  20. Jeff Says:

    Demps isn’t going to make the team. He’s going to get hurt during the preseason. He’s a track star, not a football player.

  21. Evan Says:

    I’d like to keep James. As good as rainey produced last season, i don’t feel like he would be a threat if we ever faced him again. Yes stats proven over James, but if you think of it, a lot of players we let go have came back and hurt us& i’d feel really slighted if James(given his running style) were one of them. I can say for a fact, have either one of them be released, i’d bet my money on James being scooped up first. Imagine him in Carolina Blue, Atlanta red, no saints because they’re pretty set there but worst, Belicheat’s next steal.

  22. canadian bucsfan Says:

    I have confidence that James will beat out Rainy through pre-season. Jame’s first drive of the Miami game and his Seattle performance just showed he can be a very good RB in this game. James is a better option in as a special teams player aswell.

  23. pick6 Says:

    good problem to have, i guess. if i were licht, and the douggernaut and sims look like what the coaches expect, i would be trying hard to spark a bidding war among SF, Indy, and any other team that lost a key backup early this preseason to land the best Guard i can get one of them to cough up. i’m not convinced rainey is anything special, but i think mike james might entice a couple teams who need to start thinking about the future of their RB rotation

  24. pick6 Says:

    *to clarify, i meant moving one of rainey, james, or demps