Is Mike James The Hidden Answer?

May 31st, 2015

mike james 0718

With the exception of Doug Martin’s rookie season, the Bucs haven’t had a decent run game since LeGarrette Blount and Cadillac Williams combined for 1,444 yards in 2010 (and for you Blountheads, please stop whining about him being traded to the Fighting Belicheats. The guy has been let go by two teams since that trade. The dude isn’t Jim Brown).

So four of the past five years, the Bucs run game has been pretty much blech.

Joe isn’t excited for this season’s running game. As good of a guy Doug Martin is, the past two seasons proved he cannot stay healthy. And no, Joe is not on the Charles Sims bandwagon. The guy showed Joe very little last year. The only reason Joe is giving him a pass is because of his late start after ankle surgery, and he may have been forced into the lineup and force-fed too quickly.

So if your two best backs, neither of which broke 500-yards last year, are both injury-prone, that doesn’t inspire confidence

Evan Silva isn’t confident, either. He is not won over by Sims and is suspicious of Martin. But Silva believes the answer to the Bucs run game has been buried on the depth chart the past two seasons: Mike James.

Now last year, because he was barely used or because of an embarrassing front line, James didn’t do squat. The year prior, James had nice production in limited action. James’ 158 yards at Seattle against the soon-to-be Super Bowl champions was damned impressive.

Of course, Silva never mentioned likely the most talented runner in the Bucs backfield, and that is Lovie doghouse tenant Bobby Rainey.

27 Responses to “Is Mike James The Hidden Answer?”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Heres a scenario. Adrian Peterson is guaranteed $24.75 million as long as he shows up for game 1 with the vikes. He does that, then retires, waits a while and comes out of retirement to sign with us….or maybe by then the vikes would be willing to take a lower round trade for him and we can renegotiate his contract to one thats cap friendly and wont break the bank.

    ……I dont know, just been thinking about it the past week.

  2. @Hands2theFace Says:

    Rookie D. Brown is a great runner. If not mistaken James’ season after that Seahawks games ended with an injury. So, we have injury prone backs.

  3. Brandon Says:

    If AP retired he could be forced to give back his entire signing bonus. At the very least, he would have to give back the percentage he would no longer be playing under.

  4. AmericasQuarterback Says:

    Our running backs will be probowlers behind me.

  5. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Well for its worth this guy did rush for 160 yards against the Seahawks year before last. A yo Buc what up big homie,I notice you won that cash at the poker table the another night. Time to throw it up and make it rain on’em.

  6. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I have to agree that Blount is no Jim Brown. He never threw a woman through (not out) a second story window on to his front lawn. He prefers to fight men. Schiano was an idiot to not make better use of him.

  7. OB Says:

    Until we have a OL that can block and an OC that can dream up plays and a QB that can execute them, we will have nothing.

    Hopefully this is in the process of instant change.

    When the pads come on we will begin to see what we have and need.

  8. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    An interesting article I read this morning. McClown is stating that competition with Manziel would be a distraction to the team. Wonder if he told L & L the same thing before he signed last year with us?

  9. Jim Says:

    Blount is not even as good as Micheal “I tripped on a blade of grass” Pittman.

  10. dmatt Says:

    I agree with Evan Silva, mike James is a diamond in the rough. Seems to not go down on first hit some of his runs reminds me of a combination emmit Smith n Eric Rhett. Give him a chance

  11. Buc-A-New Says:

    Martin and Rainey both in contract years and the stable of backs behind them I am not worried about our run game Whatsoever. Fix the line and everything else will follow. And what up Nole. I made it rain in my living room when I walked in the door but I am going to buy my son a minibike with that dough. He has made straight As all yr

  12. drdneast Says:

    What the heck is an Even Silva and what makes him a credible source.
    I like Mike James and would like to see more of him, but in last years preseason games he didn’t exactly light it up like Mr. August Ernest Graham used to do.
    Still, I do remember when he lit it up against the Seahawks only to have the effort wasted when Mason Foster broke coverage and went after the QB who promptly passed the ball to the man he was covering for the game winning TD.
    The next week he was racking up some good yards against the ‘Fins when he broke his leg.
    But two games hardly registers as a great body of work to judge his abilities on.
    What I do see here is Joe continuing to play favorites much like Lovie is accused of doing. Joe continues to be in love with Bobby Rainey who isn’t a bad back, but is hardly the Darren Sproles of the Bucs.

  13. DWE Says:

    I still think Rainey is the best of the lot

  14. Yungry Says:

    Blount has a Super Bowl ring and has as many 1,000 yard seasons as all the Bucs’ running backs combined. Let’s be easy on the hating…

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    I liked Blount too. Man, for a guy smoking a blunt he was an awesome player. He played better when he was stoned.

  16. matt herrington Says:

    I’ll see u again when training camp or pre-season starts Joe.. not hating on u but every article u write about online.or running back is the same exact thing as the one.before I’s.the slowest part of the season but man how.many times can u write the same thing running game and Martin are iffy. And oline probably still sucks. Yea I got that already

  17. Hawk Says:

    @ MadMax

    Unless the rules have changed, when a player retires before the end of his contract, that contract goes into hibernation. *If* the player decides to return to football, the contract goes into effect where it left off.
    If a player could retire and void their contract, the NFL would have chaos… I mean MORE chaos.

  18. Kevin Says:

    The game Mike James got hurt was against Miami and he was setting the tone to a 200 yard two td performance. Got hurt in the first quarter.

    I’ve been SREEEEEEAAAAAMMMMMMIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG this since last season when James was nowhere to be found. Guaranteed James is the highest yard per carry back on this team and I’m sure he can catch well enough to warrant being on the field. Just not sure on his blocking. If I hate to cast a vote on one back I’d like to see a lot of this season it’s Mike James. I’d like to see what Sims has to offer as well but James is the guy that will get those extra 1 to 2 tough yards at the end of his runs.

  19. BringBucsBack Says:

    I have been given no valid reason for Lovie to give James so few carries. He is clearly our most punishing back (all due respect to Javorski Lane). With no clearly superior back, why not give James more touches? I’m fine with a RB by committee, with the top three backs.

    Sims was forced onto us by the regime that drafted him two rounds too high and is the forth-best back on the team, maybe fifth (see Javorski Lane).

    Everyone will be better behind an NFL O-line (god-forbid) and a QB to respect.

  20. MadMax Says:

    Thanks Hawk. I didnt know the specifics and that makes sense.

  21. Owlykat Says:

    D Brown is 241 pounds and runs a 4.6 40 and has soft hands to catch passes, AND is a good blocker. He can make yardage even without a good OL, can turn it outside and make the corner. He is a complete back and don’t forget our OC loves running Big Backs. Look for Brown to be your starter on opening day because on pass plays he can keep Winston upright during a blitz or turn into his outlet receiver and pound out YAC even in traffic. He is what we have been missing ever since Blount was given away by Idiot Schiano.

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think if our new fullback is used in the I-Formation like a Lorenzo Neal type blocker, either Martin or Rainey could explode.

    BTW, hasn’t James had his history of injuries as well?

  23. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Sorry, I meant if the FB is used like a Lorenzo Neal/Mike Alstott type of FB.

  24. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Just to be clear…I was speaking of Joey Iosefa.

  25. Owlykat Says:

    Hey, put D BROWN as our running back with our Hawaiin Alstott FB and we can pound Carolina like they did us last year. All the rest of the shrimps and Mike are too injury prone. That is why I would try Sims at Slot Receiver and see what he has got!

  26. bucsbedabest Says:

    Unfortunately last year Mike James only had 50 snaps. So I looked at 2013 and was surprised at what I found. James had 158 snaps and was rated 19th overall for Pro Football Focus. Out of the 158 snaps he had 60 rushing attempts for 295 yards (4.9 yards per attempt). The stat I liked was the 3.1 yards after contact per attempt. The other plus was that James was the only Tampa running back to have a positive score in blocking efficiency. In 2012 playing for the Miami Hurricanes his college statistics were 147 ATT, 621 YDS 4.2 AVG and 6 TD. Powerful runner, runs behind his pads, and keeps his legs churning on contact. Fights for the extra yard, often falls forward. Tough to bring down with arm tackles. At 5-10, 223 and in his third year, maybe this is his breakout year.

  27. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    Playing James last year would not have fit into L&L’s plan, because we would have won more games and lost the chase for Jameis! That is also why MG8 rode the bench.