A Welcome Storm For Mike James

April 26th, 2016

mike james 1104The Bucs signed a running back yesterday, and Joe sees the move as a great sign for forgotten ball carrier Mike James, Tampa Bay’s sixth-round pick in 2013.

The new guy is Storm Johnson, who was out of the NFL last year. He was a 2014 seventh-round pick of the Jaguars from the University of Central Florida. Johnson played behind James and Lamar Miller with the Miami Hurricanes in 2010, before transferring out.

Johnson is what Joe would call a camp-meat signing. The Bucs could have retained Bobby Rainey inexpensively but passed. They could have snatched a veteran running back to compete for the No. 3-RB role, but they didn’t.

Perhaps Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter are counting on James to be the guy who ran for 295 yards on just 60 carries as a rookie in 2013, and the guy who added 10 receptions that season.

James quietly sat on the Bucs’ practice squad for most of last year, and the Bucs pounced on him quickly after the season when all practice squad guys immediately become free agents.

When James was drafted by the Schiano-Dominik regime, he was billed as the next Earnest Graham, a selfless, do-it-all-including-special-teams player.

For now, (who really knows where the Bucs go in the draft?) James is well positioned to get a lot of preseason work and earn the No. 3 running back job. Joe’s a big fan of James and is pulling for him.

22 Responses to “A Welcome Storm For Mike James”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    A do it all Earnest Graham, LOL James is good, and I like him, but he does not have the power Earnest Graham did. In fact, IMHO Tampa ruined the career of Earnest Graham, who would have been a star running back, had he been played enough. Earnest Graham was a total team player, who never demanded a trade.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m with you…I’ve always liked James and have never figured out why he hasn’t received a better opportunity. And he’s the only back with any potential to go into “beast mode”. 5-11 230lbers still have a place in the league…see GB and Seattle, or even NE with Blount.

  3. James Walker Says:

    Thank goodness. I liked James. He busted of some huge runs for us.

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My theory is that he was on the practice squad so much last year because of a minor nagging injury. He should be fully healthy now.

    James could have put on muscle too, giving him more power. The truth is, Rainey wasn’t good enough. James may not be good enough either, but here’s hoping.

    It would not surprise me if the Bucs take a RB later in the draft…a speed guy.

  5. Espo Says:

    I like Mike James also, but also eye him as camp meat. He’ll enter camp at the same level as everyone else. Slight advantage to (hopefully) knowing the playbook. All I know about Storm Johnson is he has a cool name. James has 2 first names though, like Ricky Bobby.

  6. Bird Says:

    UCF in the house

  7. Tiny Tim Says:

    Dont be surprised if the bucs draft a running back in the draft. I don’t think the bucs are sold on james. You can definitely upgrade from him.

  8. unbelievable Says:

    Martin, Sims, James, Johnson… Not a bad backfield.

    I would be very surprised if we drafted a RB before the 6th round, if at all. More likely it would be a guy who could play fullback since we don’t have one at the moment.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Another Mike James fan here.

  10. Miko Says:

    James is a MUCH better runner than Sims…

  11. Guzzie Says:

    Cj Prosise 4th round

  12. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Count me amongst the guys rooting for Mike James to stick on the 53 man roster. He was doing a damned good job filling in for Martin and Rainey in that stretch leading up to his unfortunate ankle injury against the Dolphins. Man that whole 2013 season seemed like someone was sticking pins in a Captain Fear voodoo doll…MRSA, Nick’s toe, Freeman’s meltdown, LVD getting a bogus late hit penalty that gifted the Jets a win (and set the Bucs down the path to 0-8), media witch hunts/Fire Schiano billboards, bogus accusations of team captain ballot rigging and medical record leaks…it’s easy to forget the bright spots like James’s season (which was snake bitten by injury too). I’m amazed the team pulled off 4 wins with all the crazy sh!t that kept unfolding during that 2013 season.

  13. Kevin Says:

    Mike James is a really good down hill runner for his size. I hope he makew the team

  14. Brian Says:

    Joe, I love your site brother but you are so wrong in calling Storm Johnson “Camp Meat.” Being a UCF alum, I know firsthand that Storm is an awesome RB who will be a perfect compliment to Doug Martin and Charles Sims! I would be schocked if Storm didn’t make the team! Go Knights and Go Bucs!! This is a great signing by the Bucs!

  15. Kalind Says:

    Totally agree Joe. He is one of the reasons I didn’t care if we signed Doug. James is just about as good

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Miko Says
    “James is a MUCH better runner than Sims…”

    I kind of doubt that…but he IS a much better runner than most people, including me, expected.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Toes- Thanks a lot for reminding us! I was sure that I had drank that memory of a season away!
    James did some good things that year and looked promising. He’s going to have to work hard if he wants a roster spot though. In this league it’s “what have you done for me lately?”
    I don’t know about some of these comparisons though James=Martin? James >Sims? Prove it!

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I hate to break it to you, but this time of year usually only sees camp meat signings. Storm is no different.

    However…its up to him to prove he deserves to stay. He’s been given the opportunity.

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    Not a UCF fan but I hope Storm sticks around also. Local guy makes good sort of deal. Maybe a backup role.

  20. Ed Says:

    Coach,gives Mike James a chance to run the ball.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Love Mark James….

  22. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I admit I was a big Mike James fan a couple of years ago, but ever since that nasty injury he sustained on MNF he hasn’t been the same. Sorry guys but hes nothing more but a average RB that does nothing spectacular. He use to be known for his power but he’s had opportunity’s in the past to show his strength but continuesly got stuffed over and over. They tried to use him as a goal line back but that didn’t work out at all. He would get stuffed at the line every time. Yes hasn’t gotten many opportunities since his breakout season but he has had some and didn’t capitalize, Bobby Rainey did when he got his chances. So u can’t use that excuse.

    I have been a Storm Johnson fan ever since watching him at the “U” He was a electric RB the has great quickness and breakaway speed. Very shifty as well. I was excited to see him sign with us. I think he will take over Rainey’s role and become the 3rd string RB.