Mike James Has An Edge For No. 3 RB

May 19th, 2016
Running backs coach Tim Spencer explains

Running backs coach Tim Spencer explains

Regular readers here know Joe is a huge fan of running back Mike James. There’s also another big fan of James, one who will have a major say in him winning the No. 3 running back job this season.

Joe’s talking about running backs coach Tim Spencer. Today at One Buc Palace, Spencer didn’t shy away from lauding James while discussing the battle for the Bucs’ running back role behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims.

“I like Mike. Mike’s been around. Mike’s smart. He’s a pro. He’s worked his tail off,” Spencer said. “And I think even when he was in before I got here he had a couple of nice games. So I feel pretty good about that.

“We have enough guys that can catch the football. So that, you know, we may miss Bobby [Rainey] a little bit. But I think we’ll be able to make up for it with those guys we have.

That’s pretty strong praise from Spencer, who oversaw James on the practice squad all last year. The primary competition for James 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 and was signed by the Bucs this spring. Johnson played behind James and Lamar Miller with the Miami Hurricanes in 2010, before transferring out.

Anyone who was a Bucs fan in 2013 known exactly what kind of juice James can bring to the table.

Joe’s very eager to see what James delivers this summer. He certainly will get plenty of carries in preseason.

22 Responses to “Mike James Has An Edge For No. 3 RB”

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    I like Mike James. wish him well.

  2. salish_seamonster Says:

    Joe, the primary competition for James is UDFA Peyton Barber from Auburn. Storm Johnson? Camp meat. Watch Barber’s highlights. The guy can play. Unsurprisingly, Joe is behind on this information. Several other websites have covered him, but Joe sleeps on the UDFAs.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I like Mike

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Agree about Peyton Barber salish. He’s definitely “one to watch”.

    I like Mike James – but the reality is has “looked good” in a meaningful way on an NFL field for exactly 1 1/2 games. Now that’s a better showing than a lot of guys drafted late ever accomplish or get the chance for – but it was an incredibly small sample size. Hopefully like Verner and Banks, James gets that “fresh start” he deserves in order to show his skills on the field in a contract year.

  5. Tiny Tim Says:

    So let me get this straight…..joe is in love with a running back thats been in the league 4 years but has never beat anyone out for a position ie 3rd down back, kick returner etc, yet he has no use for kenny bell? You are hillarious joe.

  6. Tiny Tim Says:

    Im looking at barber too. The story about his mother’s situation just has hollywood story written all over it. This young man will be hungry. Keep an eye out for him. Runs with a little power behind his pads.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    Barber may challenge James.

  8. OneBuc55 Says:

    Mike James also has some value as a special teams player…I thought he was better than Rainey but for what ever reason Bobby got the 3rd spot…I expect James to handle his business and lock down to 3rd RB spot…

  9. SB with Jameis Says:

    Call me crazy (many do) but I see Vitale in the mix somewhere.

  10. salish_seamonster Says:

    ^^Vitale is listed as a TE. I think he’s a lock, but I don’t count him in the RB discussion, since he’s a FB/TE… He doesn’t enter this RB discussion really.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    I really hope James sticks around, he just in so many ways reminds me of Earnest Graham, a guy who just sort of hung around then was productive when he finally got his shot. Also James should be the goal line back, he’s a north/south runner with good power, which is exactly what you want. Would suck for fantasy for Martin to lose those carries, but I think it would much more importantly help the team.

  12. scott Says:

    Mike James has not looked good in a while. Last preseason he looked bad, constantly being brought down early. He had maybe 2 decent runs. We need someone better.

  13. ManzielMadness Says:

    Not a lot of guys have run for 150 yds at the Seahawks house. I like the Barber story but dont sleep on James.

  14. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    Tiny Tim…The past two season Lovie Smith had final say on the rosters and depth charts. So with that said, the fact that James didn’t beat anyone for the 3rd spot doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    If you actually watched James play before getting hurt you’d know the guy is a very strong downhill runner that can hit the holes and is a very good all around back.

    I’m pumped to hear someone is actually recognizing it, the guy deserves some playing time although we have stellar talent at the position already, he’s an asset on the team for sure!!

  15. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    I agree Rod Munch with your post!

  16. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    Barber & Vitale. No room for James.

  17. Tiny Tim Says:

    So now we are going to blame lovie because james couldnt beat out rainey? Timmy smith had one of the best rushing performances in superbowl history. He didnt do squat before or after that game so excuse me if i dont get excited for a player who has had multiple opportunities to prove his worth with only one good game to his name. My point again we are happy about james but down on bell? Thats funny. Fyi…..i can care less if james makes the team or not as long as the best are on the team. So far he has not proven to be one of the best. Im sure if koetter thought james was better than rainey, he would have played. Stop blaming lovie for everything.

  18. Dave Says:

    OL and RB are both deep positions.

  19. ManzielMadness Says:

    @Tiny Tim

    I Wouldn’t say it’s Lovie’s fault for James.. More of a crowded backfield with Sims, Martin, Rainey, and James… plus I’ve heard plenty of people talk positively about Bell. However, the difference is James has actually stepped up and played well for us(albeit limited) whereas Bell has yet to play a snap.

  20. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I was a James fan back in 13 when he had a couple good games but after that injury on MNF he hasn’t been the same since. He has been given multiple opportunity’s since but has not been able to capitalize on them. Ppl keep saying how he’s a powerful down hill runner but when he was given the goal line back role a couple seasons ago he failed miserably and couldn’t do nothing with it getting stuffed repeatedly on the goal line. I think he’s had his Shot and it’s time we give a new guy like Barber or Storm a shot. If u want a powerful down hill runner look no further than Barber. And Im also a fan of Storm with his quickness, open field speed and shifty-ness. I would be happy with either one of those guys as our no. 3.

  21. salish_seamonster Says:

    From SR’s Fab 5 today, Licht on RB competition:

    [Running back] Peyton Barber is also one of my favorites right now. He catches the ball. He has great hands. He’s quick and he has a great burst. He’s a lot bigger than I thought, too. He has the quickness and shiftiness of a small guy, but he’s a bigger dude. If he went back and played another year [at Auburn] and had another 1,100 or 1,200 yards he would have been a mid-round pick I think. He’s one to watch for sure. Now Mike James is having a great offseason, too. He looks good. He looks really good. It’ll be a good battle between those two.

  22. Tiny Tim Says:

    @ salish

    You beat me to it. I’ve noticed the last few threads we have been on the same page. Is that a good or bad thing?