Mike James Is Salivating

August 10th, 2016

mike james 1104Joe doesn’t hide being a Mike James fan.

The fourth-year running back flashed big time in his 2013 rookie campaign before a badly broken ankle took him down midseason.

Then Lovie Smith and ill-suited Marcus Arroyo buried James as a short-yardage back in 2014, and James humbly spent 2015 on the Buccaneers’ practice squad. It feels like an eternity since he rolled up 158 yards on 28 carries on the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks in 2013.

But there’s new life now for James with Bobby Rainey in New York, and especially with Charles Sims temporarily on the shelf with a minor ankle injury suffered on Monday. It seems unlikely Sims will play tomorrow night in the preseason opener in Philly.

James got a ton of snaps in practice yesterday, and Joe could tell James had turned up a gear.

“[Tuesday] was good. I had a little pep in my step because I’m trying to get ready, trying to get my game speed ready for Thursday,” James told Joe. “Get in and out of my cuts, get in and out of my breaks, get my hands ready for the game. Everything’s going to be faster.”

“Having not played the game in a while and knowing you’ll be back out there, you want to make sure you’re on your Ps and Qs. I’m preparing to play the whole game. That’s how I’m approaching it.”

Dirk Koetter has made it clear there’s a real battle for the No. 3 running back job, noting James, newcomer Storm Johnson, and undrafted rookies Russell Hansbrough and Peyton Barber. Koetter said “breaking tackles” in preseason games will be key to determining the winner.

Special teams, of course, will be a factor, and James said he’ll be playing all phases and has had a strong camp on special teams so far.

Based on Tuesday’s practice, Joe expects James to get a load of work tomorrow. The Bucs surely aren’t going to expose Doug Martin to more than five touches, and it would be wise to keep Sims in street clothes.

If James can’t win the No. 3 job, it won’t be because he didn’t get a fair shot.

19 Responses to “Mike James Is Salivating”

  1. uckinator Says:

    It’s good to see patience paying off. Many players never get the opportunity to impress the coaches. I’m sure that game he had against Seattle had something to do with it. That said, if the play breaks down in the backfield, a runner has to break tackles and make it back to the line of scrimmage. That’s a MUST !

  2. Dewey Selmon Says:

    NEVER heard a negative word about this man. I’m rooting for him and need him incase we have a RB jump pass play set up. lol

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

    Man that game was his shining moment.

  4. tmaxcon Says:

    i am exciting to see with James can do.

  5. mike Says:

    Go James! I know he hasn’t looked the same but that game at the Seahawks then the 1st quarter of the Miami game before the injury, he looked unbelievable.

  6. scott Says:

    2 ypc Mike James.. very scary. please

  7. scott Says:

    He has a lot to prove. Im rooting for the guy though, Polk County talent!!

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    It will be tough to beat James out of that third RB spot. That Seattle game, what a rush before the squawk comeback.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Pulling for Mike James!

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

    Pulling for Mike also but I’m quite curious about what Russell Hanborough will do when the lights come on.

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

    Coach Koetter if you’re looking at any of this give Russell a shot on kick return. Kid feet are phenomenal.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Mike James is coming into his 4th year in the league and it looks like he’s got a good shot to make the team. That is a pretty big accomplishment for a 6th round pick as he has already played as long or longer than the “average” NFL career lasts. If he can perform like he did for those 1 1/2 games in 2013, then we obviously want him on this football team. If not, then Peyton Barber and Storm Johnson will get a chance to extend their NFL careers and Mike James will likely be done. I don’t believe James is eligible for the practice squad again so its a make or break year for him.

    Typically in this situation, whoever brings the most value on Special Teams is likely to earns the #3 RB spot.

    Good luck to all 3 backs vying for that spot on this year’s Bucs team.

  13. pick6 Says:

    never been overly impressed, but he has been better than anybody not named Doug Martin or Charles Sims since he first pulled on a bucs jersey. rainey has gotten way more action but i think Mike did more with his limited chances. He’ll get a ton of opportunities vs Philly tomorrow. I honestly have no idea who is behind him on the depth chart

  14. pick6 Says:

    *had no idea. the article, of course, clarifies

  15. Owlykat Says:

    We need Mike on this team to grind out first downs on third and short at times so the other team won’t be crowding Humphrey only. I would also hope we’d run the FB in front of him so he doesn’t have to do it all by himself. Now if he can also run like he did on the Seahawks that is all gravy. We’ll see the other runners too tomorrow night too I expect.

  16. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    I have ALWAYS loved Mike James man!!! Hope this guy gets an opportunity to make the team. If Doug went down this guy would fill in nicely. Rotting for you man!!!

  17. BucFanInArkansas Says:

    I like to call him “MJB”.

    Think “Chapelle Show”…

    “I’M MIKE JAMES, B****!!!!”

  18. SB with Jameis Says:

    We already have the best RB Tandem in the league per last yr’s stats. I believe we have the best RB corps. Though Tennessee may have something to say about that now.

  19. "That guy" Says:

    That was a great stable of running backs in 2013. I’m kind of surprised that they had him on the practice squad last year, as he is a hard runner and does well running between the tackles. Good to see him competing for a job on the roster.