James Has No. 3 RB Gig On Lockdown

August 22nd, 2016
Mike James returns to center stage

Mike James returns to center stage

Moments after being drafted by the Bucs in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, “the next Earnest Graham” label was smacked on running back Mike James.

It was high praise from former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik.

A Florida Gators icon, Graham was buried on the Bucs’ practice squad and/or bench, and busy on special teams, for four consecutive seasons. Dubbed “Mr. August” by Chucky, Graham finally got the rock handed to him regularly in 2007, after several injuries to teammates pushed him into the spotlight.

Graham responded with 898 yards on the ground and an average of four yards per carry. He added 49 catches and the Bucs clinched the NFC South title with two games remaining in the ’07 season.

Graham later adjusted to fullback at Chucky’s request. And then he was a true team-first guy while was a third-down back with limited work under Raheem Morris, who lauded him as “Insurance Graham.”

James, 25, has had a similar early path. He shined as a rookie and got derailed with an injury that season. Then he was buried by Lovie Smith, humbly spent all of last year on the practice squad. And now he’s locking down the No. 3 running back gig.

The Bucs had no qualms about waving goodbye to Bobby Rainey this offseason, and James seized his chance.

Consider what Dirk Koetter said yesterday. Joe is sure James has the No. 3 running back job barring a disastrous finish to the preseason.

“I think Mike James really showed last night what he is – he’s just real consistent in all phases,” Koetter said. “He runs the ball pretty good; there he is catching check-downs. He’s right where needs to be; Mike Glennon finds him a couple times in the red zone, including the touchdown. And he’s solid on special teams.”

Joe’s pumped for Jameis, not just because Joe openly roots for James, but because he’s a legitimate talent and young. He’s the kind of guy, like Graham was, who adds legitimate quality to a roster.

12 Responses to “James Has No. 3 RB Gig On Lockdown”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    I like mike james…hope he sticks…GO BUCS!!!

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    James is hungry. love the way he is embracing his role.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I like Mike…..

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I might be in the minority but I like 25 better than 34.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    James coming through, perseverance pays off. Glad he has landed another year with the Bucs, if that be so.

  6. Lunchbox Says:

    Myself, I always saw Rainey as the next Earnest Graham. I see Mike James as the next Errict Rhett, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Rhett never really broke the big run, but but he was usually consistent for 3-4 ypc.

  7. Mojiska Says:

    Could see a situation in the future where sims is 1 and James is 2. That could be a pretty potent backfield, they compliment each other well. I love Doug Martin, but you gotta start preparing for the time when he isn’t available, via age, injury or non production. I hate to say it, but when running backs fall off, they fall off. You need a good backup now more than ever. (Knile davis and charcandrick west, mckinnon, karlos Williams, rawls, David johnson all showed that to be true last year)

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Hey, he looked good Saturday. I’m OK with him at #3.

  9. DB55 Says:

    James > Simms imo.

    Move sims to slot rcv. Sign Carlo’s Williams for the red zone.

  10. Kobe Faker Says:

    Is it me but Doug is looking FAT

    Need to keep all the backs, Dougie alternates injured seasons

  11. astrobuc Says:

    I like Mike James, but he is not better than Sims. You guys are nuts.

  12. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    James better than Sims AND Graham?? What games have u guys been watching? Sims is a beast 2ho can do it all. And is one of the best pass catching backs in the league, and really one of the more underated backups around. He still hasn’t hit his full potential yet either. And I LOVED me sum Earnest Graham. #34 was the man!! Loved his style of play dragging defenders and stiff arming everyone in his path. Talk about a underated and under appreciated back….34 did everything that was asked of him and never complained. Need more guys like him.

    I think James is a decent back that come a dime a dozen, nothing special about him. I like Storm Johnson as much, if not more. Not to mention Barber as well, we have a great stable of RB’s this year. Love the depth. Unfortunately someone has to go tho. Hope we can s eak hem onto the practice squad.