“One Of The Most Dangerous Things In The NFL”

August 1st, 2016


In today’s column, eye-RAH! dives very deep into a standout Buccaneer who is rarely talking — or talked about.


SimsIn guiding the Bucs to a franchise-record 6,014 yards last season, Dirk Koetter did a lot of things right.

He tailored Tampa Bay’s attack to a first-year quarterback and two rookie offensive linemen, streamlining the playbook. He helped resurrect Doug Martin’s career. He developed Cameron Brate as a productive tight end.

But Koetter’s best work may have been savvy utilization of Charles Sims as a No. 2 running back after a disappointing rookie season.

After averaging 2.8 yards per carry in 2014, Sims rushed 107 times for 529 yards. I’ll do the math for you – that’s a gaudy 4.9 yards.

The Bucs drafted Sims in the third round, touting his pass-catching skills. Last year, he responded with 51 receptions last year for 561 yards, tying Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the team lead with four touchdown receptions.

“He’s one of my favorite players,’’ says center Evan Smith. “The dude’s super elusive when he gets the ball in his hands. Getting him the ball in space is probably one of the most dangerous things in the NFL.’’

Sims accounted for 1,090 yards. That’s a big number for only 10 touches per game. Only eight NFC backs accounted for more yards from scrimmage — one of them Martin — and Sims got stronger as the season progressed.

Not Since The Bush Administration

Although the Bucs faded down the stretch, Sims averaged 86 yards from scrimmage in the final five games.

“He’s a tremendous talent,’’ Hawley says. ”He and Doug both run very hard, with different styles. We have to know who’s in the backfield when we’re blocking because Charles is going to try to hit the outside and go for the big play while Doug is more of a cut it up inside and pound ‘em. We get it done either way.’’

A year ago in training camp, Koetter reintroduced a play that Buc fans hadn’t witnessed since the Bush administration.

Yes, the screen pass returned to One Buc Place, and Sims thrived as the catalyst.

“The screen is very effective when you do it right, but it’s not easy,’’ Sims says. “It’s all about timing. You time it right and it’s going to hit. As a back, you can see everything before the play develops, so you know how much time you’ve got.’’

With Koetter taking over head coaching duties, Sims looks more confident in camp. He knows his role, and he can’t wait to follow up on a breakthrough sophomore season.

“I think I did a good job last year and I just want to keep getting better,’’ he says. “Doug’s my guy. We’re going to keep pushing each other.’’


Sims made a lot of noise on the field last fall, but good luck trying to get him to open up. He guards his words as tightly as he guards the football.

“I talk to Chuck every day just to try and get five words out of him,’’ Smith says. “Down deep, he knows how good he is, but he doesn’t talk himself up. Everyone on this team knows he and Doug are as talented as all get-out.’’

Hawley has made it a personal crusade to carry on a conversation with Sims.

“Everybody knows he doesn’t talk much,’’ Hawley told me. “It’s not you, so don’t take it personal. All guys are different. You don’t need to be a rah-rah guy, especially if that’s not who you are.’’

To put Sims’ 2015 production into perspective, he touched the ball 158 times and generated 1,090 yards. Jonathan Stewart, the No. 1 back for the NFC champion Panthers, had 100 more touches than Sims and finished with two fewer yards.

The Bucs have every reason to feel good about the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing game. Tampa Bay’s average of 4.8 yards per carry tied Buffalo for the league lead and the Bucs topped all teams with 20 runs of at least 20 yards.

Martin accounted for 14 of those long gains, leading all NFL backs, but Sims had four long runs of his own.

On the night he became a Buccaneer, the former standout at Houston and West Virginia was asked for his reaction.

“I feel good about the situation,’’ Sims said. “I feel real good.’’

Two years later, so do Buc fans.

31 Responses to ““One Of The Most Dangerous Things In The NFL””

  1. JA Says:

    Methinks Sims to be the best kept secret in the NFL. He gets no national press coverage yet is every bit as valuable to this offense as Doug Martin.

  2. stopthemadness Says:

    Great article Ira. Can’t wait for this season to get going.

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Nice write-up Ira – Keep’em coming

  4. Bronze Badger Says:

    Finally some original content on this site. Sadly, a peek at the home page proves this is an extraordinarily ignorant and inaccurate statement.–Joe

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Thanks Ira. Love reading about players like Charles Sims and some of the others who contribute a bunch yet often don’t get the same accolades as some of the superstars and All-Pros. If each of our RBs, WRs and TEs had years like Sims had in 2015 we’d win the Super Bowl hands down. OK, well maybe we’d need some defense, but that’s coming along too.

  6. Calibucfan Says:

    Joebucsfan does it right. Best Buccaneers news source for the local answer out of state fan. Now Ira is the icing to Joe’s cake. I love it.

  7. crazy Says:

    Glad you’re here, Ira. Thanks

  8. Buccfan37 Says:

    Yeah baby, with some exclamation points to boot!!! This reality is as uplifting as all get out!!!

  9. Bob in Valrico Says:

    good to hear doug and Sims get along. One of the things that broke up WD 40 ,Dunn wanted to be feature back and quite possibly money.

  10. FartinMartin Says:

    Good stuff !

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ira…..great in-depth article….and a great subject…..Sims was maligned as a rookie mostly because many fans thought we didn’t need a running back and we picked one too high in the draft.
    How wrong….Sims is a true value and a great compliment to Martin….I really don’t believe there is a team in the NFL that wouldn’t take him.

    Now, here is a question I’m sure many JBF fans would like to know…..Will you be interacting with fans like the Joes do by responding within your articles……I know your experience with the Tribune interactive like JBF. I hope you eventually decide to interact with us…..it think you would enjoy it.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    wasn’t interactive like JBF

  13. The Real Malloy Says:

    Joe(s) sure seems to be getting his (their) panties in a wad when people start loving on Ira. I love it!

  14. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Ira, just have to say that I’m enjoying the different angle and style your writing brings to us fans… local and beyond… Thanks to you and the Joe’s… Keep it coming! Go Bucs!

  15. Pawel Says:

    2 years ago or even last year we weren’t excited about every position as we are this year.

  16. SB with Jameis Says:

    Bronze Badger Says:
    August 1st, 2016 at 6:38 pm
    Finally some original content on this site. Sadly, a peek at the home page proves this is an extraordinarily ignorant and inaccurate statement.–Joe
    I second Joe’s statement. IF this website is Anything it is Original.

  17. SB with Jameis Says:

    Great point TBBF. Great question

  18. SB with Jameis Says:

    The Real Malloy Says:
    August 1st, 2016 at 8:18 pm
    Joe(s) sure seems to be getting his (their) panties in a wad when people start loving on Ira. I love it!
    I don’t think it is so much people “loving on Ira” that gets Joe or he wouldn’t have hired him. It is people criticizing Joe instead. Joes put out 6 to 10 articles a day no matter how much news is generated in the football world. His articles are shorter and sometimes aren’t proof read but he is trying to get them out to us as soon as he can. He has gotten better in the 4 years I have been here and this is one of the first sites I click on every morning. Always before BSPN or NFL. Keep it up Joes

  19. salish_seamonster Says:

    And all the naysayers bashed the pick. Cooler heads said there was method to the madness. Look who’s right again – Jason Licht.

  20. Dave Says:

    So glad they kept the two of them. They complement each other great.

  21. Joe Says:


    Joe doesn’t care if folks like him or not. But when someone claims we don’t have original content, not only is that patently inaccurate, it is one of the stupidest comments (and lies) Joe has ever read. In fact, that’s trolling.

    Joe is quite happy readers are enjoying Ira. Obviously.

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    I like you Joe.

  23. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I would take the time to defend the Joes but it appears SB has done a fine job.

  24. SB with Jameis Says:

    Thank you SPBF. You are an Oak as always in this community!

  25. NC Buc727 Says:

    G Ira, lol. Maybe Ira OG

  26. SB with Jameis Says:

    I get it Joe. It’s all good.

  27. Joe Says:

    He has gotten better in the 4 years I have been here and this is one of the first sites I click on every morning. Always before BSPN or NFL.

    Thanks SB for the very kind words!

  28. SB with Jameis Says:

    No problem sir. Keep the personal front reporting coming at an awesome pace. The personal touch you put in your writing and some of the guys commenting here keep me coming back.

  29. Owlykat Says:

    Another WVa player who is under appreciated is Tanney. He is good enough to be a starter. But he played CB in college and could be used as a CB too if needed. He also is active on the Special Team too because he has such great speed. He and Ryan would do great as starters.

  30. Harry Says:

    Great article Ira. So glad you are now with the Joes. You were always my favorite columnist in Tampa.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    SB with Jameis

    Whats good brotha? I Missed getting back to U – the other day.
    Had a great vacation w/Da Kids. Hope everything good w/You & Yours.