44 Odd Seconds

May 22nd, 2017

Running backs coach Tim Spencer speaks

Joe is sensing a trend at One Buc Palace, and Joe’s not sure whether it’s encouraging, alarming, exciting or all three.

The subject is rookie running back Jeremy McNichols, the fifth-round pick out of Boise State.

He had a hell of a career there rushing. The young man ran for 43 touchdowns and 3,046 yards through the past two seasons, averaging a whopping 5.6 yards per carry.

But some of the big guns at One Buc Palace either aren’t talking about McNichols’ rushing ability or it’s not something they highlight. It’s McNichols’ skills in the passing game that seem to have everyone’s interest.

Right after the draft, general manager Jason Licht held a news conference and quickly highlighted that McNichols has “rare hands” and super pass blocking. Yes, Licht also threw in that McNichols is a guy with three-down value, but he highlighted nothing about his running skills.

But what really got Joe’s attention was running backs coach Tim Spencer at One Buc Palace last week. Spencer was asked what liked most about McNichols’ game.

Spencer immediately started talking about how the rookie catches balls and can line up everywhere, including having success outside as a pure receiver hauling in deep passes. Then Spencer added that McNichols will miss time and must catch up, and he talked about the learning-curve of the Bucs offense.

It was 44 thoughtful seconds from the RBs coach about his rookie back and not one mention of carrying the rock.

That doesn’t happen often.

McNichols, the Bucs hope, is the heir to Doug Martin’s crumbling throne in the Tampa Bay backfield. Talk is cheap, very cheap. But Joe would feel a little more encouraged if there was, in fact, more talk about McNichols’ running skills.


44 Responses to “44 Odd Seconds”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    Not for nothing but, we have plenty of “one-trick ponies” as it is. I hope this is all smoke and mirrors.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    He has been having trouble remembering our plays he said in a TV Interview.

  3. Tom Edrington Says:

    Same way they talked about Sims…..

  4. Dlavid Says:

    Surely the ” three down back” label everyone is giving him as well as a ” great blocker ” means toting the rock is inevitable with these characterization .

  5. tnew Says:

    One thing that I found troubling was in the Rock Riley piece. McNichols really gave pause to the task of learning the playbook. You could tell he wasn’t ready to tackle it. His words at 45 seconds in when he speaks of the difficulty that he is having an saying “I’ll eventually learn it” where puzzling to say the least. Maybe its his personality to be nonchalant. I’m hoping that was just a poor word choice but at any case, it was disturbing. With his injury, his learning the playbook should be his number one priority.

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    Maybe, just maybe, the Bucs are not looking to pound the rock for 300 carries up the gut!!!! Maybe the do not want to run the ole-buc ball offense!!!!!! The 4 vert offense is emerging more and more every year!!!!! This is why so many media and sheep mis-read the draft so badly!!!!!!

  7. Guzzie Says:

    He’s going to be brought along slowly, the more splash plays the more he will play

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Maybe he is putting Sims on notice?

  9. Lou. Says:

    McNichols is NOT the “heir to Martin’s crumbling throne.”

    He is the prince-in-waiting to take Sims’ place.

    Joe can decide whether to be encouraged, alarmed or excited.

  10. Born again Bucs fan Says:

    Convert him to WR

  11. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Hey Joe, mini camp is today. Open to the press?

  12. martinii Says:

    What are the chances the Buc’s carry 5 backs, 0 FB, and use a TE as a FB is short yardage situations?

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Realist- I don’t care what anyone says, you HAVE to have a legit rushing attack if you want to win football games. Don’t under-estimate a good ground game.

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Lookayear, They will bring this kid along slowly. Martin will be reinstated after suspension and have a stellar year. NEXT!!!

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    3046 rushing yards with 43 rushing TDs in 25 games speaks for itself.

    McCaffrey was picked #8 overall (1400 value points). McNichols was pick #162 (9.6 value points).

    Compare CMac and JMac’s stats and it becomes obvious that 1 NFC South team grossly over paid for a versatile RB prospect and another got a hell of a steal in the 5th round for a similar skillset.

  16. RayJameisStadium Says:

    @TBR the two by four is coming in September for old Buc Ball lovers.

    I’m eager to see the new twist on both sides of the ball. Shoot, I’m even eager to see what happens in the kicking competition.

    Go Bucs!!!!!

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    good point Pickgrin. When I read this I thought of Cmac myself. Will be interesting to see how all these RBs’ careers pan out

  18. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I’ve never got any indication the Bucs hope McNichols is the heir to Doug Martin, certainly never heard it said. So I just think “what ever you want to believe” to all that.

    I have heard “RB by committee,” and do know Sim’s has shown he can’t run between the tackles, healthy or not. With a contract year, it was my assumption they want McNichols to do at least what Sims can, obviously hopefully more.

    I think Sim’s job is the most vulnerable of all them, including Barber. We know why Martin hasn’t performed when he is healthy. The also oft-injured Sims hasn’t really done that much.

  19. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    We had no running backs that can block for Jameis. That’s the main reason he is here is my guess. Plus he can do everything Sims does and more. I think either sims or barber gets released with McNichols taking one of their spots.

  20. Joeypoppems Says:

    McNichols is the heir to Sims 3rd down throne, not Doug Martin’s.

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

    All I know is during that session Spencer mentioned Quizz 6lbs loss and how it has made him faster. He followed that by referencing Barber’s 233lbs, saying “people don’t realize how BIG he truly is”. To me that suggest a level of comfort in him in short yardage situations. Those are the two RBs I’m excited about heading into the season. Everyone else is we’ll see in my mind.

  22. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    You’re all over complicating the Doug Martin scenario. It’s fairly simple: Three weeks to evaluate our talent, then a decision will be made based of performance, injuries and Dougie’s contract renegotiation. It’s inevitable someone will be on IR by then and a space will open.

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

    Again,Barber was listed at 223lbs last season. The 10lbs increase over the off season has to have been for a specific reason. Y’all can keep thinking DM and McNicohls. I’m focused on Quizz on Barber.

  24. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Good thing licht passed on all of those RBs available earlier but then traded up to draft a friggin K last year

  25. Buc1987 Says:

    BradentuckeyBuc…absolutely correct, but the Joe’s has to write. It’s their job.

  26. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Speaking of RBs, I just finish reading B/R NFL1000, Ranking Every NFL Backfield. . They ranked the Bucs at 11th with Doug Martin as the starter and Rodgers, Sims, McNichols, Barber as the reserves. They ranked Carolina 8th, Atlanta 3rd and New Orleans 1st. The RBs are very important in the NFC South, they open up the passing game. We know what these teams in the NFC South are capable of. You will need a balanced attack to compete in the NFC South, that’s a fact.

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I just hope we put the best backs out there regardless of any pre-conceived draft notions. If Peyton Barber for whatever reason is the most effective back then make him the starter.

    They may envision McNichols as a pass catching specialist but if he runs more effectively than any other back then he should be taking those carries. These coaches seem to reward performance over draft position so I’m not that worried I’m just excited.

  28. Cobraboy Says:

    He’s heir to Sims, not Martin. The probability Sims gets a juicy 2nd contract from the Bucs is nil. McNichols will have 4 years on a rookie contract. A team needs to plan to replace those on rookie contracts they won’t be re-upping for large bucks. Sims is an excellent example of this.

    The number of true “3 down backs” in the NFL are roughly equivalent to the number of rainbow unicorns in Dade City.

    There are few every play “starters” in the NFL. It’s all about situations and match-ups.

  29. Capt. Blighe Says:

    He’s a freakin 5th round pick and joe talks like he’s AP.
    Doug will be on this team and this kid is no starter.
    Silly Season is here.

  30. USFBUC Says:

    NosBos – I agree with you that Barber is one of the guys to watch. He was very effective as a RB in the SEC and I am hoping that he blows up at some point for the Bucs. I think our future RBs could be Barber, Rodgers, and McNichols.

  31. bucs_365 Says:

    If Joe is wondering about McNichols’ running, all he has to do is look at some highlight videos on YouTube. If you’re wondering why they aren’t talking about his running as much as his pass catching and blocking, I think it’s just more evidence that they see him as another piece to diversify the offense, and that he’s not going to be the lead back. Also seems to be more evidence that they’re comfortable with Martin and Rodgers as the lead runners.

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

    Agreed USF everyone sleepin on Barber but adding 10 pounds is not by chance. Coach Spencer didn’t say he was out of shape he just specified the added weight.

  33. JOEinPHX Says:

    Dewey Selmon Says:
    May 22nd, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Hey Joe, mini camp is today. Open to the press?

    No minicamp today. Team building exercise for the staff at TopGolf.

  34. DoNUTS Says:

    This is a passing league and Bucs offense is geared to let it loose with the addition of DJAX so the coaches will talk passing first typically. Its hard to talk about a rookies running skills when they have not even put on the pads yet.

    Its too early to be reading the rookie camp tea leaves IMHO.

  35. nujerzbuc Says:

    It is the same thing they spoke about with McCaffery. They talk about his ability to catch the ball and get 10 TOUCHES A GAME!!! REALLY?? for the 8th overall pick. McNichols is a 5th round pick. Enough said

  36. biff barker Says:

    Not even the Bucs know how this is all going to shake until he’s taking snaps…in camp, in pads.

    As Tom E. said, we’ve heard this phantom back lining up everywhere with Sims too.

  37. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Christian McCaffrey will get 20-25 touches a game. I don’t know where that 10 touches come from. Carolina didn’t spend the 8th pick on a part-time player. McCaffrey will be the primary PR, that’s why Ted Ginn Jr is in New Orleans. Johnathan Stewart will be the starting RB, but McCaffrey should get 10-12 carries a game. But he won’t be sitting the bench while Stewart is the featured back. He will probably be in the slot, as Curtis Samuels go out wide. Jeremy McNichols should get at least 10-12 touches a game for the Bucs as a rookie.

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

    If he does get that many touches he’ll be on IR by mid season Lakeland. Keep in mind Stewart received a one year extension,are you sure McCaffery will be backing him up??? That’s awful lot to pay taking a guy 8th overall to be a relief pitcher.

  39. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Nole, he’s a WR/PR/RB/KR, the exact same title he had at Stanford. Johnathan Stewart has played in 54 games during the past 5 seasons, so he has missed a total of 26 games during the past 5 seasons. McCaffrey will get carries this season.

  40. Aaron Says:

    I’m fine with our RBs as long as we are not kidding ourselves that we are a run 1st team.

  41. JimmyJack Says:

    Sounds like they are planning on using McNicols in the same role that Sims plays when our stables are healthy. I don’t think we’ll hear a whole bunch about McNicols running between the tackles because his primary use will be in the passing game.

    This guy can really make Sims look like a sore thumb on the roster if he excels. Sims has been just fine running between the tackles when he is limited to about 10 carries. But that is not good enough because sometimes(like last year) Sims has to be able to take on extra duties in the running game in case of injury to others. Simms has shown no ability to be able to handle 20+ rushes per game.

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    We are a run 1st team Aaron. Just look at the way our O-line has been built. Every guy we got on the line excels in runblocking as does our #1WR and #1&2TE, OJ&Stocker……..We will be a balanced attack.

  43. Trubucfan22 Says:

    The writing is on the wall! Doug Martin is still the bellcow in Tampa. Get used to it Joe.

  44. JOEinPHX Says:

    Just checking.