“Nothing More Than A Third Down Back”

May 3rd, 2017

Should be pushed by rookie.

Regular readers to this here corner of the Interwebs know that Joe is very lukewarm when it comes to Charles Sims.

Yes, winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter gets excited about Sims, but for Joe, Sims is more like a cold shower.

You can count on one hand how many good games he’s had. But to his credit, when he has a good game, Sims really makes a splash.

Not unlike Doug Martin, Sims has been bitten by the injury bug. Two years ago, Sims had his best season and not coincidentally, Sims was healthy the whole season. In his rookie and third years combined, Sims played in a total of 15 games.

Last year when Sims did play, at least when running the ball, he demonstrated little ability to run between the tackles and when trying to go outside, he often danced like Bruno Mars.

In other words, Sims seems more of a one-trick (albeit talented) pony. When he is healthy.

Tampa Bay beat guy Roy Cummings believes the Bucs may have drafted Sims’ eventual replacement in Jeremy McNichols. Appearing on Super Sports Sunday with Dan Lucas and Paul Ryan on WFLA-TV Channel 8 Sunday night, Cummings acknowledged folks are wont to compare McNichols to Doug Martin because of the Boise State connection, but a more apt comparison is Sims.

“The guy [McNichols] has to beat out in my opinion is going to be Charles Sims,” Cummings said. “Charles Sims is the guy who I think this team has realized a year ago is nothing more than a third down back. Jeremy McNichols? He can definitely handle third down duties. He can block extremely well. [He is a] tremendous pass protector.”

And that is the difference between McNichols and Peyton Barber. Cummings wondered why folks tend to forget Barber. Well, first you have to make a memory in order to be forgotten.

The Bucs really like Barber as a runner and believe he could be a hidden gem. And the few times Barber has been given a shot, he hasn’t exactly embarrassed himself. The win at Kansas City last year springs to mind.

The problem with Barber is he struggles with pass protection. And when your franchise is the quarterback, you better believe pass protection from a running back is significant.

Now that is something that can be taught and learned over time. If Barber can somehow become just average in pass protection, then it may signal a reason why the Bucs didn’t draft a running back earlier than the fifth round last week.

67 Responses to ““Nothing More Than A Third Down Back””

  1. R.O. Says:

    We rarely Audible out of a bad run play anyway… so I’m not sure why PB struggling on PP is a big deal.

  2. Not there yet Says:

    Tampa surprised everyone by not taking an interest in running back with a high pick so no one has any Intel and it’s a good guess but who knows anything about the plans when the guy is injured and won’t be to camp until July. 5th round picks easily don’t make this roster. I think Peyton barber is the guy with worries asking with Martin If mcnichols is better than expected

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with the comments about Sims and Barber. Barber is a good runner (was never tackled for a loss at Auburn – a stat that has always impressed me) but, apparently is a weak blocker. Coach K says this is the Achilles heel of many RBs. If he can shape this up (he is big enough), he is a keeper, imo. Sims is expendable. Sounds like McNichols can block as well as run. He was a prolific back at Boise. The RB situation is not dire. If the OL is solid I think we’ll be fine.

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    All this stressing over running backs in a passing league……

  5. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Charles sims is nothing more than a coaching running back. Dude is scared to hit between the tackles, man he’s just scared to hit anyone. You can see it when he tries to run the ball. Plus his blocking really sucks and that’s why they drafted McNichols. If sims wants to stay he’s going to have to change that cause McNichols will take his job.

  6. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Catching running back* dang iPhone lol

  7. SteveK Says:

    Lol Sims is here this year.

    McNichols is here to replace Doug Martin. Similar size, styles, measurements, alma maters, while McNichols is a better receiver and pass protector.

    Our 5th round RB is going to start and we will cut Martin and save $6 million.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Both Barber and Sims will need to really step up their game, or they will be gone.

  9. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Steve K- are you one of the ppl who insisted that the bucs would draft Dalvin cook in the first round? Sorry boss but dougarnaut isn’t going anywheres. They state being a family is very important to them. They won’t give up on him. Especially when Jason said he is 2 yrs out of being second in the league in rushing. They love them some Doug Martin.

  10. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    WHEN healthy Martin is simply more explosive than McNichols. This thing people put on Martin about not being a good receiver I don’t understand. It’s not like he gets the ball thrown to him a ton but he can catch. McNichols is good but not Martin. So no way he beats out a healthy Martin

  11. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    If it’s anybody’s job he’s coming to take its Charles Sims. End of story lol

  12. Bucsfan4life Says:

    I guess I’m part of the minority. I mean I think barber is alright at best but if he was our starting back I just don’t think we would fare too well. I do agree about sims tho. He is a great 3rd down back and nothing more. I remember specifically sitting in end zone last year and seeing a huge hole and watching sims dance around until it closed. It’s nothing personal just don’t think he is a 3 down back.

  13. LakeLandBuc Says:

    This is the last year of Charles Sims contract, and the Bucs haven’t extended him. This will probably be his last year in Tampa. Jeremy McNichols was drafted to be a 3rd down back, maybe he can work himself into a starting Back..That’s to be seen, but he will make the roster.

  14. Joeypoppems Says:

    Yea I think its more McNichols vs Sims than McNichols vs Martin. With that said, if McNichols does earn a significant role for the first 3 weeks and balls out it makes it easier to let Martin go.

  15. PRBucFan Says:

    Nothing more than a third down back with the best hands out of any back in the NFL.

    Dude could easily make a switch to slot receiver if all else fails.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Charles Sims is the guy who I think this team has realized a year ago is nothing more than a third down back.” – Roy

    Not a very good one. I want to believe in Sims, but I’m like Joe. Sims just has not done enough.

    In fact, the only running back I like on this team (Pre-Draft) is Jacquizz Rodgers. The rest could be released and replaced and I would be happy. Quizz isn’t exactly a long term starter, but we can find one if our draft pick does not work out.

    I was looking at the current roster. I know its a long shot that he makes the team, but the Bucs signed Quayvon Hicks, a Fullback out of Georgia.

    He’s supposed to be a very good lead blocker for the running game, and a good pass blocker. Big guy. Might do well in short yardage (the scout report didn’t go into enough detail).

    But when I read it, the first thought I had was of Lorenzo Neal. This guy is a couple inches taller, but around the same weight. Neal had a 16 year career. Was never a big yardage or rushing TD guy. His specialty was blocking, and he did it so well that everyone loved him. Stayed healthy throughout his career.

    If Dirk Koetter were to find a guy like that in Quayvon Hicks, it would help both our running game and our passing game, because Neal never let anyone past him in passing situations and he always opened holes for RBs.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    Sims had a good season two years ago because Martin had a good season. It was Martin who softened up defenses between the tackles 3/4 of the game allowing Sims to be effective. Last year we saw what happens when Martin is not wearing down the defense for the majority of the game and it’s too bad that certain media types refuse to acknowledge in their publications or unjustly ignore what they know personally; Doug Martin’s hamstring tear was severe and severely re-injured when he tried to come back too soon. It wasn’t his lack of desire or his personally letting the team down that caused his ineffectiveness. That was due to a combination of his debilitating injury and his lousy offensive line that got their teeth kicked in damn near all season.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    I won’t be surprised if Sims splits time working with the WR group, specifically the slot.

  19. LocalJoker Says:

    Sims isn’t going anywhere if used for the reason he was drafted. We loved this guy in 2015 when he played to his skill set. Misused last year. Stop cutting skilled players and start trading them if not needed!

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    What Bucs are looking at long term is what I think is interesting. To start this year, Bucs will have Rodgers, Sims, Barber & McNichols. By Game 4 (first game Martin’s eligible to play in), odds are pretty good one of those won’t be on the 53-man roster (ineffectiveness, injury, whatever) … but Martin will join the group at that point most likely. Next year Sims will be gone (McNichols will most likely take his role, and some). My guess is that Rodgers & Barber will also stick next yr, but that Bucs will draft Martin’s replacement (lots of excellent RBs supposedly coming out). Rodgers probably has 2 more yrs with us … if he performs well. Barber & McNichols are the 2 keepers long-term from this yr.

  21. tdtb2015 Says:

    Joe do you think he would be a better WR than the backups we have? He probably would be. IMO

    I would love to see him and VJax as our backup receivers.

  22. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    We’re all going be eyeballing the new guy but Barber could be the sleeper.

    If pass protection is what is keeping him off the field then yes he can learn that.
    If he was a small, dancer then no he’d struggle. I’ve seen lots of little guys stick their heads in there so it’s not for a lack of courage but they’re just too small and the LB’s and DL simply bull rush them right to the QB.

    Barber is big enough to be able to block. If he sees it as a ticket to more PT then perhaps he’s worked really hard in the off season.

    Left out in all the Doug Martin discussion is what motivation it presents to Barber. Do we suppose Barber’s agent sees the golden opportunity in Tampa.
    Quizz has talent but is he an every down back? Who is going to pound the rock when the going gets tough…that should be 225 lb Barber!

    I talk a lot about luck on the way to Minneapolis…this is the kind of luck we need. For Barber to blossom and have a breakout year! At his size that would be huge.

  23. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Dirk Koetter seldom uses a FB in his Vertical Offense. He mostly uses 2 WR,2 TE, RB or 3 WR, TE, RB. Last season he used Luke Stocker as a FB on his short yardage package.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What’s wrong with being a good third round back?

  25. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW…Thomas Bassenger has a good article this morning in The Times on the odds statistically on 5th round draft picks making it at RB.

    It’s obviously a long shot but not earth shaking when it happens.

    One point in Bassenger’s article though was that 5th rounders sometimes get their best production in the years after they left their first team. Either 5th rounders did not get their opportunity early or they simply weren’t ready.

    Michael Turner is a great example of this….5th round pick…OK for SD great for the Falcons….his career just took awhile.

  26. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Peyton Barber don’t have the blocking skills or receiving skill that McNichols has.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    Count me in to the drafting McNicholls is a reflection of Sims, not Martin crowd. People can say what they want, but Doug is a good runner (when healthy, of course!). How many times in 2015 did Doug break tackles at the LOS and gain positive yards? A lot.
    Sims, so far, has been a disappointment and NOT as advertised. If McNicholls is the receiver they say he is, Sims will be long gone at the end of the season.

    @Bonzai- Ahh, the days of Lorenzo Neal! Smash-mouth football. Why not bring Hicks in? Does Cross have a future?

  28. A-Train Says:

    Why isn’t JOE banging the drum to get Blount… A big RB who scores in the red zone…Most TD for RB last year.. HE is unsigned????

  29. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Jay Ajayi and Jordan Howard are two good 5th Round RBs.

  30. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Blount can’t catch a cold in January..he can’t block grandma. He would be a terrible fit in Dirk Koetter Vertical Offense.

  31. BringBucsBack Says:

    DallasBuc, spot on, and don’t forget that defenses are going to stop the run 1st, especially when your RB was #2 in the league the year before and you have an erratic 2nd year QB.

    I’m not sure why it took the Bucs until last season to figure out that Sims should NEVER be given the ball between the tackles. Give him an occasional pitch to the outside, throw it to him out of the backfield and utilize him like a slot receiver.

    He hasn’t quite justified his draft position.

    The Bucs need RB’s, everyone is staying, this year.

  32. The Graham Tram Says:

    Sims’ injury concerns aside, the guy is a weapon – not an every down back but certainly not just a third down back.

    This has been said a thousand times, but look at 2015 and the Atlanta game. That’s how we want to use him man. Want a case study? Look at James White for New England. Specifically the super bowl. Look at Dion Lewis. These guys are weapons that line up in the backfield, the slot, and the outside.

    I’m hoping Martin’s lack of production was due to injury, but McNichols seems more likely to displace Doug.

  33. The Graham Tram Says:

    As Ira would say- “a SPECIOUS arguement!”

  34. Conte Piscateli Says:

    I actually wonder where Barber would have ranked in this year’s class of running backs if he hasn’t come out last year so to family situation. He ran for over 1000 yrds in the SEC and would have likely produced better last year. I figure he would have probably ranked out somewhere near Kareem Hunt, or Kimara, but that’s just my speculation.

  35. Destinjohnny Says:

    I was so bummed on draft day when we didn’t draft trai turner
    Who went to Carolina. It was a need and he is a pro bowler now.

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    “@Bonzai- Ahh, the days of Lorenzo Neal! Smash-mouth football. Why not bring Hicks in? Does Cross have a future?”

    The Bucs signed Hicks as camp meat.

    Hard to believe Neal spent only one year with the Bucs. To this day, I think letting him go was one of Dungy’s biggest mistakes. Everywhere he went, he helped the running game explode.

    Alsott had his second most productive year with him. Dunn had his second best year with the Bucs while Neal was here.

    He went from Tampa to the Titans and helped Eddie George pass 1300 and 1500 yards before going to Corey Dillon passed 1300 yards both years he was there.

    From there he went to the Chargers and helped LaDainian Tomlinson amass huge totals over 5 years. HUGE TOTALS.

    I have always wants a guy like that back on the team. Hick is a long shot, but oh, the images of potential….

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    LakeLandBuc Says
    “Blount can’t catch a cold in January..he can’t block grandma. He would be a terrible fit in Dirk Koetter Vertical Offense.”

    I beg to differ. Everyone seems to think we need more vertical help.

    How about those 3 & 1s we keep missing? We need a short yardage back bad. Blount would come cheap, and one a short contract (1 yr deal), which would give us a chance to see how big a difference a true short yardage back could make.

    18 touchdowns last year. Think about it.

  38. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs fans' Says:

    Jeremy McNichols will be our starting RB eventually.

    He basically combines all of the best attributes from our RB group into one guy:

    1. He’s our best pass-catching RB
    2. He’s our best pass-blocking RB
    3. He’s our fastest/most explosive RB
    4. And he’s the perfect size (a hybrid of Doug Martin and Quizz Rodgers’ size)

    He’s our new do-everything RB.

    Just like OJ Howard is our new do-everything TE.

  39. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Bonzai- Agreed about Neal. His tenure here was far too short.
    I don’t agree about Blount being your short yardage guy. I recall him being very weak at that particular skillset. He wouldn’t be a bad 1st and 2nd down guy though.

  40. Knucknbuc Says:

    The fact that some people actually want to depend on doug martin is still amazing 2 me. Facts hes been good 2 out of 5 years here. Facts he cant catch and fumbles. Doug martin starting makes me want to puke.

  41. LargoBuc Says:

    Sims did okay as a runner the year before cleaning up after Doug wore down the defense. But as far as being that guy that wears defenses down forget it. All Sims can do is catch and motion which basically tips off what they’re doing.

  42. DallasBuc Says:

    People act like the 17th or whatever RB picked in the latter half of round 5 is easily better than Martin and necessarily even starting material. I understand that people are excited about shiny new things and enamoured by the draft prowess of do-no-wrong Licht but get a hold of yourselves folks. This guy has yet to face a training camp, preseason game much less full time load during the regular season behind this suspect oline. Get a grip.

  43. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs fans' Says:

    Dallasbuc, I wouldn’t mind getting a grip of your throat sometimes. (Homer simpson style)

  44. Dexfields22 Says:

    Simms is the odd man out

  45. DallasBuc Says:

    I wouldn’t mind you trying

  46. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Pretty much my speculation after the draft that Sims is the one who should be looking over his shoulder moreso than Martin. I’m still running with the narrative that IF DM22 remains a Buc (probably still somewhat fluid with the current contract, but I still think he is the best RB we have and the team wants him) that ‘Quizz carries the starter role week 1-3 and then Doug gets brought up to speed as the starter after his suspension ends. Both of those guys are every down backs, Sims hasn’t shown he is thus far. Barring injuries the dog fight for RB3 playing time this year could be Sims vs. McNichols (with Barber continuing to round out his game as the RB4)

  47. SteveK Says:


    No, I wasn’t one of the fans that insisted on it being RB early in the draft. I am a proponent of BPA 100% of the time.

    Doug will restructure his deal, or be gone.

    I like the McNichols pick a lot, and am hopeful he can replace Martin.

    Martin is ubreliable. We can’t go to the playoffs with a RB that can’t stay healthy, or off the Molly.

    Were you a blindly loyal Freemanite, as some appear to be in the Martin Mob

    I also think GMC can do more to lead this team to winning. He’s a great talent, but lacks the dog mentality needed on defense in the NFL. He will compliment an alpha dog that can lead us.

  48. PRBucFan Says:

    I was the leader against the Freemanite mob and I believe Martin can comeback.

    I trust Licht, and from all he has said it seems Martin looks better than he has ever looked.

    A new motivation and chapter in life can do that for you. If Martin has come out of rehab with the intention to truly leave that all behind, barring injury he may just shut all his haters up.

  49. Capt.Tim Says:

    SteveK and Erik
    The two of you are exactly on point.
    McNichols is here to replace Martin.
    In Business, War, And football, there has always been one great truth.
    If you dont trust the guy across from you, you cant win together.

    Martin has always only played hard, when he would profit from it. His first year, his contract year.
    Team fighting for the playoffs? Doesnt care, lays down on them.
    Another players contract year? Doesnt care, lays down on him.

    No Buccaneer came foward, and spoke up for Martin- when he was suspended.
    When directly questioned, they all give the same BS answers”nice Guy, Good player”, whatever
    Not one has said”I really want him back on this team”, or”We support him, and cant wait for him to rejoin us”. Things they said about Kwon!!

    McNichols is here to replace Dougie. With our passing game- McNichols, Sims and Barber will Flourish.

    And for those of you doubting Sims, look up his run from last season on Utube.
    It was an incredible run. Breaks 11 sets of ankles.
    Sims is a dancer. So was Marcus Allen. So was Eric Dickerson.
    Sims health worries me. Not his talent.

  50. PRBucFan Says:

    Ahh yes the all knowing Ms.Cleo

  51. Tnew Says:

    Captain Tim. I agree with you 100%. Martin has only performed well in contract years. He is now inter ultimate of contract years. Coming off of 2016, and a ped suspension at the age of 28, he must perform, or he’s cut and will be lucky to have another chance. Licht knows he has him by the cajones and so does Martin.

  52. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Capt. Tim- I guess injuries played no part in that, huh?! You guys with these proclamations! You have no idea of what you’re talking about. None of what you say has any validity because it’s agenda driven.
    If what you say of Doug is true, then it must be equally true of Kwon Alexander, no?
    McNicholls is here most likely to replace Sims. And for pete’s sake, comparisons to Allen and Dickerson are so utterly ridiculous that it’s not even funny! Sims is NOT the answer.

  53. Capt.Tim Says:

    I know you’re clueless
    Hows that?

    With a bit of luck, meybe we can trade the lil quitter, for either sn aging DE, or a young De.

    Either way- the Glazers are Business men( unlike some Posters). Hes taken their money, and broken their trust twice.

    Not impossible- but highly unlikely that he gets a 3rd strike.
    Sorry PR–
    But thats how I see it
    Spoon bending class at 11:00

  54. Cobraboy Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What’s wrong with being a good third round back?

    I assume you meant third down back.

    Nothing at all, unless you’re one-dimensional.

  55. Capt.Tim Says:

    Its one thing to be be clueless- its another to be blind and clueless.
    Have you not seen, with your own lil eyes, that 3 out of Martins 5 years- he sucked?
    Or meybe you missed coach Koetter benching him last year, before the suspension?

    Or meybe I’m wasting my time. Meybe you are Working at MacDonalds right now- and just admire Dougie for being a druggie?

    Who knows. Either way, 3 crappy years outtta 5?
    Time to go , Dougie

  56. Bobby M. Says:

    Barber and Simms are on the bubble…whoever is more valuable on special teams will stick around. The rookie is now the projected future back to replace Doug Martin but it may take a year or two. I dont think the PED issue is even a concern but merely Martin’s age. Simms was supposed to be that guy….he’s obviously not…so you keep looking. Again, if the QB is THE FRANCHISE, then Martin adds significant value vs a guy off the streets that doesnt even know the play book. Jameis wants guys in the backfield that he knows will get the job done blocking and i believe he has a lot of confidence in Martin. I could see Martin and Rodgers splitting carries. That’s a serviceable duo and the Patriots/Falcons both proved that you dont need superstar RBs to compete at a high level.

  57. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ha freakin’ ha! I’m the blind one?! EVERYONE KNOWS that Doug is both injury-prone AND was injured the “3 out of 5 years”!
    But hey, please continue with your childish antagonisms! You didn’t even spell McDonald’s right! Idiot!

  58. Ghingus Kwon Says:

    Two words = Jo Jo Kemp.

  59. bucNation Says:

    we could realistically go into the season with rodgers & barber as primary ball carriers and mcnichols and sims as 3rd down backs…obviously have to see what happens in training camp/preseason but i see why joe says doug martin still might not be safe…you’re right peyton barber wasn’t bad last season wasn’t exactly good but i can see why they would favor him over druggie.

  60. Gt40bear Says:

    If all Sims is good at is recieving, why not convert him to receiver? Good speed/hands. Upgrade over Freddie Velvet Lounge!

  61. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Sims had a really good role in 2015. The run game for whatever reason in 2015 was executed to perfection. 2016, the wheels fell off.

    I contribute 5 things to this.

    1. Injuries. (We went 5 deep at RB, not good)
    2. Poor line play. (Maybe the loss of Mankins hurt this group more than anyone is willing to admit)
    3. No weapons in the passing game to keep defenses from loading the box.
    4. Doug Martin’s drug issue. (He wasn’t the same guy he was in 2015)
    5. Poor execution. (Penalties on big runs hurt us all season)

    Sims is a good player when used to his strengths. 2015 they did that. 2016, not so much.

  62. Spacebuc Says:

    I like the idea of Chuck in the slot.
    Like it or not, DM22 is the starter, if healthy.
    Transitioning Simms to the slot would mean Quizz #2
    Barber#3, McNichols #4. Done deal.
    More Oline from UDFAs/ Waivers still needed

  63. Capt.Tim Says:

    Dumb enough to believe Druggie is only healthy-on the years that makes him money?
    Thats either childishly naive, or downright dumb!
    Everyone knows that he was on drugs at LEAST ONE OF THOSE YEARS
    EVERYONE KNOWS that our coach benched him, for his lack of effort.
    And now
    EVERYONE KNOWS that, if you look at the name tag on your uniform- then Bucsfanwhatever can spell McDonalds.

    At least you were right about one thing

  64. Issic Haggins Says:

    @ Casual Observer , that is a very very important stat and one I saw out of barber last year !! Some backs have a knack for losing yardage and DMartin is getting better at it , which is bad. This is a big part of his bs breaking tackles stat because he is breaking two partially engaged d line tackles and still losing a yard . Barber gets skinny doesn’t have to break any tackles and gets body lean for a one yard gain .
    Martin 2 nd and 11 two broken tackles or out of control running into engaged d lineman
    Barber 2 nd and 9 no broken tackles

  65. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I have been saying that Sims will be gone before Martin…McNichols was drafted to replace him and back up Martin, and eventually maybe be the feature back…with Barber being our next “Ernest Graham.” Remember him? Cheap, reliable, durable, good team player. Not THE man though. Sims won’t get a new contract if he is par this coming season. Which is why McNichols makes sense, why keeping Martin in his current contract is no big deal. Use the money that may have gone for Sims to pay Martin one last year, and you got three cheap years out of McNichols on the way. Bucs are happy, Doug is Happy. Fans are Happy. Heck, even Joe is going to so happy he’ll have Doug over for Christmas beers.

  66. Buc1987 Says:

    Dayum I missed all the fireworks. Nice read though.

  67. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Capt. Dim- Everyone knows your mom frequents “my workplace”!!!!