Tampa’s newly crowded backfield


With the draft in the rear view mirror for head coach Lovie Smith. Now begins the piecing and puzzling headache of moving guys around and matching up depth charts and line ups. Smith’s first major decision, and one that won’t likely be made til after the final pre-season game, is the now crowded backfield of Tampa Bay.

With the selection of Charles Sims out of West Virginia in the 3rd round. He seems to be a shoo-in to make the team. You don’t draft a back out of the 3rd round and he not make the team. He’ll be the alternative to Doug Martin. Speaking of the muscle hamster. Martin isn’t going anywhere either and looks like the clear cut starter. This now creates chaos with the selection that many did not agree with.

Here’s the down to earth quick bio on Sims. He can catch. He can run. However the running back style in Sims isn’t strong. He’ll compliment Martin, not replace him. But where does Bobby Rainey or Mike James play into this?

Spoiler. They don’t.

It’s bad news bears for James and Rainey as Sims will be the main alternative to Martin. His vision and explosiveness in catching the ball out of the backfield is major security to the quarterback. Something Lovie Smith’s offense will covet. One of the two will make the team, but production will be slim.

This is why I don’t like the Sims pick. There may have been pre-thought out deeper plans to dump James or Rainey, but in the end, Tampa’s gotta shed one of them. Had the Buccaneers just draft another position, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

I like the idea of the ‘committee’ style running system, however, because he can be so effective when on a roll, is Doug Martin a guy you wanna begin taking off the field? For not only an alternative and short breather, but a 3rd punch? I understand saving players and keep them fresh, but there’s also something to be said for just being too careful and not letting your guys get into a groove. Momentum is huge for backs and if you put Martin in the game and pull him back out before he can establish a presence. You’re biting the hand that’s feeding you.

The Buccaneers are expected to run a lot with this rotation in an effort to keep pressure off the quarterback, whether it’s Glennon or McCown, but they also wanna throw the ball downfield with new rookie pass catchers Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. They wanna set up the pass with the run and dial up the play-action for deep throws to the new guys.

The crowded backfield answers may be solved sooner rather than later as many rumors start to fly about possible trades, however until the situation plays out. What’s the saying?

Three’s a company, four’s never allowed on the football field at the same time?

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