TAMPA – There were some who thought the arrival of rookie fifth-round draft pick Jeremy McNichols would eventually bring an end to fellow running back Charles Sims brief tenure with the Buccaneers.
That could still happen but after listening to Bucs coach Dirk Koetter rave about Sims following practice on Thursday, it seems Sims’ place on the roster is pretty secure. At least for now.
Though Doug Martin has far and away stood out the most among all the Bucs running backs since training camp began, Sims has made quite an impression himself while proving his overall value to the team.
When asked what it was Sims has done to stand out among most of the others in this camp, Koetter said “pretty much everything,’’ before going into detail over what it is he likes about the third-year back.
“He’s hitting’ the holes hard in the running game, he can play every position in the passing game, and he’s one of our best protectors,” Koetter added. “He’s also doing a really nice job on special teams.
“He’s playing in the core on special teams, so he’s doing the dirty work there because he’s such a good blocker. Charles doesn’t say much, but he is as solid as the day is long. Just a really good football player.’’
The problem with Sims, of course, is that he’s proven to be a rather brittle football player as well. He’s actually missed more time (17 games) the last three years than Martin, who has missed 13 over that span.
When healthy, though, Sims can be a dynamic two-way threat. He proved that two years ago when he ran 107 times for 529 yards and caught 51 passes for 561 more and four touchdowns.
Sims may in fact be the most well-rounded back the Bucs have. He’s not the runner Martin is, but he’s easily the best pass catcher in the group and arguably the best blocker.
There’s always room for a player like that on a team, and with Martin slated to miss the first three games of the season while he serves out his suspension for his 2016 PED violation, he could prove to be the Bucs best and most valuable back through the early going at least.