Seven games. That's how long it took this year for the Bucs to start looking ahead towards 2015. After the trade deadline, you can see the Bucs plan unfolding. Stock pile as many draft picks as you can and hopefully hit on a few. But that's next year. What more can be accomplished this year? I say a lot. Continuing to develop the young players is going to be imperative if this team wants to be competitive next year. Mike Evans needs to continue being a threat on the outside. Mike Glennon needs to continue to show he's a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL. Austin Seferian-Jenkins needs to continue to be a threat down the middle of the field. There is one more thing that needs to happen moving forward this year. Charles Sims needs to play the majority of the snaps at running back.
Doug Martin has struggled this year. Really, he's struggled the last two seasons. Bobby Rainey has been serviceable but hardly exceptional. The Bucs need another weapon on offense. That guy can be Sims. We know his story. He fractured his ankle in August and was then placed on injured reserve-designated to retun list. The Bucs third round pick this past year has an opportunity to be a threat every time he touches the ball. Lovie Smith knows getting Sims back in the lineup will greatly help his team. “There’s no doubt. When he’s ready to go, he’ll give us a spark. I feel pretty confident saying that.”
I tell you who could also use him right now. That's offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. He's been trying to put together a potent offense ever since Jeff Tedford went on medical leave. Sims could be part of the solution for this offense. Whether he plays or not this Sunday is anyone's guess. Although Smith sounds optimistic.
"He’ll have a chance. It’s two weeks now to see him on the field. He’s getting better and better. Got a good look at him today," Smith said. "That quickness and all those things we liked when we drafted him, we’re starting to see that. We miss having him out there. We’re a little banged up at the running back position, too, so we’ll see how the week plays out."
The Bucs won't win many more games this year with their current lineup. I'm not sure if I can find two more winnable games on the schedule. But by playing Sims now, you put your team in a better position to compete next year. After all, isn't that what the rest of the season is all about?
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