State of the Bucs: Running Backs

As the Bucs hit the bye week, we take a deeper look at each position through 5 games this season.

The Buccaneers have their bye week this week, so we thought this would be an ideal time to fully evaluate the Bucs current roster after 5 games. We will discuss each player at each position at length and provide you positives and negatives with their play through 5 games this season.

Running Backs:

Doug Martin

Positives: Through 5 games this season, Martin has over 400 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns. Please stop saying that Martin is back to his rookie form because his rookie form was never this explosive. For a back who struggled to stay healthy, and when healthy failed to break any tackles, the transformation in 2015 has been rather impressive.

Negatives: I love seeing Doug Martin perform well, but I am concerned that he finally decided to put forth the extra effort in the off-season leading into a contract year. Like it or not, it is a concern. Do the Bucs give Martin a mega contract? Does Doug Martin believe he deserves DeMarco Murray type money? Will Doug Martin stay motivated after getting a big pay day? There's always a lot of questions when a player's best year is a contract year.

Future: As detailed in the negatives, there is concern that Doug Martin will not stay as motivated once he receives his big pay day. Whether he does or does not, the fact is that he dialed it up a notch this year to get the new big contract. I'd also be hesitant to give most running backs a mega deal like what DeMarco Murray received. I know he's a fan favorite, but the position is expendable. I still think Doug Martin could end up with some nice trade value if the Bucs are interested in that direction, but I think the odds is that Martin sticks with the Bucs for the long haul and we just hope he stays motivated.


Charles Sims

Positives: Sims has become a legit weapon in the Bucs offense. I think Sims has been as valuable as anyone since Austin Seferian-Jenkins got injured. Sims ability to catch the football has given Jameis Winston a safety net. Sims is 2nd on the team with 14 receptions and has 2 touchdowns through the air. Sims has also been pretty electric on the ground as a change of pace to Doug Martin.

Negatives: Sometimes I wonder how Sims can get so alone in open space. When he's in the game, the Bucs try and get him the football. I haven't seen much progress from Sims as a "between the tackles" type of runner, so his role as "change of pace guy" is likely to stick.

Future: Sims isn't going anywhere and will likely keep the role he has now for years to come.


Bobby Rainey

Positives: Rainey's contribution to the Bucs has come solely in the return game, and he is crushing it! Rainey is averaging close to 30 yards per kickoff return and over 13 yards per punt return. Both numbers punt Rainey among the top return men in the NFL.

Negatives: Rainey hasn't done anything on offense, and quite frankly, he hasn't had to.

Future: Rainey will continue being the Bucs return man as long as he's having success. 

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