Charles Sims didn’t have the rookie season that one would have hoped for. But it looks like his sophomore campaign could be one to watch out for.
As ESPN’s Pat Yasinaskis put out his season review of running backs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he alluded to the fact that the Buccs coaching staff was leaning toward making Sims the number one guy heading into the offseason.
Sims finished the season with just 185 yards in eight games on 66 caries (2.8 yards per carry) and scored just once on the ground. He did, however, catch 19 passes for 190 yards (10 yards per catch) after being drafted in the third round.
It was no secret that the Tampa Bay offense struggled this season, ranking 25th in passing and 29th in rushing, averaging just 85.9 yards per game on the ground.
Sims fits into head coach Lovie Smith’s offense, which just hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter as the team’s new offensive coordinator. As the season ended, Smith told Yasinaskis that he plans to let the OC have some freedom but ultimately wanted a balanced offense.
Koetter’s NFL experience began in 2007 when he was hired as the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator. While in Jacksonville, Koetter developed Maurice Jones-Drew into a 1,000 yard rusher. The only three seasons that Jones-Drew ran for over 1,000 yards came under Koetter. During those same seasons, Jones-Drew also got involved in the passing game, catching over 30 passes in each of the three seasons.
While in Atlanta, Koetter produced explosive pass offenses while the running backs struggled with injuries.
For a guy like Sims, the hiring could be a good thing.
At WVU, Sims was the top offensive threat in both rushing and receiving. Smith has a history of using running backs in the passing game, too. The Buccaneers also interviewed former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman for the position. The Bears offense had few bright spots outside of versatile running back Matt Forte, who caught 102 passes for 808 yards and rushed for 1,038 yards.
With a new offensive coordinator in place, signs are pointing to current RB Doug Martin becoming trade bait while Sims becomes a franchise back for Smith to build around.