Buccaneers: Charles Sims looking for a return to past efficiency marks

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Charles Sims /

The Buccaneers need efficiency from Charles Sims at the running back position.

The Buccaneers running back situation has been a topic of much debate during the offseason. More accurately, it has been a topic since the moment we found out about Doug Martin‘s suspension. We all wondered if the Bucs would take a top prospect in the draft, and when Martin would be released, not if. Let’s face it, many thought he would already be gone by now.

Well, Martin is still here, and there is a decent chance he will be here throughout his suspension. There is another incumbent running back that doesn’t get as much talk. He lives in the shadows of the big stars but is a talented player. When healthy, he was the “yang” to Martin’s “yin”. His name, of course, is Charles Sims.

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Now, the opinions on Sims are not unanimous. I wrote that he would lose his spot on the depth chart to rookie Jeremy McNichols. However, after looking at the numbers (via Pro Football Focus), we realize that keeping Sims out there wouldn’t be so bad. Heck, if we can get the 2015 version of him, watch out.

Efficiency is a word that is thrown around a lot with players, but let’s see how it applies with Sims. What is Sims well-known for doing? Catching passes out of the backfield. It’s a main part of his game so let’s look at his efficiency there.

Sims was at his best in 2015. That year, he came in at 2.25 yards per pass route run, good for second in the entire league. Last year, injuries kept the number down for Sims, but not as much as one would think. In 238 snaps, he still finished ninth in the league at 1.56 yards per pass route run.

What does this tell us? When Sims is out there he gets the most out of each play, especially in the passing game. Even banged up, he was able to maintain a reasonable level of efficiency. Yet, he still is in danger of not making the team. Why?

Because he is a one-dimensional threat. His 3.9 career average yards per carry is simply not good enough. You can’t have a running back that will only catch passes, otherwise the defense will know what is coming when he is out on the field. Sims will have to run well in order to keep his spot.

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But if he does remain, Charles Sims will be an asset in the passing game. No reason why that won’t continue.