Buccaneers: Three bold predictions for the 2017 season
1. Jacquizz Rodgers Leads the Team in Rushing Again
Make no mistake about it, Rodgers has the ability to get the job done here. We need to look no further than last year for all of the proof that we need. In a year when nobody on the team could run the ball, Rodgers did. He was signed off the street and averaged over four yards per carry, the only back with more than 100 carries to do so. His 560 yards was more than 100 yards ahead of the field. Did he do it in every game? No, but part of that is because his role changed. Backs need to get the ball to be consistent. When Rodgers got the ball he ran well.
If not Rodgers, who is it going to be? Many think Jeremy McNichols is the running back of the future. He might be…of the future. Barring an unbelievable training camp, McNichols does not break camp as the number one back. Charles Sims has proven not to be great between the tackles, injury prone and a change-of-pace back. He’s not looked at as a guy that can take the ball 20 times per game.
That leaves the other elephant in the room. I’m sure Doug Martin wouldn’t like to be called an elephant, but you all know the expression. What can we expect out of Doug? It’s hard to say before camp opens, but is anyone confident that he will be the good Doug? The injury prone “lean” years have outnumbered the good ones. The team has spoken highly of him so far, but that could be, at least in part, a smoke screen to attract other teams. There is no guarantee Martin remains on the roster after his suspension, much less comes back to his old form.
Look for Rodgers to lead the team in rushing, again.