Charles Sims to be featured in Buccaneers' backfield

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sport one of the NFL's youngest offenses this season, with Jameis Winston at quarterback, two rookie starters on the offensive line and second-year wideout sensation Mike Evans.

Don't forget about running back Charles Sims, drafted in the third round a year ago.

The coaching staff remains "very high" on Sims, ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas wrote Friday.

Similarly, the Pewter Report blog has noted that the Bucs have "big plans" for Sims and plan to feature him in their attack this season.

As a rookie, Sims managed just 2.8 yards per carry in eight games. Our game notes point to subpar vision, burst and tackle-breaking ability. His film called to mind a slow-motion C.J. Spiller, lacking the explosive lateral agility and breakaway speed while showing nothing between the tackles.

Buccaneers coaches would point out that Sims was battling a severe case of rust after missing most of August and the first half of the season with an ankle injury. He was just starting to hit his stride by the season finale, when he totaled a season-high 75 yards on 19 touches.

"You can see each week he's getting a little more explosive," former offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo said in late December. "You'll see him now and say, 'I haven't seen that step since the first week of camp,' or, 'Oh, that's something new.' It's just such a freak dynamic out of the backfield with him."

To Arroyo's point, Sims did show obvious instincts and skills as a receiving back, averaging 10.0 yards on 19 catches.

The passing-down role is the one to which he's ideally suited. Unless the Bucs can get Doug Martin to recapture his 2012 form as an early-down hammer, they are likely to be disappointed in their backfield production this season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Geno Smith and the Jets' QB position and much, much more with special co-host Colleen Wolfe. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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