Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford have presented different takes on what we should expect from running back Doug Martin this season. Smith has called Martin his "bell cow" while Tedford has said that he wants to give carries to multiple backs this season.
Smith may be the head coach, but as a defensive-minded one, Tedford's that matter most for offensive matters. Perhaps it won't be a true timeshare, but it should be known that Tedford really likes third-round rookie running back Charles Sims.
"Charles Sims has done an excellent job," Tedford said via the team's official website. "He's a bigger back who can run between the tackles. He runs with a low pad level and catches the ball really, really well. ... You can't really tell right now in terms of pass protection, but it looks on tape like he can pass-protect."
Pass protection makes or breaks many rookie running backs, but if Sims can pan out there, he'll have a chance to pass Bobby Rainey and Mike James on the depth chart. Does this mean we should expect him to be a prominent piece of the Bucs' offense immediately and deliver a hit to Martin's fantasy value? Far from that at the moment, but file this away for players and position battles to watch during the preseason. While Martin will get the majority of the work out of the backfield, it's clear that he'll be sharing with someone this season. Right now, Martin is still a low-end RB1.