Mike James Expected To Fight For 2nd String RB Position

TAMPA | There is a lesson running back Mike James' mother taught him at a young age — it's better to share with others. It is a principle that James has instilled in his entire life, including football.

And it is that unselfishness that has endeared James to the Tampa Bay Bucs.

As the Ridge Community High School alum concludes his first rookie mini-camp, James want to show that the team's sixth-round pick was a good choice.
"I'm getting acclimated with the language," James said. "I'm trying to get in tune with everything going on. It isn't tough, just different.

"Today went a long way in seeing how things work," he said. "They want to see how you handle things and seeing how you respond."

Nothing James has done since he arrived or prior has changed how the Bucs feel about him.

General Manager Mark Dominik is high on James and told a local radio station that he expects James to compete for the backup job behind starter Doug Martin.

Following the draft, Dominik compared James to former fan-favorite Earnest Graham, not only because of unselfishness on the field but also off.

James won the University of Miami's Captain Award in 2012; Melching Leadership Award and was voted the 2012 Jack Harding Team Most Valuable Player. He also was the 2012 Community Service Man of the Year winner for the Hurricanes.

But no one makes a professional team or gets drafted just because he is a good guy. James also has skills.

Even though he was a backup to some talented backs including Duke Johnson and Lamar Miller, James still contributed.

He became just the 38th 1,000-yard rusher in the program's history and even rushed for 621 yards and six touchdowns in his senior year.

"That's something I always prided myself on," James said. "My mom taught me as a child to share. That's something I do throughout my days in life and through football. I'll do anything to try to help this team get better. I'm just a puzzle piece to this team, trying to help."

Like Graham before him, the Bucs think James can be valuable on all four downs.

"As an organization we felt that and feel that after having him for a day (that he's a football player," said Bucs coach Greg Schiano. "Not only is he a good running back but he's good on special teams. I think he's going to be a real good addition to our football team. How fast does that happen? We'll have to play that out but I think he has all the tools to do that."

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