Saturday, April 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Adjei-Barimah says he'll learn from benching

TAMPA — The Bucs' Jude Adjei-Barimah had an improbable run of seven straight starts at cornerback, but he found himself benched in Thursday's loss to the Rams after giving up a 60-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the first quarter.

Former starter Johnthan Banks played the rest of the game. Adjei-Barimah, an undrafted rookie, said all he can do is learn from the mistake and try to improve.

"It's a mistake on my behalf. I should have been better," Adjei-Barimah said of letting Britt get behind him in coverage for the longest play the defense has allowed this season. "I know my assignment. I know my job. I was trying to be a little too aggressive. … We've been one of the best teams in the league at not giving up the big plays. Giving up the big play like that doesn't give us a good chance to win the game."

Adjei-Barimah, who spent the first three weeks of the season on the practice squad and four more playing sparingly, has 39 tackles and an interception. After joining the team the day after players reported for the start of camp in late July, he should benefit from having a full offseason with the Bucs to improve his play and compete for a role next season.

"I'm just going to go back to practice, go back to work, and wherever the chips fall … ," he said. "I'm more concerned about what I can control, which is what I do on the field. … Everybody's got an opportunity to show what they can do. I'm thankful for that. We're all going to compete, and we're all trying to win. … I'm not really a type of guy who cries over spilled milk."

VERSATILITY: RB Charles Sims has shown promise this season while splitting time with starter Doug Martin, the second-year player's numbers putting him among the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL. "I'm just doing what the coaches ask me to do, to capitalize and make plays," he said Monday. "I'm trying to get better every week. That's the main goal."

Sims is one of four running backs in the NFL with at least 400 yards rushing and receiving. The others are Atlanta's Devonta Freeman, New Orleans' Mark Ingram and Cincinnati's Giovanni Bernard.

He ranks second on the Bucs behind WR Mike Evans with 39 catches, is second in rushing yards with 469 and is third in receiving yards with 415. He has made considerable progress from his rookie year, when he missed the first half of the season with a foot injury.

After averaging 2.8 yards per carry as a rookie, he's averaging 4.7 this year. And after having a long play of 24 yards in 85 touches last season, he has five plays longer than that in 2015, including a 35-yard run in the loss to the Rams.

Sims needs 116 yards in the final two games to reach 1,000 yards in total offense and join Martin reaching that milestone. The Bucs have had two running backs top 1,000 yards of total offense once: Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott in 1999.

THIS AND THAT: Pro Bowl selections will be announced tonight, and Martin is in good position for his first selection since his rookie year in 2012. DT Gerald McCoy, fourth in fan balloting, is also in position to earn his fourth straight nod. … LB Darius Eubanks, 24, was signed to the practice squad.

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