McNichols struggles do not lie in his abilities as a running back, those seem to be solid. However, he is having issues learning the Buccaneers play book. Many around the Bay Area and beyond have high hopes for McNichols especially with his college stats that boast numbers like 44 rushing touchdowns, 3,205 rushing yards, 103 receptions for 1,089 yards and another 11 touchdowns. All of those stats were achieved in three seasons at Boise State.
Ironically Boise State is Doug Martin’s alma mater and having seen what he can accomplish in the NFL, one has to wonder if McNichols, whose college stats are far superior to Martin’s, can become the number one guy. Despite McNichols having all the talent in the world and could easily become a featured back for Tampa, Dirk Koetter is not going to allow a player to be on his team if he cannot learn the playbook. See Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
If McNichols cannot learn the playbook in Tampa and learn it quickly, he could find himself to be among the first roster cuts.
As for now, Rodgers is going to be the guy to take Martin’s place until week 4, and he will be accompanied by Charles Sims and Peyton Barber, which will give us an all too familiar running back committee.