San Francisco 49ers’ (14-4) primary return man RB LaMichael James tenure with the team has not always been fine and dandy. A player that had to work his way up the depth chart while trying to find a way to make a name for himself on special-teams, James was often overshadowed by his peers around him. A player that was drafted in the second-round (No. 61) of the 2012 NFL Draft, James is by far the cream of the crop as far as the 49ers draft class is concerned. So with James being one of the most elusive players on the 49ers roster, the question remains how come he is not being used as an additional weapon under OC Greg Roman’s offense?
A player that has the speed (4.45) to leave defenders in the dust while possessing the vision to cut back against the grain, James has been highly under-utilized for one reason or another. In fact, many Forever Faithful have questioned why James has not been used similar to New Orleans Saints RB Darren Sproles. A comparison I made before the season took place, I thought James would be an instant upgrade for their offense as no linebacker can match up with his skill-set. However, that has not been the case, and all we can do is put our faith in Roman as he knows what’s best.
A game changer, James’ opportunities to make plays will have to come by special-teams and I believe he will break one on Sunday. In 10 games played during the regular-season, James put up respectable numbers with 12 kickoff returns for 321 yards while fielding 23 punts for 251 yards, which averages out to a 26.8 and 10.9 yards per touch. And with the Seahawks coverage units ranking among the elites in the NFL, do not be surprised if James breaks off a huge 40-plus yard-gain that will provide the 49ers life. After all, that is the sole purpose the Niners drafted James and that will definitely be key on Sunday, as the 49ers play field-position.
With the 49ers preparing for a backyard brawl, look for James to impact the game with his game-breaking ability as he is a home-run threat every time he touches the ball. And James feels the same way as he retweeted our article making it the Gold Standard.
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