The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

October 18, 2013

Charles Sims lets running do the talking

MORGANTOWN — The quiet man is having a quiet season for West Virginia University.

And he’s doing it … what else, quietly.

Charles Sims was touted as a man who was going to make a lot of noise for the Mountaineers at running back this year after transferring in from Houston in the off-season, a player who had done big things there when Dana Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator.

A running back who really doesn’t like to do much talking, Sims has been about the best offensive weapon WVU has as a runner and pass catcher, but at a school that has produced Steve Slaton, Amos Zereoue, Avon Cobourne, Noel Devine, Quincy Wilson and Kay-Jay Harris, he hasn’t yet offered the spectacular things of which he is said to be capable.

They may be coming, though.

“The big play is coming; it just take a lot of patience,” he said. “Patience. It is coming.”

Sims is having a decent year. He leads WVU in rushing with 490 yards, averaging 4.9 per carry, with four touchdowns and is tied for being the leading receiver with 19 catches for 179 yards, 9.4 per catch.

But there isn’t the flash, the hold-your-breath feeling you would get every time the breakaway runners of the past touched the ball.

Ja’Juan Seider, the running backs coach, is trying to guide him through this.

“Like I told him, don’t press, keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve got nothing to prove. Just play through the system,” he said.

There is truth that he has nothing to prove. At Houston, he was an All-Conference USA performer as an all-around running back who caught passes as well as he ran the ball, just as he is doing here.

It’s just the situation is different.

“A lot of it is not him; it’s what the defenses are doing. Until we can consistently throw the ball down the field – which we have started doing the past couple of games – we can’t back the safeties off,” Seider said.

The passing game has not put fear into defenses, which has allowed the safeties to creep up to the line of scrimmage and smother the running game.

And that wears on an eager running back.

“He has been close to breaking one so many times. Baylor, coming out at halftime, he finally got that crease, and you saw what he can do in open space,” Seider said, referring to a 39-yard run that was his longest of the season.

That, however, makes a running back even more anxious.

“The thing is you have to keep your guys from trying to press. Just make the play you are supposed to make,” Seider said.

But there is another side to it, too.

“Every now and then you have to make someone miss. We’re starting to do it,” Seider said. “I told them this week, we need to start running consistently like we did in the second half against Baylor, consistently as a whole group. We have to stop trying to make the perfect play and just try to make something happen … period.”

Perfection doesn’t come along very often, and Sims is buying into that.

“It takes patience to be able to break off the big play. Once you start getting into the flow of the game, moving the ball and playing fast, things open up. Throwing the ball deep helps a lot by getting the safeties out of the box,” Sims said.

And, Seider says, it’s unfair to expect Sims to do what Slaton and Devine and Wilson did because the system isn’t built for that.

“You look back at that system and this system. It was designed to put up big numbers in the run game,” Seider noted. “You were handed outside zone most times in a game. The scheme was different. It was geared more to … what it was before was a controlled wing-T. Even in your two-minute offense, you still ran plays inside, outside zone, zone read. … it put so much pressure on the defense.

“You didn’t see exotic defenses because everyone was so worried about Pat White or Jarrett Brown pulling the ball and running with it themselves.”

But Holgorsen’s offense is built off the passing game without a threat of run from the quarterback. It is a different animal.

“Here it’s more predicated on us throwing the ball down field, winning matchups to get those safeties to start helping over the top. I think you’ll start seeing in the next six games, you’ll start seeing better plays,” Seider said.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads