RB LaMichael James - Free Agent

5-8, 194Born: 10-22-1989College: OregonDrafted: Round 2, pick 2012

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Game Recaps

2014 Week 1 vs DAL (2 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

James came into the game before Hyde but he was far less effective and saw very little time as the game wore on. James was released on Monday after Week 1.

2013 Week 4 vs STL (3 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Wholly ineffective on his carries, James found his prospective touches transferred to Hunter. There was a lack of anticipation in James' runs, as the running back didn't let plays develop before running at the defense.

2013 Week 5 vs HOU (4 / 31 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

James came in for the first time midway through the third quarter. He immediately broke outside for a nine yard gain. The rest of his carries came late in the fourth quarter when Colt McCoy was at quarterback.

2013 Week 10 vs CAR (1 / -1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Receiving his first carry in a month, James ran left and was tackled for a loss by a defense that had the corner contained for much of the day.

2013 Week 11 vs NO (2 / 7 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

Taking over kick return duties for the recently released Kyle Williams, James also received a few handoffs in the running game. Though the second-year back showed great speed and quickness, especially when shifting past the first defender with sharp moves, his relative smallness meant that when he did meet contact, he went down, usually hard. When given space, James was able to weave and cut past defenders but struggled to actually identify a running lane that would keep his progress positive. On his runs, he made quick moves until a defender was able to lay a hit, stopping James immediately.

2013 Week 15 vs TB (2 / 22 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Since taking over the punt and kick return duties, James has rarely seen the field on offense. On one of his two carries, James took a sweep to the left and Tampa Bay looked flabbergasted. The defense was so slow to get to the corner that James had wide open space to sprint down the sideline for a 21-yard gain. Though James showed good speed to get to the corner and up the sideline, the blocking and poor defense created the long run.

2013 Week 17 vs ARI (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)

Though primarily used as a returner, James was able to contribute in the passing game when he was used a decoy on the end-around, allowing him a free release on the sideline to catch a pass and showed great speed to take the space before him. On his returns, James again showed excellent speed and a developing vision for where the space is and will be.

2013 Week 20 vs SEA (1 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

James had a fumbled punt and failed to make any impact during his short cameo on offense.

2012 Week 14 vs MIA (8 / 30 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)

On the first carry of LaMichael James' career, the small back hit the corner hard and shimmied past a defender for a 10 yard gain. His next attempt at the corner resulted in James being dragged to the ground by Cameron Wake for no gain. The 49ers mostly ran James to the outside with pitches, and the small back was able to show his great speed when a hole opened, but was stopped immediately without space to work in. A good example of his elusive speed came on an outlet pass while Kaepernick was blitzed. With a lot of space in front of him, James was able to gain 15 yards easily.

2012 Week 15 vs NE (8 / 31 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

James' best play came on a kick return in the 3rd quarter after the Patriots had scored 28 unanswered points. Showing incredible speed and vision, James cut and sprinted his way to a 62 yard kick return to set up the touchdown that proved the difference for the 49ers. James also ran well on designed run plays, but his plays were often limited to outside runs and pitches. With the Patriots showing good gap discipline, these plays often resulted in a minimal gain as James had no corner to turn. His best run came on an off-tackle run to the left. The San Francisco blockers were able to open a large tunnel and James sprinted through the space and contact, going down at the second level.

2012 Week 16 vs SEA (4 / 15 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

James was even more ineffective than Gore, as the rookie's speed was wasted as Seattle consistently covered the corners on outside runs. When James looked to cut up field, Seattle often met him short, and the running back didn't possess the strength to slip away. His best run came from the shotgun, as the 49ers were able to block a good tunnel and James ran through but couldn't make more than an 8 yard gain from solid blocking.

2012 Week 17 vs ARI (7 / 49 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The speed back had his best run of the day in the 2nd quarter, as James received a counter pitch that had him feint to the left and come back right. James was able to turn the corner and received two great blocks to create a tunnel to sprint through, and James ran so fast he was able to cut back inside to wrong foot a tackler to end the run 27 yards downfield. James also made the most of a draw play, as the delay created a hole in the middle for James to sprint through. Those were the two most successful plays as the rest of his carries often had James run to the outside, but the Cardinals played disciplined and fast enough to secure the corners and keep James from turning up field for significant gains.

2012 Week 19 vs GB (3 / 21 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

James' first involvement was a carry in the second quarter when he found a clear lane through the middle of the defense for a 10+ yard gain. James lined up as a wide receiver on the next play and then took a carry up the middle for no gain before deferring to Frank Gore. James caught a seven yard quick out after coming out of the backfield on first and 10. He followed that up with a first down run up the middle of six yards.

2012 Week 20 vs ATL (5 / 34 / 1 rush, 0 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

After a fumble on an early kickoff, which was ruled down, James found his groove in the spread attack in the second quarter. He found open running lanes outside the tackles on the read option, including a red zone touchdown that pulled the 49ers to within 17-7. In the second half, James saw minimal action as Frank Gore was the lead back. James was efficient with his touches, however, logging seven and eight-yard gains on outside runs down the stretch.