Mark Barron, Doug Martin Get A Thumbs UpSeptember 5th, 2012
Now Joe knows just the mere mention of football in London gets Bucs fans’ antennae up. It wasn’t that long ago that local conspiracy theorists were convinced Team Glazer was going to pull up stakes and move the Bucs to London only because Team Glazer owns some kickball team over there and people enjoy playing connect-the-dots even when there are no dots to connect.
So when an Englishman decides to break down the NFL without using the word “rubbish,” Joe knows this will be a volatile subject.
Neil Hornsby, the man behind ProFootballFocus.com (yes, he’s British born and bred and a proud resident of the empire), traveled to just about every NFL training camp (Joe met him when he visited Tampa with Peter King), and has broken down all NFL preseason games and is critiquing every first round draft pick from this spring.
So far, Hornsby really likes what he sees from Bucs rookies safety Mark Barron and running back Doug Martin.
Mark Barron: Not seen that much of him in coverage but his work elsewhere has been very good. Not afraid to take on blockers, closes quickly and made his tackles. A huge upgrade for Tampa Bay at an area of need.
Doug Martin: Excellent avoidance skills and balance allows him to run through multiple glancing blows and keep his feet. Very much a north-south runner who gets up-field in a hurry. An impressive start.
Joe actually has been more impressed with Barron than Martin, and that is no knock on Muscle Hamster who looks to be a stud.
Joe is just struck by how quick, how physical and how punishing Barron is. When Barron blew up a couple of Patriots running backs in preseason, just flying in from seemingly nowhere, Joe told Barron later he looked like John Lynch with wheels.
Let’s just say Barron liked that compliment.