“We Gotta Be Able To Conserve Doug”April 17th, 2013
Pro Bowler Ray Rice had has carries cut more than 10 percent last season from his 2011 and 2012 totals — fewer receptions, too — and the Ravens leaned on rookie Bernard Pierce (108 carries) just enough en route to a Super Bowl win.
Rice clone Doug Martin, pounded out 319 carries last season, more than workhorse Rice ever has in an NFL season.
Davin Joseph took notice of Martin’s workload and firmly believes the Bucs need to keep Martin fresh in order to win their own Lombardi trophy.
“We plan on being a playoff team. We gotta be able to conserve Doug to make sure that when we go on that playoff run, he’s our main guy,” Joseph said yesterday. “As long as we use him the right way, he can be a major weapon and not to abuse his powers, I guess you could say.”
Joe agrees with Joseph. However, Joe suspects the New Schiano Order has every intention of riding Martin even more often than last season.
And why wouldn’t they? Greg Schiano knows he needs victories. He likes having a bell cow running back, and his history with Rice at Rutgers suggests he will not hesitate to pound Martin relentlessly. Rice had a whopping 380 carries (yes, 380) during his final season under Schiano at Rutgers.
Joe expects the Bucs will use Martin more on third down, and there will be more running in general, assuming Carl Nicks and Joseph stay healthy. Yes, the Bucs have LeGarrette Blount, new third-down back Brian Leonard, and the captain of the inactive list, Michael Smith. But don’t expect Schiano to put the ball and/or his career in their hands if Martin is available.