Doug Martin Marching Toward HistoryOctober 1st, 2013
There are only five men in the NFL’s 400 club, and Doug Martin is on pace to join them.
In NFL history, only Larry Johnson, Jamal Anderson, the Bucs’ James Wilder, Eric Dickerson and Eddie George have tallied 400 or more carries in one season, per ProFootballReference.com. Johnson set the record of 416 with the Chiefs in 2006.
Martin has 100 carries for only 342 yards through the Bucs’ first four games. He had 319 carries last season. So he’s on pace for more than a 20 percent increase.
Joe wrote numerous times in the summer about how fans should expect Martin to be given the full workhorse treatment. Joe understands the mentality of the Bucs using Martin, but it’s getting extreme.
For example, Greg Schiano praised Mike James for his debut carry for five yards against the Patriots in New England. But then James didn’t get a handoff on Sunday? Brian Leonard has shown sure hands. Will he get more third-down work?
Martin has fumbled three times this season, more than he did all last year, and he’s had blocking troubles and issues holding on to the football in the passing game. Martin is a great young running back, without question, but perhaps fatigue is hurting his effectiveness.
Regardless, Joe expects the Bucs to keep pounding Martin relentlessly and maybe cut his load late in the season when everything is clearly meaningless.