Getting Doug Martin Loose

October 5th, 2012

Joe’s not sure it is fair to judge a running back by just four games. Thus far, Bucs fans are waiting for the Doug Martin, he of the running back the Bucs traded up for in the draft, to arrive.

Martin has been the proverbial bellcow for Greg Schiano’s run-first, run-second offense, but only a scant few times has Martin been able to break runs of double-digits.

Sure, a lot of it is because the right side of the Bucs’ offensive line is a mess with the loss of injured Davin Joseph and the benching of incumbent starter Jeremy Trueblood.

This is raising concerns with Alan Dell. The Bradenton Herald columnist is of the mind Schiano may want to change his run-first objectives if he wants to have a longer shelf life than his predecessor.

As stubborn as they come, the new Bucs head coach insists he wants a run-first, physical team. He is learning that might not be possible, and if he wants to be around longer than the man he replaced, he might have to change.

The decision to move up in the draft and select running back Doug Martin in the first round has raised legitimate questions.

When Martin was selected, he received rave reviews from those within the organization who wanted him. Now we are hearing stuff like, “have patience” and “he is a hard worker.”

Those who described him as the second coming of Ray Rice have lost their voice.

Well, maybe part of the reason Martin hasn’t yet become a stud NFL runner is the Bucs have relied on him too much. There is nothing wrong changing things up with a guy who has a career average of 4.6 yards a carry. And the more Blount gets carries, the more dangerous he becomes; not just two or three carries a game.

Lastly, Joe’s wondering about the disappearance of Michael Smith.

31 Responses to “Getting Doug Martin Loose”

  1. Jessup Says:

    Right now Doug gets 1st and 2nd downs, Ware gets 3rds, and Blount is rarely used. It’s flat out stupid.

    Blount and Martin should be splitting 1st and 2nd downs almost 50/50 and Martin should get all 3rd downs. Ware should be insurance only.

    We traded up into the 1st to get a guy that is a solid all around back that can catch, block, and run….and we don’t use him on 3rd downs? We draft a guy that is elusive and dangerous in space…but we never call plays that get him in space? Instead we use him to run up the gut, grinding out 3 yards at a time while Blount sits on the bench.

    Schiano and Sullivan need to wake the **** up!

  2. SteveK Says:

    Doug will be fine, and Ray Rice has Flacco and a legit Defense.

    Our 1st round, 4th year, traded up for the guy, QB Josh Freeman needs to wake the hell up.

  3. flmike Says:

    I like your comparison, because I think in the end the Ravens are the team we will most resemble, but keep in mind. Rice and Flacco came into the league together and the first 2 years Flacco was basically useless other than to hand the ball off to Rice, that Bmore passing game only really started to mature last season. He has never thrown for more than 3600 yrds and based on his career avg yrds per attempt (just abt 7) the passing game is really just an extension of the running game. And even through they’ve been to the post season all 4 years, the fans still scream for Flacco’s head every season, plus he’s a fumble machine, averaging 10 a season (loosing almost 4 a year on avg). But more to the point, the Bucs are where the Ravens were 4 seasons ago, less the completely dominant defense, which we are building. I’m really on my last nerve with these fans who think we should be Super Bowl bound, they are delusional, we are at least a season away from competing for a play off spot and if everything goes right, probably 3-4 seasons from contending for a Super Bowl.

  4. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Martin is another example of why you don’t pick a runningback in the first round.

  5. Eric Says:

    We started a three or four year re-build three or four years ago. So, I guess were on a seven or eight year rebuild now?

    In today’s NFL when you can turn it around on a dime? (San Fran, Atlanta, etc.)

    Freeman is like Flacco?


    Bucs defense is being built like Ravens?

    Wow, breathtakingly delusional.

  6. bucfanjeff Says:

    The NFL is a passing league and Schiano needs to adjust accordingly.

    Is there any RB tearing up the league right now?

  7. 1976Buc Says:

    Martin is a good back just not a great back yet. He has potential but I think it’s a mistake to bring in a rookie and expect him to carry the ball 20 – 25 times a game. There is a huge transistion from college to the NFL especially coming out of a competition weak conference like Martin has. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you put Martin at an Alabama, Oklahoma, you pick the school he has to fight for carries. It is going to be hard for him to live up to the 1st round status of a running back.

  8. BadNewsBucs Says:

    Martin is being handicapped by our coaching staff, while they fail to use the spark-plug known as Legarrette Blount. Our run game has been criminal thus far and it won’t be 100% effective until Schiano & Sullivan need to wake up and smell the dual rushing attack. Any other staff with the 1 & 2 RBs we have would be hard pressed to get those two the ball often and early. Sullivan being a disciple of Kevin Gilbride is really starting to show, as our offense looks like what the GMen would look like if Coughlin weren’t around to put foot to a** for not running the rock. And please quit it with the Ray Rice comparisons, he and Martin share the same size, but Rice has a big back mentality that cannot be taught/coached up.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    You couldn’t squeeze a cockroach through the holes the O line has been opening. No help from the TE’s or FB either means struggling with the running game. Teams are putting eight in the box on first down and the Bucs just aren’t good enough to run when teams know it’s coming. Even if Joseph didn’t get hurt; the Bucs need to mix it up on first down.

  10. Bucnjim Says:


    My fantasy team says no! No RB’s are tearing up the league on a consistant basis.

  11. flmike Says:

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying, the stats don’t lie. Flacco and Freeman have damn near the same exact stat lines for the 2 full seasons Freeman has played (2010 & 2011). As a matter of fact, even as bad a year as Freeman had in 2011, he still had a better comp % (62.8%) than Flacco (57.6%) and Free had 9 more attempts (551 to 542) and had only 4 less passing TDs (16 tds) than Flacco (20 tds) did. The big number diff is in INTs Free’s 22 to Flacco’s 12. So, yes, that is exactly what I’m sayin’.

  12. Eric Says:

    Good luck with that Flmike.

    Flacco and Freeman have been and are miles apart. Maybe not as far as the Ravens and bucs defense though.

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    This is getting old. We all know what needs to happen in the backfield, it just won’t happen until there’s an injury. Martin has done exactly what the coach has told him to do, hold onto the ball with two hands and stumble forward.

  14. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    Eric is right, we are 4 years into this rebuild, and with a decent HC and OC, the Bucs would be 4-0 and contending.

    Now we have an excuse of a rookie HC who is out of his league and has installed a regime of fear and retribution.

    He has to learn to coach in the NFL from scratch and make every possible mistake there is to make before he can win. Any coaches with NFL experience and know how are too afraid to help. The Little General has rules against that.

    It took him 5 years to learn on the job at Rutgers before he could break the .500 mark. Yet he never could get to the top because he was too hardheaded and stubborn even with superior talent.

  15. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    “…and with a decent HC and OC, the Bucs would be 4-0 and contending.”

    Who is this decent head coach you speak of?

    Would this decent HC make Josh Freeman convert on 3rd down more than once in a while?

  16. flmike Says:

    The only difference between the Ravens building of their offense and the Bucs rebuilding of a franchise is the Ravens hired the right coach 4 years before the Bucs did. And the numbers don’t lie, the stats are damn near identical for 2010 & 2011 for Flacco and Freeman, the play of the teams may have been worlds apart, but the QB play was very similar.

  17. OAR Says:

    110×16 Magnifico Gasser
    Let’s see and your choice (er man-crush) of Chip Kelly would have been this said head coach?
    Funny but your post above could’ve been written exactly the same way if Kelly was our head coach! Wake up from those naps and get a clue!

  18. BucFan20 Says:

    And when was the last thime the right side ever could open any holes? And the last big SALE on Martin was he gets lost behind the big linemen and can bounce it outside. Who did they trust on the 2 yard line last week? Time to give it to LGB more.

  19. Dave Says:

    This team hasn’t been able o run for years. The OL has been extremely overrated, and is quite simply not that good. Plus, coaches are smart and ball control, run-oriented offenses are predictable and pretty easy to stop. Freeman’s play has to open up the run game. College coaches are used to having a physical advantage over opponents and that doesn’t exist in the NFL. Get creative and bold!

  20. 941-Bucs Says:

    The whole thing has me peeved! First off how is Ware in over Blount ? Ware was a career 3rd string back. Personally i didn’t even know he existed.

    Second of Martin has shown me nothing to make me feel comfortable with him as a starting RB in the NFL. Sure he has a quick burst and decent agility. But he hasn’t done much more in the passing game then i have seen from Blount the Last 3 years. Even if he does manage to get in front of a charging LBer. He normally gets bulled over. Same can be said with his Running, the moment he gets touched he drops to the ground.

    Blount has proven he deserves touches and now Schiano has a fan base who is clambering for him daily. Simple logic, Put Blount as the 1 and 2nd down RB and have Martin be the 3rd down option. Obviously they can be interchanged for split carries. This seems to be a no brianer when you consider their running style and size difference.

    Since we drafted Martin i have felt he should be a compliment to Blount NOT be a Bell Cow. Blount was never a short yardage back because of the way he runs. But he is nearly impossible to bring down. Martin on the other hand, has a better pass pro and can get that short yardage consistently ( well that’s about all he can get). So it seems obvious to me where they belong. I don’t know why Schiano has turned a Blind eye to this factor.

  21. SteveK Says:

    Get Freeman out of the pocket, and let’s see more Blount.

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    @ SteveK

    Amazingly, it really is that simple.

  23. gotbbucs Says:

    I have been screaming that exact same thing for four weeks now. Unfortunately. I think I’ll still be screaming it come week 16.
    Doug Martin is not Ray Rice, and I don’t think he ever will be based on what I’ve seen so far. A running back is exactly what you see on tape, very rarely can they change their style or skills. Either they have it or they don’t. Martin has just enough to be a solid 3rd down back. Nothing wrong with that, they just need to adjust the scheme to take more advantage of his skills as a reciever.

  24. 1976Buc Says:

    Again, Martin was not drafted 1st round to be a complimentary back to Blount or anyone else. If he was the Bucs wasted a 1st round pick. After this year Blount will be a free agent. All we can hope is that he doesn’t sign with a team in our division.

  25. bucbucbuc Says:

    Doug Martin has more rushing yards than Trent Richardson this season.

    While yards doesn’t tell the whole story (Martin got more carries after all), this just shows you that you can’t jump to conclusions that we wasted a first round pick after 4 games.

    Give it a full season and then evaluate the decision.

  26. SteveK Says:

    @ Eric, FLMike, and All,

    The main difference with the Bucs and the Ravens isn’t the coach or the players.

    Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Ngata, Flacco, Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and crew are only a product of a greater power.

    The GM. Ozzie Newsome is the difference. He is the man who makes all the right picks. The Ravens are a great team.

    Dom is not Ozzie Newsome, not in the office, nor athletically. Dom couldn’t carry Newsome’s coffee.

  27. SteveK Says:

    @1976 Buc,

    Martin isn’t the only former 1st round pick, that we traded up to get, that is sucking!

    Look at the 4th year clueless wonder taking the snaps.

  28. Ladyz Says:

    I agree that(1)Free has to be mobil and more consistent connecting (2) Blunt has to be given the ball more – he’s a beast(3) Martin just used on 3rd downs (4) OC needs to call better plays (5) Schiano needs to set the right butts on the bench. No more would-of, could-of, should-of…..that’s for those who-dats ! Go Bucs !

  29. Ladyz Says:

    @stevek. Love it!

  30. 1976Buc Says:

    SteveK, I agree we haven’t had a great track record with our high draft picks. I do think it’s too early to tell for Freeman or Martin.

  31. OAR Says:

    Funny, but Ozzie’s first 4 years at drafting are very similar to Dominik’s first 4 years. Now Ozzie’s last 6 years have been great, but what makes you so sure Dominik doesn’t learn from any draft mistakes and do the same?
    BTW Ray Lewis wasn’t an Ozzie pick.