The Bucs And Gameplans

December 28th, 2012

One reason Doug Martin hasn’t run as well in recent weeks is the line isn’t blasting open holes like it once was.

The Bucs have been a little Jekyll and Hyde this year on offense (against the pass on defense, trust Joe, they have been all Hyde).

When the Bucs were dominating teams, the Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin, was on his wheel. That hasn’t happened in a while.

This has come to the attention of some Bucs fans who sounded off on a TBO Bucs Q&A asking why the Bucs don’t pound the rock any longer.

Q: We beat the Chiefs, the Vikings, the Raiders and the Panthers, so where are the game plans and plays we used to do that? Yes, our defense stinks but we won games before because we could move the ball and score points. Why don’t we stop just flinging it long on a wish, and use the kind of game planning and play calling to move the chains, and use all our skill players to score, instead of the mess I see for the last two weeks?

— Brian Everhart, Winter Haven

A: I believe you may be on to something here. In two of the last three losses the Bucs have been more or less forced out of their game plan by a lopsided score. However, I believe they need to be a little more patient and stick with the run a little more. It’s the foundation of everything they do offensively and they’ve proved that when they run the ball they create the opportunity for successful big plays downfield.

— Woody Cummings

There’s a couple of things at work. First, the offensive line, where offensive line coach Bob Bostad has done a marvelous job with all the injuries and chaos, is beginning to show that it is a depleted group. Opponents have figured out that the Bucs can’t block the run that well. Jamon Meredith gets blown off the ball too much on running plays, Demar Dotson is a fine pass blocker but struggles on the run and Ted Larsen is Ted Larsen.

So, if the guys up front can’t open holes on a consistent basis for Martin, then there’s a reason he isn’t slicing through defenses like he once was.

5 Responses to “The Bucs And Gameplans”

  1. bucfanjeff Says:

    It’s to Martin’s credit (and talent) that he’s getting the yards he is behind this OL. The OL is just worn out, has been for a while, and it shows.

  2. Big Rob Says:

    I think Martin has hit “the wall.” He isn’t hitting the whole as fast as he did in the beginning of the season, and when he’s in the open field he isn’t as fast or as explosive as he was. It’s helping to expose the offensive line because he’s easier to bring down than before.

  3. SirustheVirus Says:

    Outside of mabey Dotson wasn’t most of these guys the front line for Blount when he had his 1,000 yard season? I don’t feel Schiano and Sullivan use are RBs right for a team that said they wanted to pound the ball. There letting Martin carry it too much in my opinion. Like to see some toss pitches to M.Smith next year. Let him get to the outside and use his 4.3 speed.

  4. Joe Says:

    Like to see some toss pitches to M.Smith next year. Let him get to the outside and use his 4.3 speed.

    Joe would just like to see Michael Smith active for a change.

  5. TampaRob Says:

    Joe- have you ever asked Schiano about Michael Smith?