“We Gotta Be Able To Conserve Doug”

April 17th, 2013

Davin Joseph wants the Bucs to limit Doug Martin’s workload. Joe thinks the exact opposite will happen.

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.

11 Responses to ““We Gotta Be Able To Conserve Doug””

  1. Terraj Says:

    Agreed Joe. Lets pray our offensive line can stay healthy all season. Scary to think how strong our running game could be.. At the same time, I wonder how the coaching staff will approach Freeman this season. They gotta give him some freedom this season. They gotta see how he leads the team before they invest big, long term money in him. My question is, what if Josh has a similar, inconsistent season to last year?

    Obviously the offense is based around the running game with a big offensive line so it wouldn’t surprised me to see the bucs grab a late round running back in the this draft. This is likely blount’s last year in tampa or they woulda signed him for more than a year.

  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Freeman’s inconsistencies came when he had to be the hero after the defense blew leads he put in place. If the defense can keep points off the board than Josh will not be placed in such situations…which will improve his stats.

    And I do believe the defense will be vastly improved this year. I can’t wait to see the draft results. Really, all we really need is 2 CBs, a DT and a LB…then depth, which will come post draft mostly. If we get the CBs and DT, then the LB may work out, as we have one already. Although an upgrade would be nice, the play at other positions will help that spot immensely.

  3. Biff Barker Says:

    This is because we don’t have a back who can even compete with Martin for some carries.
    Surely there is a capable 3 down back out there to share some of the load.
    It’s season over if Martin goes down.

  4. Macabee Says:

    The Bucs have conducted team visits with Christine Michael, Leveon Bell, and Montee Ball. Perhaps the plan is to get Martin some help!

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Maybe. We do have Blount. And we signed a 3rd down back this off season I believe.

    Off topic, our division rivals are not doing too well cap-wise.

    The New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons are among the teams with the least room. New Orleans is $1.635 million under the cap and only four teams have less cap room. The Falcons are $2.027 million under the cap. The Saints and Falcons will have to restructure contracts or release players to be able to sign their draft picks.

    The Carolina Panthers are $5.134 million under the cap.

    In contrast, the Bucs are $32.8 million under the cap.

    There are teams all over that will have to release key players after the draft. And because a lot of the other teams went on spending sprees early in Free Agency, there are going to be some good opportunities for the Bucs.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Btw, Rest in Peace, Pat.

  7. Ruggyup Says:

    Biff Barker, you got that nailed 100%. Martin down. Season down. I hope Freeman plays like a champ, every game, every down. But, don’t hand me better D and his stats improve. Situational stat enhancement means diddly without points on the board. Back to Martin, yes, get more an better beef, another workhorse and let Revis play with his pathetic Jetmates and coaches.

  8. Oldguy Says:

    Really good point by Bonzai. That may be the main reason (besides the Jets) for so much inaction by the flush Bucs. Hope so. We need a solid OT from the free agency. Maybe a good one will drop in our laps after the draft. Cap limits.

  9. Celly Says:

    I’m probably the only person that doesn’t think the season is a complete loss if Martin goes down. While everyone might not be a fan of Blount, he’s still very capable when he gets fed the rock on a consistant basis. We’ve all seen it, so to deny that fact would be ignorant.

    With that being said, if we can find a way to either pick up an extra 6th round pick or an early 7th round pick, I would not be opposed to using that selection on Marcus Lattimore (given that he is still there).

    If its one thing our training staff/team doctors know, its knees. If his medical checks out, i would love to see him down here. He could sit for a year (while we have Blount on the roster) and then next year, could serve as a VERY capable complement and backup to Martin.

    I’ll be sad to see Blount leave (i mean, honestly, who doesn’t like a nice ‘Blount’) but for the betterment of the team, a backfield consisting of Martin and Lattimore is FAR superior.

  10. Ben Says:

    I really think Freeman is going to grow into his role in this offense this year. Oh god I hope so. That alone will take some of the pressure off of Martin. I still think we need to add a guy that can contribute. Leonard seems like a quality addition, but I’m not sure that he is that guy.

  11. ladyz Says:

    @ben. What if he doesn’t ? We cannot offord a bum QB all season. If he starts to stink, he has to have his but placed on the bench and a backup brought in.