Doug Martin Can Be Better

July 17th, 2014
Former Bucs RB coach Earnest Byner believes RB Doug Martin can be a better pass-catcher.

Former Bucs RB coach Earnest Byner believes RB Doug Martin can be a better pass-catcher.

It was a very strange feeling for Joe at One Buc Palace the night of the second day of the draft. For the better part of a year, Joe had been told how good Doug Martin was.

His rookie year, Martin’s numbers backed up that claim. Last year? Not so much. So when Joe heard someone mutter out loud in the media workroom that the Bucs drafted running back Charles Sims in the third round, Joe didn’t know what to think. The deepest position on the team was running back. What?

Then, minutes later, Bucs coach Lovie Smith told multimedia maven Scott Smith that Sims was mainly picked because of his pass-catching ability. It just seemed strange.

Wasn’t Doug Martin able to catch the ball? Perhaps not, if you also listen to his former position coach, Earnest Byner.

Speaking on a podcast on something called “Overtime Ireland,” by way of, Byner apparently agreed with Lovie and stated Martin can improve a receiver.

“I got a chance to really spend some of that individual time with him. And I could see in rookie minicamp that this guy had a chance to be one of the special guys. He’s a freak. He’s a little bit like [Maurice Jones-Drew], a little like [Chris Johnson], because those guys have a little something that’s a little bit different. Doug in my opinion can be a better receiver than what he’s shown the first few years. He has an opportunity to actually go out, spread out and make some plays, do some of the things Maurice [Jones-Drew] did.”

This is good to know and maybe Lovie would like to see this as well. Apparently, Martin did not impress Lovie very much with his hands. If he did, then Joe doesn’t think Lovie would spend a third-round draft pick on a running back mainly because of his hands.

If Martin truly can improve catching the ball, that just makes Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford’s offense all that much more dangerous.

18 Responses to “Doug Martin Can Be Better”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    Nothing wrong with having multiple versatile weapons. Like you said Joe, it can only make our offense more dangerous.

  2. Celly Says:

    That’s the one position coach that I had hoped would’ve been retained.

  3. biff barker Says:

    This has less to do with Martin and more to do with Sims. I think the Bucs had him down as one of those rare players that was simply too good to pass up in the third round.

  4. Tut Says:

    split back set… what does the defense read? Keeping the defense guessing/confused is a great thing for an offense to have!

  5. SAMCRO Says:

    No argument here, although I need to see Sims in live action first before I feel confident that the Buc’s did not reach for him.

  6. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    I liked Martin’s rookie year in which he caught some balls. Call it sophomore slump. He’ll be better than his rookie season this year.

    There are so many weapons. Tedford has to feel like a kid in a candy store. Is it preseason yet???

  7. unbelievable Says:

    I think they had him higher as a low 2nd, high 3rd round grade.

    So going with the BPA philosophy….. no brainer.

    I was equally surprised, but I really liked Sims in college and think he could be a great additional weapon.

  8. Phillip Says:

    Two links to BN recently is really surprising as they usually follow whatever story Joe puts up from another website (Sander sucks and so do most of the commenters on that site)

    Anyway… I just think Charles adds a different dimension to the offense which is why they selected him they also probably weren’t thrilled with whatever Guards were available as well(also think there was a run on RB’s soon after?).. He’s taller and obviously that helps with being able to line him up outside and not have such a small window to fit a pass into(route that Martin constantly ran last season with little success and an injury)… Sims obviously has more talent than Rainey and James… Hope to see some creative two back lineups with Sims going in motion alot!

    Got my Mike Evans and LVD jerseys in and they look pretty damn legit!

    Go Bucs!

  9. DB55 Says:

    “Sander sucks and so do most of the commenters on that site”
    – truer words have never been spoken. Bunch of homers

  10. louden Says:

    often said, often forgotten: way more important than an good RB (even with good Hands), is the O-line.
    Which means: good O-line has more value than an good RB group..

    with that being said, the Bucs missed out poorly, because there would have been very good O-liner left in the draft (also D-liner, which you also should have upgraded over the RB´s group..).

    No matter if Charles Sims will play up to his draft status – it wasn´t the wise move to pick him..
    Maybe Carlos Hyde would have been a RB worth to pick with the Bucs 3rd one.. but not Sims..

  11. Kevin Says:

    Phillip those Jerseys are just SICK!!! I was walking through the sporting goods store looking for a tub to go boating with…looked to my right and was stopped dead in my tracks! HOLY CRAP THOSE THINGS ACTUALLY LOOK GOOD!!!REAL GOOD!!! I can’t wait to see the team flying around the field in those things.

    On Martin I think he will have a real good season, just not as many carries which I am fine with. It’s the creativity of the offense and scoring points that I wanna see. Sure it makes it a little more interesting on knowing when to take your RB for your fantasy team, but I think approach by committee is the way to go when you have a backfield like the bucs, patriots, saints…..send those guys out there and let them run all over the place and keep the defense guessing.

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    Last year it seemed the passes to Martin just were not in sync, be it from the QB or Martin’s positioning anticipating the reception. Off year perhaps. I expect improvement and closer attention to the ball in space.

  13. WonHungLo Says:


    I’m a lurker and hardly ever post on any forum but Thank You for feeding me Bucs info especially during the slow season. We don’t always see eye to eye but you can never make everybody happy. Just want to give credit where credit is due.

  14. Hawk Says:

    The biggest reason the Bucs took Sims just might have been that they want to force opposing defenses to think twice about their blitzes. Sims is being touted as having great receiving skills and having him in the backfield ‘can’ take some (defensive) pressure off of Evans. Evans comes in with no small amount of pressure to be the ‘savior’ of the passing game. But when you have *several* guys who can ‘catch and run’, the gamble of a blitz doesn’t look as good.
    Teams are going to test that theory in the first few games. The Bucs (Tedford) need to discourage them early and often.
    The ‘Towering Inferno’ of Buc receivers (WR/TE) should make the RBs look good or vice-versa.
    I bet they throw to Sims from the get-go and start affecting the sleep of DCs.

  15. Brian Says:

    All the talk is RB, WR and QB…and some pokes at TE. I want to know where our OLine will be! The rest of the tools seem to be there. However, if the OLine is anything like last year, we will be a six win team. I am hoping a miracle few in our lap, and I just don’t know about it yet. We will know after the first two preseason games…I would think. Hillsborough County will still have one less Deputy working every Sunday no matter how bad or great we are. One plus I see….when the Rays do well, traditionally our Bucs don’t. So who knows, this could be the year! GO BUCS!!!

  16. Mumbles Says:

    Strange that Earnest Byner never got picked up again. Interviewed with the Redskins but did not get the job. Still unemployed. Must be waiting for Schiano to get another HC job!

  17. Joe Says:


    Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Like your handle. 🙂

  18. owlykat Says:

    Sims has talent equal to Martin and the two of them together will be a headache for all other defenses. Take them out and bring in Mike and Rainey as the second tandem. Keep Demps to use on Special Teams and in a special Sproles role and as a sub if any backs go down.