History Projects Big Year For Doug Martin

July 20th, 2014
One NFL analyst expects a big year from Bucs RB Doug Martin.

One NFL.com analyst expects a big season from Doug Martin.

Yes, Joe’s antennae jumped the night the Bucs drafted running back Charles Sims. Of course, Lovie Smith said moments later that Sims was drafted largely because of his pass-catching abilities.

Still, drafting a running back that high with a stable full of running backs, led by Doug Martin, seemed to suggest maybe Lovie wasn’t a Martin guy.

But Lovie has maintained — before and after the draft — Martin is his bellcow, his Matt Forte. Lovie is just concerned about being more versatile on offense and, of course, keeping Martin on a pitch count so he isn’t fried in two or three years.

Those all add up. So too, it seems, does the analysis of James Koh of NFL.com. Though he is a fantasy guy — we all know by now that Joe’s idea of fantasy has nothing to do with football and everything to do with Rachel Watson — Koh researched offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford’s background and believes Bucs fans should not fret about Martin.

Lead backs at Cal during the Tedford era averaged more than 220 carries per season. Backups averaged less than 100 carries per season. If you were to project that out to a 16-game NFL season, starters ran the rock anywhere between 275 to 300 times per season. Backups would’ve hauled it anywhere between 120-130 times.

Those numbers are in line with what guys like Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles did last year. And, oh yeah, what Martin did his rookie season when he amassed more than 1,900 yards with 12 total touchdowns.

And unlike Steve Spurrier and starting quarterbacks, once Tedford made a decision on who was going to start in the backfield, he rarely, if ever, deviated from that decision, sometimes to a fault. His reticence to play explosive third-stringer Brendan Bigelow for more snaps in 2012 added to the growing unhappiness among donors which in turn contributed to Tedford’s dismissal.

Again, all this adds up. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both Sims and Martin in the backfield together at times. Defenses not only would have to worry about covering two guys on a potential run, but Sims downfield catching passes and Martin catching passes in the flat.

The more you can diversify, the more the defense has to worry; the more real estate a defense has to concern itself with by stretching the field, the better opportunity there will be to get a playmaker out in space.

6 Responses to “History Projects Big Year For Doug Martin”


    Just what the doctor ordered…Confusion and Chaos for the opposing defenses!!!
    Can’t wait!!!

  2. Destinjohnny Says:

    We didn’t need. A back but if we were going to draft one – tre mason at that spot will be regretted

  3. kevin Says:

    I see a lot of split backs with Sims catching some passes and Martin getting most of the carries. The occational mix up to keep the D honest. Cant wait its really almost here.

  4. You go Joe Says:

    If Sims can improve on blocking, I don’t even have an idea how good is his blocking, then it help him out more. Then add on to his catching skills and holy gm a batman we got a huge threat with Martin and sims

  5. Mitch Says:

    Bucs are playoff contenders if the o-line can hold up.

  6. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    @Brocktacular & Mitch – I’m right with you.


    It’s truly around the corner Bucs fans! I’m eager to go watch them. The last time I felt this excited was when Gruden was hired. Two different teams and expectations but exciting nevertheless.

    Go Bucs!