Rumored Running Game Missing

October 21st, 2014
Bucs RB Doug Martin has changed and Joe isn't sure why.

Doug Martin has changed and Joe isn’t sure why.

Yes, we can mock the swings and misses by Bucs coach and overlord of football operations Lovie Smith for personnel decisions. Thus far, there have been big time strikeouts.

Hey, Joe has swung and missed, too. He, too, thought the Bucs would have a decent defense.

With the likes of Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David and Alterraun Verner, with a defensive-minded coach like Lovie, Joe thought surely the defense would be solid. It’s been a trainwreck.

And Joe thought the Bucs had zero worries at running back. With Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Bobby Rainey and Mike James, and the fan favorite Jeff Demps, Joe thought the running game could carry the Bucs to a few wins.

Instead, Rainey has fumbled his way to the bench, Sims got hurt, James has been invisible, and Demps got dumped. Oh, and Martin? Joe is wondering what has happened to him as well.

In grading out the Bucs offense, Pat Yasinskas of ESPN believes the Bucs have been a flat out failure.

Running backs: This was supposed to be a position of strength, but it hasn’t been anything close to that. Doug Martin returned from last year’s shoulder injury, but he hasn’t looked anything like he did as a rookie in 2012. Martin is averaging only 2.5 yards per carry. Most of the blame goes to the offensive line for not opening enough holes, but Martin deserves to be partly to blame. GRADE: F

Something has happened to Martin. And it’s just about time we can fairly conclude he is not the same running back he was two years ago when he made the Pro Bowl. Sure, you can point a finger at the offensive line, but that’s dodging the issue.

Not every stud running back in the NFL has the 1976 Raiders offensive line to run behind. Not every stud running back has holes five-yards wide to run through.

Stud running backs either run people over, make people miss or are just too fast to catch. Or all three. Martin is neither too fast nor too elusive, and he isn’t running people over.

Martin seems to have changed into a fullback. He tries to burrow through the line and run over linebackers and rather than evade them. Joe doesn’t know if this is something being coached or if Martin has changed his style.

Or, if Martin has just physically changed, and not for the better.

24 Responses to “Rumored Running Game Missing”

  1. willie d Says:

    Icky Woods is available I hear is friends with Lovie.

  2. ruggyup Says:

    Meanwhile, the poor slobs who have paid their own hard earned dollars for Bucs tickets are not getting even fair value Next bits of dreck from the team will be the Glazer group formally announcing they believe in the Jeremy Foley ploy, let’s just wait and “see how it plays out”. That’s a plan?

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    It’s possible Martin is tentative running having suffered the shoulder injury last year. He has made some positive plays running the ball and receiving. I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Martin’s career with the Bucs. I still think he is capable of producing a good year as the “bellcow” of our backfield.

  4. bucrightoff Says:

    Also rumoured to be missing:

    A pass rush
    Run blocking
    Pass blocking
    All blocking
    Speed on offense
    Proper tackling
    Ever touching the opposing receiver
    Punting beyond 40 yards
    Some semblance of a clue from the coaching staff

    But other than that…

  5. lightningbuc Says:


    You know it’s a bad season when the lone bright spot is the long snapper.

  6. Mike10 Says:

    Someone’s gotta coach someone up! Gahh

  7. RCH Says:

    Is it maybe Martin is missing Eric Lorig?

  8. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Hey Joe. Interesting idea for an article. Research all of the Bucs that Lovie cut that are starting for other teams. That’s a good one

  9. Gus Says:

    I think the bucs are only team in history at week 7, are two games out of first place in the division while also being 1 game back of having the number one pick in the draft

  10. poorglennon Says:

    Is Sums ready?

  11. Pewter Jesus Says:

    How about giving Kadeem Edwards so playing time? Why not?

  12. billy buckaroo Says:

    Most running plays look like they are DESIGNED for a fullback style run
    at the goal line with no intentions of more than 1 or 2 yard gains.

    The coaches call that type of play
    The line blocks for that kind of play
    Martin runs like that kind of play
    Results are like that kind of play

    As Fonz would say

  13. Nick2 Says:

    You know its funny. When we drafted Simms people were like “what? what a wasted pick we are loaded at RB.” Now that pick is looking pretty good if Simms did not get injured. I am really looking forward to him juicing up our stagnant offense when he returns. I heard JBF on 620 saying he looks almost ready to return but he can’t for another few weeks. I pray he’s as good as he looks on film because if he is he might be the shot our offense needs!!!!

  14. Robert 9 Says:

    all these players guys are busting on would be stars on another team.

    horrible play calling and horrible game management and horrible coaching

  15. Fishfries Says:

    I know people that know him and lets just say he loves hanging out with Molly.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    Fishfries….oh good lord. That’s what people said about Freeman too….perhaps they both have the same dealer?

  17. Waterboy Says:

    I keep saying it he’s a one game wonder and was a huge beneficiary of a weak Oakland defense his rookie season. Also Atlanta was overlooking the Bucs and preparing for the playoffs that final game of 2012 when he has 144 yds. He’s a solid 3rd down back but nothing more than that.

  18. phil Says:

    Ray Rice could be available in a week or two. That would be an upgrade to anything we have on the roster.

  19. Snook Says:

    Didn’t Lovie have him lose weight in the off-season?

    That’s where I’d start…

  20. DallasBuc Says:

    “Sure, you can point a finger at the offensive line, but that’s dodging the issue.”
    Bullspit! This oline is the biggest problem. Blaming Martin is dodging the damn issue. You are wrong Joe.

  21. Another J Says:

    Running game is missing! Who’s blocking for the missing running backs?
    We’ll need a few billboards, and milk cartons to find them both!

  22. Brandon Says:

    Hey, why all the doom and gloom fellas? We’re only 20-30 players away from being a legitimate championship team.

  23. ddneast Says:

    What do u care what the fans pay ruggyup, you aren’t one of them and have probably never paid 2 see a Bucs game in your life.
    Waterboy incessantly goes on and on about the Oakland game as if that was the only game Martin starred in. Go back to the Vikings game in the same year you dolt and a half dozen others. He was also voted to the pro bowl as a rookie by his peers you morons.
    There is nothing wrong with this offense that a good professional offensive coordinator with solid NFL credentials couldn’t fix.
    Instead we have the Mark Dominick of OC’s calling our plays.

  24. joedaddy_85 Says:

    Martin is used to getting the ball 25 times in a game, adjusting to defenses… If he only carries it 10 times in a game and there’s no holes opened up of course he’s not averaging more than 2.5 let him carry it past the first half of the game..