Time To Throw On First Down

October 8th, 2014

Doug Martin’s struggles this season have added to the paltry Bucs first-down production

When the Cowboys were in they heydays, Tom Landry often had Roger Staubach throw on first down. Landry would explain that (given the nature of the run-oriented NFL back then) defenses were often keyed to stop the run with rush-stopping personnel. So that invited the pass.

Landry, as usual, was correct. Maybe the Bucs might want to channel Landry’s first-down philosophy beginning, oh, how about Sunday?

Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times did some homework the other night and revealed ugly numbers for the Bucs on first down.

Joe has no idea what has happened to Doug Martin. It seems he has turned into a fullback. He often charges straight ahead and offers few moves if any to avoid tacklers.

Of course, fans will want to pile on the offensive line. Joe was personally in the Superdome Sunday and there were some holes for Martin to run through, and either he hesitated or just simply tried to bowl over tacklers, who didn’t get bowled over.

Say what you want about the offensive line, but shouldn’t a running back once in a blue moon be able to make his own hole or at least juke or pull away from a tackler?

Joe sure wishes the 2012 Doug Martin shows up soon.

33 Responses to “Time To Throw On First Down”

  1. stevek Says:

    What is wrong with Doug Martin?

    What a rookie year, and now he looks like half the play he was.

    I hope you bounce back Muscle Hamster!

    Another Dominick 1st round pick.

  2. Buccfan37 Says:

    That would be a welcome change of pace. The opponent certainly is’nt expecting the pass on first down. Change it up Bucs, it can’t hurt the non success on first down.

  3. Brandon Says:

    It’s like the countless times Schiano ran him into brick walls waiting to stop him has made him gun shy. He used to have much better vision and explode through the line, now he’s tentative and not running with vision. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mike James get a few opportunities.

  4. Goodolebucfan Says:

    Can’t blame Dominick for a bad pick just by his first year alone. Blame the way he is being used and when (first downs). What happened to the speed in space concept.

  5. TAC Says:

    This is going to sound repetitive, but why does it take so long to get a play called, and get the offense to the LOS?

    These defenses are keying the run, and firing off with the play clock ran down, and Glennon clapping his hands/lifting his leg/jumpin up and down, etc. for the ball to be snapped. All telegraphed for the Defenses advantage.

    Give Glennon the ability to call the plays at the LOS, and get away from the play call by committee garbage that is going on right now.

    All that said, the bucs Defense is the problem right now, but they do look to be improving.

    Will know much more after 8 games.

  6. bucrightoff Says:

    Bill Barnwell on Grantland talked about Martin the other day (and other struggling running backs) In short, Martin’s career is the Oakland game. Without it, he’s a slightly above average running back. And frankly, it’s hard to disagree when you watch him now and realize he only has six 100+ yard games in 25 games. The current line isn’t great for running to be sure, but Rainey has looked better running behind it at this point. Might be time to ride Rainey for a while and see what he can do.

  7. Ray Rice Says:

    Its looks to me as if he’s pressing too hard. He’s trying to do too much with the ball instead of taking the 3 yards the defense gives him. I also see that he’s a less patient runner than before and doesn’t let the play develop. In essence he’s running like a rookie.

  8. Luther Says:

    The OL is not great but like I’ve been saying, Martin is NOT the best back on this team. Rainey has much better awareness and seems to find the holes that Doug rarely does. If Rainey doesn’t fumble the ball on a couple of critical series, then we aren’t even debating this.

  9. DB55 Says:

    2 words

    1. Play
    2. Action

  10. Robert 9 Says:

    there’s a wall of 13 guys in front of him…lol the 8 in the box on d and our linemen. it’s a joke.

    the time to pass on 1st down was after the 1st 3 plays it didn’t work…..

    but noooooo, let’s blame it on martin. lol

  11. andres Says:

    Man I mean Glennon is throwing a lot already, bucs don’t want Glennon throwing 50 times a game, bad things happen.

  12. theodore Says:

    Why should the Bucs throw on first down? That may lead to a long drive and unnecessary points scored by the offense. Lovie wants to win defense, field position and turnovers. Nothing more needs to be said.

    All this talk about first downs and passing is silly.

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    Ray Rice Says :

    “I also see that he’s a less patient runner than before and doesn’t let the play develop.”

    Yep. I started to notice this last season as well. He charges ahead.

  14. passthebuc` Says:

    L was a visionary
    Lovie is a follower.

  15. Lou. Says:

    Years ago Dr. Frank Ryan (former Cleveland quarterback) analyzed the run-pass game. He found teams typically gained a lead by passing and then maintained the advantage by running.

    While the data set was primitive his conclusions remain timely. The Bucs can think of themselves as a run-first team, but they will need to pass to get the lead. No need for 50 passes: throw it 30 times and then settle in to a grind-it-out format.

    Remember that the Saints’ running attack was largely ineffective for the first three quarters. The. It hit stride and took off. Similarly, the 49ers of old would pass for the first 40 minutes and close out games on the ground.

    We can expect to run better once some d-linemen tire themselves and get run down from rushing the passer. Martin does not look capable of creating holes between the tackles early on. Rainey,it seems, is much better on sweeps than in any power attack.

  16. Uptwnkoda Says:

    How about some RB screen plays or WR screen plays on a first down !!! GO WATCH SOME DAMN CHIP KELLY !!!

  17. SAMCRO Says:

    If Martin was the only one struggling more than the others, then I would say that it was him, but, because all of our RB’s are struggling, that tells me that the run blocking by the offensive line, and TE’s is inadequate.

    As far as these glaring holes that your perceived eyes only see, it may be because the play wasn’t designed to go that way. If Joe were to watch real carefully he would understand that almost every single run play is designed to go through the middle, not sweep around the ends. Coach’s don’t really take to kindly to their RB’s who deviate from their schemes. It’s a real fast way to find yourself on the bench.

    Did Joe ever play organized football? If so, then Joe would know this.
    We need to be a little more creative in our run play calling. Either give our RB’s more autonomy to break away from designed plays, and let them run to daylight, or design different run plays to allow more sweeps instead of all the constant FB dives up the middle.

  18. canadian bucsfan Says:

    It would be nice to see them try running outside the tackles once in awhile instead of the A n B gap.

  19. OB Says:


    It is obvious that the run isn’t working because it is predicable, first down between the tackles, maybe even second down between the tackles.

    I don’t think I have seen a play action pass in any Bucs game by the Bucs this year. I don’t think I have seen play calling that would fool any of our opponents.

    To me it is just like starting in Judo, you are afraid of making a move because you may lose but you are losing anyway since you are not trying anything until one day the light goes off and you start trying to throw the other person. This is were we are in play calling on both sides of the ball, afraid to try something because it may fail. Hopefully the light went off in the last game but I don’t understand how and why our defense was not ready for the snap of the ball so many times and this is what caused some of the penalties.

    We have lost four games, turn both sides loose and let them try anything and see what works, let Glennon call the plays on what he sees, let LVD call the defense as he sees it and just give them some loose guidence every now and them and see what happens.

    Last item, as a sterling member of the pen and mic club, please tell us when GMCs cast is coming off and when Bennett is expected to be whole along with Evens and ASJ.

  20. Z-Buc Fan Says:

    It’s amazing that no one else has picked up on the real problem with the running game: We lost Earnest Byner. Look at his track record as a coach, and look at the numbers his teams put up when he’s there.

    I don’t think Tim Spencer has any idea how to help this position succeed.

  21. buc4lyfe Says:

    That’s pretty dumb to say, it’s like saying Glennon would have this many yards if not for the drops!!! Well he did gain 16 yards and it doesn’t really matter the circumstances. He’s making it so obvious he’s skewing the stats to point out the obvious.

    Rainey had over a hundred yards rushing in one game but no one bothers to check how many of that was on a first down run, that would say more about our backs or if it’s the o line and who the hell is the o line coach, not sure how he can keep his job after this season

  22. Patrickbucs Says:


    Besides the Oakland game he had big games against Minnesota and Atlanta off the top if my head. He did so by also catching passes I open space, rarely does he get those chances now.

    Our line is better pass blocking. We need to pass to open up the run not the other way around. The high school play calling is bad, really bad. We also desperately need to get the calls in faster. As someone said earlier we are giving the defense and advantage.

  23. Rob Says:

    cant wait to watch Charles Sims

  24. G8rbuc13 Says:

    How many run play shave been called to the outside? Not a whole lot and when I watch the games I am not seeing very many holes with the exception of the St. Louis game. Neither Rainey or Martin looks good when both have in the past and both are in their prime as running backs. To me this speaks to an issue with the line and the play calling. Bucs need to get it together.

  25. tamparob Says:

    The play is telegraphed just like it was in the Dungy era. When Keyshawn went in motion across the center it was always a run in that direction. Now it is VJax in motion that is the telegraph. We used to sit in the stands and call out the play– which we knew the defense was also doing because it was always stuffed.

  26. Harry Says:

    If you are running 90% of the time on first down, it doesn’t take a genius DC to figure up how to set up. Really coach? You get paid millions to come up with that offensive philosophy?

  27. Another J Says:

    How can people blame Doug Martin for running woes when there aren’t any holes, or running lanes being opened up by the offensive line?
    I agree it’s time to stop running straight up the middle of the defense every first down. Martin might have some success if they tried running some counter, stretch plays, or screen passes on 1st down instead.

  28. buc4lyfe Says:

    Is it too much to ask this for once in my lifetime the team I root for could dominant the offense side of the ball and have what we didn’t have last time the Tampa two was here

  29. MTM Says:

    The offense would be better served to come out guns a blazing. The offense needs to rack up serious points to offset the porous defense.

  30. Zam Says:

    Maybe in the back of his mind somewhere, he’s just a little bit afraid. Never knowing when that next injury is going to come if he makes violent contact. Or sadly, maybe he’s already used up.

  31. evo Says:

    Db55 and harrry. I’m with you guys. And I’ll ask every one else these questions. How many times do you look at the bucs on first down and see teams keyed up to stop the run? How many times on first down have you guys seen defenses move to the LOS before the ball is snapped cause they know it’s going to be a run? If we as fans can figure out that same dive play on first down. Couldn’t a DC who gets paid a bunch of money figure that out as well?

    I’m sick of seeing defenses crashing down on us on us on first down. How about we use a little play action. It’s there for the taking. Or we start the play bunched up and spread the fight ends and get a mismatch. Or how about just going 3 wide and running from that. At least with the 3 wide they won’t guess run every time.

    I’m sick of screaming “PLAY ACTION!! PLEASE don’t run that same dive play every first down!!” just to see them do it. Get 1 yard now are in a predictable second and long. And guess what. Defenses know your going to pass it. So that’s two predictable plays in a row. Then we just wait for the shot gun draw play on 3rd down.

  32. Kevin#1 Says:

    Should’ve started that about five weeks ago…

  33. frog Says:

    How about a bend around a reverse a hook and ladder come on lovey its time to shake a knot in your young play caller, tell him not to be so conservative as you are. open it up!