Martin Cannot Break Tackles

July 21st, 2015
No longer can break tackles?

No longer can break tackles?

In the dog days of July, after folks have finished blowing off fireworks, it’s research time, as NFL teams all but shut down their facilities.

So the spreadsheeters have been working overtime at Pro Football Focus as the dawn of training camp is within sight.

This time, the numberscrunchers are studying running backs, specifically running backs able to make defenders miss. In this category, per the spreadsheeters, no running back was worse than Doug Martin.

Again, from Pro Football Focus, Martin had 135 rushes where he had an opportunity to break a tackle. He did so only eight times.

Consider that converted spread-option quarterback Denard Robinson had just as many missed tackles forced with two fewer attempts.

This reinforces what Joe saw all too often from Martin last year. With apologies up front for being repetitive, when Joe covered the Bucs at Saints, Joe specifically focused his binoculars on Martin on each carry. Far, far too often, Martin, as soon as he got the ball, ducked his head and tried to bowl over defensive tackles and linebackers rather than keeping his head up to find holes.

And, yes, there were holes occasionally for him to exploit if he had kept his head up and had decent field vision.

It may not be so much that Martin couldn’t break tackles, but too often, he didn’t even try. So the data from Pro Football Focus actually backs up what Joe saw with his own eyes (with the aid of binoculars).

Imagine that.

23 Responses to “Martin Cannot Break Tackles”

  1. Buccfan305 Says:

    Binoculars were’nt necessary….Martin is just hot garbage…always goes down at first contact. If the holes were’nt “Timmy Smith” wide, he wouldn’t make a play.

  2. @Hands2theFace Says:

    Yet Rainey did…So too can D. Brown. Hmmm….the RB situation is going to be intriguing this year.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Mike James always seems to get positive yardage….

  4. AlteredEgo Says:

    It is all about the OL

  5. Clodhopper Says:

    “He didn’t even try”

    That’s the story of Martin. He could be so good but it looks like he puts zero effort into his running.
    Remember those old Bugs Bunny cartoons? One of the shows where he should’ve taken a left at Albuquerque. Bobby Rainey is like Bugs and Martin is like that bull. What a gulli-bull

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    Martin will stick on the final roster, imo. This may be his last year to improve and impress coaches and fans alike. I’m looking for Doug to dispel the opinion that he was just a one shot wonder. If he fails, the Bucs have backups.

  7. The Buc Realist Says:

    Well, Martin only has the OC in his corner. It was reported that the HC and GM were going to dump or trade of a late 3rd day draft pick. At this point no one can be surprised if he starts this year or gets traded before opening day for just about nothing.

    The Bucs have a full stable of below average running backs!!!

  8. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Have we all forgotten about the WAIVER WIRE?!?!?! We will find a STUD, watch!!!

  9. Another J Says:

    I’m still blaming the O-Line, Maybe he’d be more effective at making people miss, If he had a lane to run the ball through!

  10. Harry Says:

    I wonder where the coaching is in all of this? If you see this, Joe, why aren’t the coaches telling Martin this?

  11. mac Says:

    Doug Martin can’t break tackles, pass block or catch very well…

    Another brilliant Mark Dominik move… Not to mention we also spent a draft pick to move back into the first round to get him…

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    if the OLine plays decently – I believe Doug Martin will have a good year.

  13. Joe Says:

    I wonder where the coaching is in all of this? If you see this, Joe, why aren’t the coaches telling Martin this?

    One could argue the Bucs didn’t have any offensive coaches last year.

  14. Ray Rice Says:

    Who cares. They got Charlie Murphy waiting in the wings.

  15. tmaxcon Says:


    Please show me a consistent winning team that relies on the “Waiver Wire” aka Other teams GARBAGE to consistently challenge for wins and superbowls.

    raise your standards. teams DO NOT let good players go. Good Teams always find a way to sign their players and retain the winners.

  16. San Francisco Joe Says:


    While I have a ton of respect for your passion about everything related to the Bucs, I do feel that often times you contradict yourself with the columns you write. It seems that every time an article is written about a player such as ‘numbercrunchers’ you allow your allegiance to shift the opposite way. Then later, you talk to the player himself, or find an article with an opposing view and you flip again. People want to hear your opinions. However, I would like to see some consistency. I don’t think it’s homerism to stand by a player despite a persuasive argument that another person conjures up in opposition. In this case, these “stats” say that Martin’s numbers were not good last year. I haven’t heard anyone argue that he was! In fact, what would be a better article is to search for ANYTHING that was good about the Bucs last year. There is nothing groundbreaking about this information.

    I would be much more interested to see articles detailing whether Martin’s ability and potential for 2015 is closer to the player that has been hampered by injuries the last few years OR what he was his rookie year & the last few games of the 2014 season.

  17. Danati74 Says:

    IDK, I’m still a D. Martin fan. His RC was too impressive to me. If you think any RB on the roster did better,…they did not. C. Sims, also injured only averaged 2+ yards a carry. M. James, not often used only averaged 2+ yards a carry. B. Rainey fumbled when given opportunity was pulled off the field. 2 more things. The OL. The chase for Jameis. I don’t believe you can do your best, when your trying to be last. You cannot do your best with that OL blocking for you. I will see this year. If he doesn’t improve(Doug) than okay, its time, but I won’t complain too early.

  18. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    Joe, even when he was healthy he couldn’t break tackles? Sounds like he had given up.

  19. Harry Says:

    “…One could argue the Bucs didn’t have any offensive coaches last year.”

    Very good point!

  20. Wesley Says:

    Joe, your kidding yourself, there were no holes to run through last year.

  21. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Martin is a second level tackle breaker. That’s why he needs a good offensive line to open a hole at the first level. Give him that, and he’ll get 1500-2000 yards per season.

    Rainey is small and agile, and quick. He’s so small its hard to find him in that first level, so he can slip through smaller holes. He doesn’t run with force, but he can maneuver well at the line, resulting in short to medium gains…and a couple longer ones.

    I think people are giving up on Martin far too soon. He hasn’t had a good line at all since being drafted. His rookie year wasn’t even more than an average line and look what he did with that.

    Our new OC will have the line focus first on run blocking to gel, so as the weeks pass, Martin will look better.

    REMEMBER where you heard it.

  22. Owlykat Says:

    We need a big back especially early while our OL is gelling. A big back can blast his own holes and wear down a Defense. I don’t care whether it is Dominique Brown, our Hawaiian FB, Lane, or even Mike or a veteran pick up. And we also need a good blocking FB for short yardage. Our OC had various backs to choose from last year but picked Jackson–a big back.

  23. ChessMaster Says:

    Yup, folks are giving up on Martin too quick.