Saints Took Martin Out

December 14th, 2015
Bucs RB Doug Martin breaks loose on one of his 11 attempts. (Photo courtesy of

Bucs RB Doug Martin breaks loose on one of his 11 attempts. (Photo courtesy of

Bucs fans are grumbling about why Doug Martin is not being used very much.

Well, there are two answers.

Of course, the Saints, from the early moments of the game, pretty much said to the Bucs: We are loading up the box and daring your rookie quarterback to beat us.

Initially, it looked like America’s Quarterback, Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston, would do just that. He hit Vincent Jackson to start the opening drive for 36 yards, which was negated by a holding penalty on Donovan Smith.

Inexplicably, the Bucs seemed to go into a fetal position after that play and never recovered.

When Jackson left with a knee injury, the Saints were keying on Mike Evans and all but took him out of the game. The offense fell apart with Jameis unable to rely on any receivers other than Adam Humphries, an undrafted rookie free agent.

But there was another reason Martin went into hiding. None other than the Custodian of Canton, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune has the details.

With Doug Martin leading the way with 11 carries for 81 yards, Tampa Bay averaged a nifty 6.1 yards per run, compared to only 2.5 yards for New Orleans. But the Saints jumped ahead 14-0 and dominated time of possession to wreck the home team’s offensive balance.

In other words, the Bucs were playing catch-up.

Now in the final drive after Martin gained 24 yards to give the Bucs a first down on their own-44 with 4:41 left, the Bucs attempted three pass plays and Lovie Smith inexplicably called for a punt. If Joe had to quibble at playcalling, then that right there raised an eyebrow.

19 Responses to “Saints Took Martin Out”

  1. T in Orlando Says:

    I don’t understand why we went away from the run after that Doug Martin scamper on the last drive. The Bucs has all 3 timeouts, and plenty of time on the clock. No reason to abandon the run game at that point.

    I’ve been in Koetter’s corner, but that doesn’t make sense.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Aah yes Joe, I see we’re back to the punt call. At least you maintained your cool and only “.. raised an eyebrow” when Lovie punted in the apparent belief that we really do have a #8 defense. I can’t say the same.

    Didn’t feel any sense of urgency yesterday in anything the Bucs did. Jameis was throwing high all day I thought, but his receivers didn’t help him out much. Especially Dontae Dye … I saw him drop 2 perfectly catchable balls at critical times. Losing VJax really hurt … Mike Evans isn’t ready to carry the team as #1 WR.

    Saints did a good job focusing on Martin, but our own penalties and our defense’s inability to get off the field were what took him out of the game far too often. Playing from behind (14-0) didn’t help, but that happened early and time wasn’t a factor at that point. The Saints’ 37-plus mins time-of-possession tells the story of the game (along with the Saints own stupid penalties).

  3. Danati74 Says:

    Yep, most of the time we say we are a run first team and setting up the play action. We don’t do this too often. If feel like if we are down just a little bit, we take Doug out of the game. We should still run thou. Doug was getting gains of 14 and 24 yards. That’s moving the chains more than incompletions. What ever happened to the veteran RB helping out your RC QB? For me, a few times we gave up on the run too fast. Doug was avg. 7 yards a carry. I’m sure all Doug wants to do is win, but if he wants to take the lead for most rushing yards he won’t be able to do it not running the ball.

  4. JMicSoundsNice Says:

    We can argue the 4th down decisions Coach Smith has made all season ad nauseum, but what’s not going to change is his propensity to make conservative calls in those situations. He’s only gambled once this season, Joe…what’d you think was gonna happen?

    Strategy is an important part of the game, but not as crucial as making plays on the field. The decision not to run the ball during that series of downs is questionable, but what happens, for example, if Jameis completes a series of consecutive passes, highlighted by a touchdown pass with 2 minutes left to play? Let’s assume Barth makes the extra point. What happens next? Exactly. The defense has to come back on the field. Without Kwon. Do they stop the saints from winning? Probably not, which is exactly what happened when Coach Smith decided not to punt. You argue that a a game tying touchdown would’ve inspired the defense do you? When has that happened? Coaches coach, players play…it’s as simple as that. In either scenario it’s about execution. Neither side of the ball was able to when it mattered the most. That’s the reason for the loss, not a conservative coaching call.

  5. AlanBucsFan Says:

    Doug Martin is the Bucs best offensive player this year and the Bucs coaching staff let the Saints dictate their offensive strategy. Martin still scores the Bucs 1st td and then in the Bucs final drive, Martin gains 24 yds on 1st down. Then, the Bucs coaching staff, unbelievably, calls 3 straight passing plays, one of which is a trick pay to Sims which is very low percentage (didn’t Martin get injured on that same play 2 years ago??) Besides the tight ends, The rest of offense was ineffective for much of day, yet you take out your best player from the game plan ??? Coaches offensive game plan lost this game.

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pardon my French, but Lovie is and idiot.

  7. Bucco Brice Says:

    Just plain stupid…Martin is the best player on offense…Easiest and safest way to move down the field has been handing the ball off to Martin. 11 carries? and putting Sims in? please!….keeping him fresh for what? To sign with someone else? Better get the contract thing fixed up ASAP too!

  8. Rrsrq Says:

    It looked as Martins run were just as good as a downfield run, did I see he has led the league in runs over 20+ yards. Until you stop it, I keep running it, 14 point deficit on that Saints defense shouldn’t be that crazy to overcome, especially with V-Jax out, line up them TE’s to block and catch, this is on Koetter. Saints defense not that good.

  9. MikeJohnson Says:

    Saints not only took Martin out..They took out our entire defense in the 1st half. Give Drew Brees credit. He had time to eat a burger in the pocket while he picked our secondary apart. Playoffs? Are you kiddin me? With a defense like ours..we don’t deserve playoffs. Now maybe we can just watch our Bucs to see if they have the heart to finish..8-8. Playoffs? Please..don’t bust my knees!

  10. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    You know people who call Lovie an idiots are bigger idiots themselves. He doesn’t call the offensive plays and he doesn’t run it either. Koetter calls them and the offense runs it. As with the 4th down call 95% of all head coaches make the same call. If they didn’t make it after 3 straight incompletions you clowns would be up here crying a bigger river than you are now. Yet they do go for it on 4th down and make it but not one of you morons give Lovie credit for that. You knit pick like little old women crying and whining. That’s why you are coaching from your high chair and not on the sidelines!
    Lovie called the defense but the players didn’t execute plain and simple. It’s hard to win when you have receivers who always drop critical ball’s at critical times, platers who negate big plays with stupid penalties and a rookie qb who can’t complete more than 19 passes in a game.

  11. Waterboy Says:

    No excuse this was bad play calling on offense again. Saints couldn’t stop Martin but Tampa kept going to the package that put Winston in shotgun most of the game which also kept Simms on the field. Once they did that the Saints just laid back in coverage and waited. Martin runs better with Winston under center and with him being on the field causes the defense to automatically stack the box to shut him down. Koetter needs to design more play action plays where Winston starts off under center and Doug Martin is on the field instead of Simms. Simms is good but not the same type of runner as Martin and 85% of the time when he’s on the field you know it’s a pass.

  12. Waterboy Says:

    Koetter had the same problem in Atlanta and would quickly abandon the run.

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Who cares if they were playing catch up???

    Look, had they run the ball, they would have had possession longer, which would have reduced the points the Saints scored.

    It’s as simple as that. In the past, when they fell behind and stayed with the running game, things worked out. They should have done so again. Koetter panicked.

    Still, this one is all on the players, especially defense.

    How long is Bruce Carter out for? First game starting and he gets injured? Wow…just what I predicted in training camp and several times since.

  14. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bucs looked like a lot like a motley mix of junkyard dogs. Their bark was bigger than their bite. I guess 6 wins beats last years 2 wins. When is the parade?

  15. San Francisco Joe Says:

    @BuccaneerBonzai You hit it on the head. Koetter panicked. He has done wonders for this offense this year no doubt, but any time the Bucs fall behind, no matter how much time is left, he gets pass happy. Eleven Martin carries against the Saints is inexcusable. He played right into their hands. Koetter will see the same thing we saw when he goes back and watches film. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another six straight runs to start the game on Thursday. Overall, Koetter needs to work on his in-game management. It’s a pattern that’s happening over and over again that is just killing us.

  16. grafikdetail Says:

    why are people giving Koetter a pass? the bucs went down 2 TDs early & he abandoned the run way too early… end of story! Panthers went down by 2TD last week and guess what they did? ran the freaking ball!

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    @waterboy…exactly..thats why he was let go…with wrs dropping passes he should have continued to run doug to set up the play action…I had no problem with the punt but I would’ve liked lovie to pull a fake punt to provide a spark for the team…maybe that would’ve woke them up but it is what it is…I have already been satisfied with the season but now im ready for the draft because this team has too many holes on defense…finishing 8-8 will give this team confidence for next year…GO BUCS!!!

  18. godzilla13 Says:

    Doug Martin averaged 7.4 yards a carry against the Saints and we passed the ball when it was all on the line. Instead of trying to have a UDFA from the practice squad make a play, give the ball to the only consistent player on this team. The Saints would pressure Winston and Koetter would answer with constant screens. Either Winston overthrew Sims or the play was ended before it began. In the end it doesn’t matter. When the defense allows the Saints to make a 3rd and 24, then 3rd down, after 3rd down, it became redundant. I wonder if Martin could have rushed for 2000 yards this year if not for taking him out of games and all of the penalties? Koetter is not ready to be a head coach and for the life of me I can not figure out why Lovie does not blitz more or bring the CB’s up to the LOS to try and impede the receivers unmolested routes.

  19. Tony Says:

    The reason Joe is calling out Lovie on punting is because he’s watched every Buc’s game over the last 5 years. How many times have we seen that exact scenario play out? It seems to happen 1 to 2 times a season and waaaaaaaay more often than not, the Bucs never see the ball again.

    What the Bucs MUST find in the offseason are possession receivers who can catch the football in critical situations. That drop by Dye absolutely DID cost the Bucs the game because it was the last offensive play they ran. Period. When you have a young QB, you cannot drop the football. Ever. The Bucs need to completely retool the WR 3-6 spots on this team. Evans needs to dramatically improve his hands and catch radius. I give the Buc receivers a D at best on the year. It’s ridiculous. And let’s not talk about “everything will be fine when Kenny Bell and Murphy return next year”. That’s a loser mentality. We want to add talent so that Kenny Bell is fighting for a roster spot and no being gifted the #3 role.

    There were at least 5 catchable balls yesterday that were dropped that would have extended drives. I guarantee that would have changed the outcome of the game.