“Most Elusive”

January 20th, 2016
Is Doug Martin "elusive" or just hard to tackle?

Is Doug Martin “elusive” or just hard to tackle?

Yes, it is that time of year, when the final days of the NFL season are upon us (and the annual weeks-long depression that envelops Joe shortly thereafter).

And with the coming end of football comes awards.

Just about everyone has them, which is why Joe doesn’t often traffic in them.

Leave it to the spreadsheeters to give out their awards. The sophists of football know better than Bill Belicheat, of course. Still, some of their stuff is interesting, especially when they laud a Bucs player.

(No, Joe has not become a Pro Football Focus convert. Joe has higher standards.)

So for the Pro Football Focus crowd, their award for Most Elusive Running Back is none other than Buccaneers All-Pro, everyone’s favorite Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin, so writes PFF bigshot and former minor league pitcher Steve Palazzolo.

Most Elusive: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin rejuvenated his career by grading as our top runner while also leading with an elusive rating of 65.7. He forced a league-high 57 missed tackles and picked up 3.1 yards after contact per rush.

Joe never thinks of Martin as “elusive.” That term is often associated with scatbacks, not so much bruising runners. Martin’s running style is more fullback-like than tailback, but, Martin does force a lot of missed tackles.

Not sure that really is “elusive,” more hard-to-bring-down.

27 Responses to ““Most Elusive””

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    PFF can call it what they want Joe, but ‘hard-to-bring-down’ is what it’s all about. Doug Martin getting an average of 3 yds AFTER contact for a season is awesome. Kinda reminiscent of the days watching #40 run over would-be tacklers.

    It’s obvious that Dirk appreciates Doug’s rejuvenation last year. Now the Bucs need to pay him so they can keep him.

  2. Kevin Says:

    I hope he wasnt just running for a contract.

  3. Chromolly Says:

    Everyone must of forgot how invisible he was the prior 2 years ovcourse he was running for money.

  4. tdtb2015 Says:

    Licht put him a a diet made his quickness come back and made him hard to tackle.

    It does not matter if he ran for the money. Because Jameis will make him run for a championship.

  5. Barmorej Says:

    “Elusive” is applicable to Martin. Being hard to tackle is “elusive.”

    But who cares about semantics? Martin was an All Pro and arguably the best back in football in 2015.

  6. Rrsrq Says:

    It called stiff arm. If Bucs weren’t playing from behind so often, his numbers would have been up, If receivers weren’t dropping balls, Jameis numbers would have been up, if….. the Bucs would’ve went to the Super Bowl

  7. Espo Says:

    I think he’s just hard to see. Once you find him, he’s juked to where you were previously looking for him. When you look there, he turned into Charles Sims. Sometimes, he’s looking for the ball on the ground at the line of scrimmage when you expect him to be at the secondary.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Martin runs very tough….needs to protect the ball better….he’s seeing the holes better and there are more holes.

    We need more production out of our FB position…..Lane had one carry and two passes last year…..not per game….all year. Defenses need to be worried about that position performing…but they aren’t.

  9. Espo Says:

    We might not see Lane again. Wish him well.

  10. LargoSamIM Says:

    in other news, there was another Buc, Jameis Winston, named as “Least Elusive” !

  11. AC Says:

    how about he had a better line, better OC, was actually HEALTHY this year.. amazing to see people say he was running for money.. Doesn’t make sense.. yea of course he wants to get paid every one does when its time for a raise but don’t blame this man for playing for a paycheck. He simply got into better shape shed a ton of weight and balled his ass off this year. It’s obvious to see what commentators never played the game

  12. SteveK Says:

    We should call Doug Martin “Mega Man”. He is slimmer version of Maurice Jones-Drew, a small, buff, power back.

    I hope we can lock Martin up. If not, I have faith in Licht to draft some good players.

    Martin runs hard, and as Joe points out, often with his head down and runs into tackles. Martin did a much better job of that this year, and I only look for it to improve with Koetter’s offense in year two. I read somewhere where Koetter is such a great offensive mind bc he can not only draw up the creative plays, but he can also teach and install a blocking scheme, and that most offensive coordinators can draw up a play,but not as many can apply it to a blocking scheme.

  13. Luther Says:

    I have said over that last 2 years that he could not make people miss. I don’t take that back but what he did with his body, really made a difference. Losing weight brought back the elusiveness that he lost through injuries and bulking up. As long as he stays at the correct weight, he will continue to be at an elite level. I happy for him and certainly happy for the Bucs. Hopefully they can resign him and hopefully, he watches his weight.

  14. Tampa Tony Says:

    Re sign him or see this offense regress badly

  15. briandorry55 Says:

    Sometimes I wonder what you’re watching. Did you miss the absurd juke against Jacksonville? Or the ridiculous spin in the same game? Or the tiny creases that Doug maneuvers through, because he has the best vision in the game…elusiveness means you make people miss, and Doug did that better than anybody.

  16. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Joe, I think you would be surprised how elusive Martin is and hard he can cut if you see it from the endzone-type view. His jump cuts are considered elite.

  17. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    That’s only been the case his rookie year and this, though, bcuz he bulked up too much the years in between and lost that extra level of elusiveness and agility. He talked about training differently before this season to regain his agility and I think it’s obvious that it worked.

  18. Another J Says:

    Told ya’ll he didn’t forget how to run…

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Sorry guys…I know it must be a terrible “coincidence” that this year was a “contract year” but I can’t buy that his performance was based on that fact.

    I think Doug Martin is simply a football player. He wants to win…he wants to do his best.

    EVERY year is a test for a player in the NFL because so many people want their jobs. I think Doug played as hard as he could all four years but the middle two were injury riddled. Running backs like Doug take a ton of punishment.

    I think the biggest thing I saw this year was not how effectively he could run the ball…we saw that before when he was a rookie and he did have an improved OL in front of him…but that he finished the season playing as well at the end as the beginning and staying off the IR. Staying healthy was my biggest question about Doug and at least this year he did that.

  20. godzilla13 Says:

    Doug Martin can be difficult to find, evasive, slippery and is always on the move. Martin’s other move we need to see more of is his leap over the pile on the goal line. Literally unstoppable. Wish we would have called for it on the last play in the Washington game? What an offensive package we have with Martin paired with Charles Sims. Martin and Sims combined for an incredible average RB yards per carry at (4.90). The pair was best in the league as indicated by Pro Football Outsiders number one ranking for Open Field Yards: Yards which this team’s running backs earn more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, divided by total running back carries.

  21. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Not elusive? So eluding tackles (most missed tackles in the league) isn’t being elusive? Doug martins ability to avoid and break out of tackles is the dictionary picture of elusive.

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    Not back too far many here wanted Doug gone. He shut up that crowd.

  23. feelthepewterpower Says:

    surprising since he seems to struggle with short yardage situations. His issues had been his weight, and not hitting the hole hard…plus our oline wasn’t the best, and he had been playing hurt. he’s more aggressive, vision was a little better, and had more blocking to run behind, besides being quicker in the hole.

  24. grafikdetail Says:

    wow! he’s not elusive but he lead the league in missed tackles…so many times this season opposing players had martin behind the LOS and he juked them right out of their cleats LOL how about shifty? does that work better for you?

  25. Mike10 Says:

    Ya I agree w some above. Disagree w you Joe.

    The biggest difference between him and Sims is his elusiveness. He misses more would-be tacklers that should be TFL, that he turns into five yards. He’s incredibly elusive.

    I feel like you’re confusing elusive with being able to outrun someone. That, he cannot.

  26. Dave Says:

    I’d say powerful low center with some shiftiness is the reason.

  27. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    The best juke I’ve ever seen was was against Jacksonville when the defender met him at the hole. He juked backwards then slid to his left. The replay shows the guy whiffing on a trip attempt as Dougie broke his ankles. Priceless!