Doug Martin, Sheldon Rankins & Change

August 15th, 2016
Doug Martin speaks

Doug Martin speaks

There was a major injury in the NFC South today, the kind that wouldn’t have happened to a Buccaneer so far this summer.

Rookie first-round pick of the Saints, Sheldon Rankins, went down today with a broken leg during goal-line work in full pads. Huge blow to New Orleans.

But there is no goal-line work with the Bucs, at least not the traditional kind.

It used to be the highlight of training camp for fans. The Bucs would go “live” from the 2 yard line, meaning full contact including taking ball carriers to the turf.

Doug Martin spoke Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio about how Dirk Koetter is protecting players and shunning goal-line activity.

“This is actually the first camp that I’ve had that I’ve done goal-line work in a walk-through, Martin said. “In previous ones, you go live on some series, and then the [second-teamers] go live. My first year it was all live. [Koetter] does a good job taking care of us.”

Yes, Koetter is protecting the Bucs. It makes sense, but Joe knows it’s no guarantee of a winning formula. Teams, including the Super Bowl Buccaneers, won plenty of games running two-a-day practices in full pads and beating the crap out of each other.

Koetter, though, may be on to something when it comes to getting players to believe in him. The Bucs love all the effort he’s made to keep them fresh physically and mentally.

Status quo wasn’t going to cut it. The team wasn’t ready for opening day last year — physically or mentally.

35 Responses to “Doug Martin, Sheldon Rankins & Change”

  1. Buc since '74 Says:

    I will definitely take Hargraves over Rankins now!

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I like protecting the players. That said, Koetter was not exactly known for his running game in the past.

  3. ndog Says:

    I would say that lead to the struggles in the run defense and running game last week so Koetter is clearly counting on the preseason games getting us ready to tackle and be physical enough in the run game on both sides of the ball.

  4. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Wasn’t there another first pick seriously injured today? Or could have been yesterday..

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    it’s a fine line ween protecting players and coaching scared. hopefully koetter has the right balance. the cba significantly limits practice and hitting at what point does not practicing certain situations cross the line into causing more injuries.

    what would Bear Bryant and the Junction Boys think of today’s training camps

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    If a player gonna get injured..he’s gonna get injured! Don’t matter if he’s in pads/no pads or protected play. WE won a superbowl with Sapp and boyz going 2 a days. You are either going to go down or stay up. Tough break for Rankins. But I can bet you one thing..Most players are sayin..Better him..than me! Not to worry, we to will have more than our fair share of injuries this season. You can bank on this. At some point, You’re gonna have to let guys play. There is no hiding in this league. Cry havoc..let loose the dogs of War!

  7. jwash Says:

    I’ve definitely been wondering if this year’s camp has been too soft. Avoiding the heat, cutting practices short, now no live goal line drills…? I get protecting players, but this is getting dangerously close to coaching scared.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Gerald McCoy used to get injured quite a lot, remember ? Schiano corrected his big tendency to arm tackle. As Coach Schiano pointed out, it may have worked in high school and college for McCoy, but not in the NFL.

    Bad luck seems to happen a lot to New Orleans. The loss of Rankins will be huge for them. Even with Drew Brees, IMHO they are on a downward spiral, destined to finish last in the NFC South.

  9. Scurvy Dogs Says:


    I thought Jacksonville’s running game was pretty decent. Then again, it could have been good backs.

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    It’s such a tough decision in today’s NFL. On one hand, you want to keep your guys healthy, and the less physical the practices, the less likely they will get injured in practice. For whatever reason, it seems like players today get hurt more in practice than I remember back in the day (although there may not be any stats to back that up). On the other hand, if you don’t practice with some physicality, it’s almost a guarantee that it will translate negatively in the games (at least early on in the season).

    How would you feel if Doug Martin, Mike Evans, Lavonte David, GMC, etc. were to get hurt in goal line drills, especially before the season even started? It would suck out so much of my excitement.

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    I don’t think going with Koetter lite practice will be a detriment to team readiness. Smart move going forward, less injuries especially severe injuries.

  12. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Time will tell. This seems like a very smart policy. We’ll see how it works out on Fall Sundays. If the guys are hitting with abandon and completing their tackles we’ll know it was the smart play.]

    OTOH if we look soft on defense, or miss lots of tackles, this may look bad.

    I have faith in Koetter. These are grown men and their careers. If you think you are jacked on Sunday…ask Joe what it’s like down on the field. These guys get into another kind of crazy. They all want to HIT! I do not believe hard practices or easier practices help or hinder this aspect.

    I gotta believe Smitty signed off on this for his defensive guys as well. Two pretty good football minds there. Then if you add the input from a group of assistants with perhaps more experience collectively than any other team in the Division. I’d love to see that stat.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Coach K’s been around for a long time and I’m sure he’s given this a lot of thought. Some of it though is undoubtedly going to be trial and error. Practice too soft and you lose games. Practice too tough and you could lose players before you even get to play the game. I applaud Coach though for at least trying a different approach to see if it works. If it doesn’t, I’m sure that he’ll learn from it and try something else. In any event Dirk’s a breath of fresh air around 1 Buc Place.

  14. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Maybe this will shed some light on why our intensity during Thursday’s game wasn’t as that high when they were starting drives almost on the goal line. I’m sorry save the effort for the regular season.

  15. Kevin Says:

    Theyre gonna have to do some red zone live action in practice. But I understand the reason behind the decision

  16. DB55 Says:

    Did anyone else see Kwon whiff on 2 tackles near the goalline or just me? The play where Spence got the tackle while carrying a TE on his shoulder and the toss sweep. Ahh, prob just me.

    Forget goalline and hitting n stuff the real question is will gmc be serving soft serve ice cream again this year? Inquiring minds want to know???

  17. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    I wonder if this means we are gonna be soft due to lack of practice when it comes to these scenarios

  18. pick6 Says:

    i have to watch the rest of the preseason game, but what jumped out at me in the two TD series the eagles had were the awful attempts at tackling. I am not going to judge the defense for giving up the TDs off of those ugly turnovers, but it was disheartening to see the eagles running straight through tackles in our rebooted defense. it sounds like things got better vs lesser players, but it’s fair to wonder if this body-friendly training camp is going to set the defense back at all

  19. Kobe Faker Says:


    We will have 4 extra practices with other NFL teams- Jac and Clev

    We will do plenty live goalines vs these 2 teams

    Koetter (the whole wide world) seen how soft and unprepared we were last year on game 1 vs tenn

    We will be ready for ATL. We will not be soft

    BTW, Which team fired Mike Smith

    “My wife bought a 3k grill from Homedepot. I ran over it with my truck 30 times and bought my wife a 6k grill from Lowes” Mike Smith

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Now Saints fans can call Rankins a pu$$y and soft…..a loser and a bust……worthless draft pick and all that.

  21. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    This soft chatter is comical. These dudes been hitting since they were kids. Its simple if you have the willingness to hit another human being when the time calls for it. You will..

  22. jwash Says:

    Idk. The more I think about it, the more it reminds me of Chip Kelly peactices, where he didn’t allow tackling at all and they had one of the worst tackling defenses I’ve ever seen. The details and fundamentals of practice carries over into games. I’m going to be focusing on our the physicality of both the offense and defense in the red zone this year because of that

  23. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Didn’t appear soft after those two short drives.

  24. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    We talkin bout soft,not a game but soft… C’mon man y’all find anything to b@$!& mope and complain about.

  25. jwash Says:

    A) they first 2 drives lost us the (fake) game. B) while the tenacity was good to see after that, how much of that can be attributed to the fact that it was our ones versus their 2’s?
    Fact of the matter is, some of us had concerns about the red zone D after those first 2 drives…now we have a likely reason as to why we let them score so easily.
    Nobody is bitching or complaining…it’s just a concern, for now.

  26. Lord Cornelius Says:

    We’ll see how it plays out.

    Sucks for Rankins. I think dude will still be good and piss us off 2X a year for the most part. Don’t think he’ll be Aaron Donald good but still solid.

  27. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    jwash I don’t know how often you visit this site, but b@$!#ing and complaining is part of what makes this site.

  28. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I’ll be concerned after week one and watch the birds get inside the ten yard line and punch it in two or three times. Two pro bowl corners, three bad @$$ LBs and motivated D line ready to shut some none believers mouths. I tend to lean towards it being a heck of lot harder to score on us in the red zone when it really counts than what we all saw in our first pre season (fake) game.

  29. jwash Says:

    Nole- I get where you’re coming from…I just don’t see any of that in the comments to this article.

    Maybe you jumped the gun a little??

  30. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    ” Didn’t appear soft after those 2 short drives ” I was thinking the same thing Nole. These guys whining about those easy tds must not have watched rest of the game. Maybe it was part of the plan being it was pre season. Who knows? They’ll never tell!

  31. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Please please please stay healthy everyone !

  32. feelthepewterpower Says:

    this would be a detriment a few years ago when pads were allowed. Now you’re only allotted so many practices with full pads. If the Buccs start off slow, then I am the media will be all over for going too soft on them in practice. I remember the 1999 Rams cutting their practice load in half because guys couldnt play from practice they were so banged up and the players demanded a change. You can work your players too hard, and be too soft on them…

    The BOTTOM LINE: the players have to go out there ready to smash someone in the mouth, and be fundamentally sound, while producing on the field. We have to have the we win regardless of perception reality, that we are here to win a championship and nothing less!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Chip kelly’s players said he worked them like dogs and they were far too burnt out to perform well in games.

    And Koetter’s offenses have had awesome running games, in all but 1 or 2 seasons he had top 10 run games.

  34. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Injuries can happen to anyone anwhere, but limiting full contact will reduce the likelihood of a broken freaking leg. An ACL tear is one thing, you can do that just running in a straight line. But to break your leg, that is not a non contact type of injury, aine serious stuff had to have gone down to get a broken leg in practice.

  35. Bob in Valrico Says:

    we missed will gholston in those goal line defense situations.Run stopping is his specialty,but I am hoping for a whole lot of Ayers influence in his sack game.