Doug Martin’s Struggles

December 18th, 2016
Trying to solve riddle to production woes.

Trying to solve riddle to production woes.

So what is the issue with Doug Martin?

Everyone’s favorite Muscle Hamster is having his worst year as a pro. He’s averaging just three yards a carry.

Yes, the effort is there. Very much so. Some of his touchdowns, Joe has no idea how he squirted through the middle of a pileup at the line of scrimmage.

Joe is of the mind Martin, who will be 28 next month, might just be losing a step. We all know what happens to running backs the closer they get to 30.

However, data-driving Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times goes deep on this issue and he seems to think Martin’s struggles may have more to do with defenders penetrating behind the line of scrimmage than anything else.

Bucs running backs have been tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage on 23 percent of their runs, the third-highest rate. That’s up from 20 percent last season, which was around league-average.

The lack of running room has contributed to a low success rate in short-yardage situations (third and fourth downs with 2 or fewer yards to go, for example), a strength for the Bucs last season, when they converted seven out of 10 such runs. They’re converting three out of 10 this season.

Joe doesn’t dispute Bassinger’s information at all, but it begs the following questions: Bassinger’s information that Martin has run for 331 of his 379 after contact comes from the PFF tribe. Joe is not knocking the PFF tribe here. They do some good stuff (like yards after contact). However, Martin ran behind a truly atrocious line in 2014, one of the worst (if you believe PFF) in the NFL with the likes of Anthony Collins, Josh Allen and Garrett Gilkey up front.

So how is it Martin got better production behind that swinging saloon door of a line and not this line, which Joe maintains is not that bad? (Dirk Koetter last week even said on the record “The offensive line is fine.”)

Besides, with the exception of dancing Charles Sims, who simply cannot run between the tackles, all other Bucs running backs have a higher average per carry than Martin (Sims has 3.0, just like Martin)?

While Joe does not dispute Martin may be dodging would-be tacklers behind the line, it still doesn’t explain others having better production or Martin previously having better production behind sieves.

Joe was once talking with an NFL executive a year ago about running backs. The executive told Joe the first thing to go in a running back when he approaches 30 is speed. When Joe and the executive later began talking about Martin specifically, Joe was told that Martin was never known as a speedster to begin with.

The dots seem to suggest this is what is happening. Joe sure as heck would love to be proved wrong tonight and see Martin run for about 125 yards and two scores.

95 Responses to “Doug Martin’s Struggles”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Trade him for a third round pick!

  2. Dave Says:

    You keep looking for answers and I don’t know why. The run blocking has not been there except for probably two games. A big part of that is defenses doubling Evans am loading up the box to stop the run.

  3. Dave Says:

    You keep looking for answers and I don’t know why. The run blocking has not been there except for probably two games. A big part of that is defenses doubling Evans am loading up the box to stop the run.

  4. Jim Says:

    I think he has to get back in shape…believe this is his 4th game back…we’ll see

  5. R.O. Says:

    Dude… I commented just that like 3 weeks ago… Sheesh!!!!

  6. Bob in valrico Says:

    you can’t compare yards per carry of any our running backs.Due to injuries
    Martin faced different defenses than Rogers did. Although Rogers ran for 0 yards on two carries, last week.Some of it is teams gear up to stop the run,
    especially against Martin who was very good last year.Martin may not have
    the same burst as last year,but the blocking has not been as good.
    I want to see Martin repeat training regimen of last year,which he credited
    his success to last year.

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Bucs fans shouldn’t sugarcoat anything when it comes to d Martin. ……….he’s simply not an effective back for the bucs anymore.

    ……he’s older now and has sustained too many injuries and we all are seeing it play out from week to week……

    I think he’s a great short yardage back…..but not a back to carry the full load.

  8. Buccaneer Bill Says:

    Give it a rest Joe! Nothing will change this season. I see the Bucs drafting a RB next year, but only after they get a top tier lineman. I’m not knocking our line, but like every position you have to keep getting better.

  9. tmaxcon Says:

    if bucs want to win consistently they can not devote so much cap space to UNRELIABLE so called stars. It’s that simple. 22 is not consistent nor reliable

  10. Picaroon45 Says:

    I believe the yards after contact are more telling than yards per carry. Las week Martin had a 1yd TD that was 6 yards after contact. Lighten up people. When MArtin runs on 1st & 2nd down resulting in a 3rd >5 that Winston converts to move the chains, that is effective running and ball control.

  11. Zwak Says:

    Joe your beating a dead horse!

  12. jwash Says:

    It’s like your purposefully ignoring what many have told you. Rodgers’ numbers are inflated from playing the worst run defense in the last 35 years. THAT’S YOUR ANSWER

  13. SB with Jameis Says:

    Who gives a phuck! Just Whoop them Cowgirls tonight!!!!
    Ain’t it game time yet???????

  14. Aubpierce Says:

    The only way the Bucs win tonight will depend on a stout offensive line. If the penetration continues you will see negative runs, which will lead to numerous sacks and interceptions. The offensive line must perform or it will be a long night for Winston.

  15. Bob in valrico Says:

    inaccurate to compare 2014 to present.creampuff schedule 2014 .This is a very tough schedule with far better defenses than 2014.

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    Never give a RB a 2nd contract unless he is truly special, that’s the lesson to be learned here.

  17. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Jags fire gus Bradley

  18. NJBucsFan Says:

    Well with Rodgers inactive let’s hope he cures his struggles

  19. Pit Says:

    Why is Rodgers out??????

  20. NJBucsFan Says:

    Healthy scratch…guess they fee they are good with Sims, Martin and Barber

  21. LongSeason Says:

    I don’t think Doug is the problem. I think the offensive line is. What was the average opponent run defense ranking this year verses last year? Are we facing much better rush defenses?

  22. cmurda Says:

    I don’t know what Martin’s issue is or if it is even Martin but I do know we need to win these games. Nobody else is doing us any favors. I’m looking at you Bears, who found a way to grasp defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    P.S. I predict John Fox gets the boot.

  23. daveman Says:

    The issue is teams are loading up 8 and 9 man fronts and Jameis either lackst the ability or permission to get out of running plays. Add that to the Bucs playing with a lead a lot lately and teams really stacking the run.

    You want to run better? Start passing on 1st down and running on 2nd down. Simple as that really.

  24. Not there yet Says:

    None of the running backs are doing anything lately is not just Martin. I wasted to draft a running back but we didn’t do I’m rolling with what we got. People come on here and talk all kinds of garbage about the guy but if he puts up huge numbers tonight you’ll look like fake fans. The bucs have won 5 straight games and some idiot named Joe keeps talking about dog Martin struggles as if anyone else has put up but numbers lately.

  25. Dreambig Says:

    Dont care about Martin at the moment. Getting really nervous for this coming game. This is the most important game since 2002. I believe if we lose, we are most likely out of the playoffs. If we win, the ramifications are mind blowing. If we can beat Dallas this week after they lost last week, we can litterally beat anyone, at least in the NFC. I CANT TAKE IT! Need more BEER!

  26. ARGH_M8E Says:


  27. Strider ....Sec 147 Says:

    Gonna be a good game tonight buying jersey of the game MVP for the Bucs when they win

  28. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Have not been this nervous in a long time before a Bucs game.

  29. 911bucs Says:

    Lets do this!!!

  30. $acbuc$ Says:

    Joe you sleep where is the open thread.

  31. Trubucfan22 Says:

    So the information points to defenses penetrating the o line a quarter of the time. And you are still question where the production is?

    Martin was unfortunately injured during the easy run defenses. You keep looking at the stats. Stop looking at stats and look at the film. Your career revolves around the bucs. Instead of trusting the stat nerds why not do the research yourself? NFL game pass isnt expensive and it gives you all the angles you need to do the right research. Joe(s), you are heroes to us regular joes. Take it a step further and be super heroes. Break down the film and five us your analysis, not this second hand crap that can’t be trusted. We trust you Joe.

  32. MadMax Says:

    No open thread 🙁

    Guess we’ll use the latest…this one

  33. WeAreLost Says:

    Is this the game thread?

  34. MadMax Says:

    Load the box and stop the run….that will stop their strongest asset.

  35. cmurda Says:

    No game thread??

    Umm, their O Line is literally tossing us around like dolls. Looking like th eearly 2016 Bucs D

  36. WeAreLost Says:

    ok lets go BUCS!

  37. MadMax Says:

    Im using it as the game thread 😀

  38. MadMax Says:

    SACKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPENCE!!!!!!!!!!

  39. cmurda Says:

    There it is boys. Hold them

  40. WeAreLost Says:

    He ll Yes!

  41. MadMax Says:

    Miss it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. MadMax Says:

    Ran outta gas….YES!

  43. Chris Says:

    Held them

  44. cmurda Says:

    Yeah baby. Aguayp would have nailed that. JK. But that’s a good job by our D

  45. WeAreLost Says:

    Hope our offense can step up this week.

  46. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Game on!!!!!!!! We got dis

  47. MadMax Says:

    Come on Joes, I understand theres some dissension but we’re all still here. The game thread would be nice 🙂

  48. MadMax Says:

    Go Dougy!

  49. MadMax Says:


  50. cmurda Says:

    Not good seeing JW miss the easy throw. I hope he calms himself down. We need him to be on.

  51. WeAreLost Says:

    It would be weird with out this site watching a game with my fellow bucs brothers.

  52. ElioT Says:

    Screw you Joes trying to run Doug out of town.

    You obviously don’t watch tape properly.

    Ignorant sensationalist journalism. Lazy!

  53. MadMax Says:


  54. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Where is the game day thread????

  55. WeAreLost Says:


  56. MadMax Says:

    Alright Roberto! Easy one…..

  57. cmurda Says:

    Umm, no penalty. Oh yeah, this is America’s team. Your darn straight that would have been called against us.

  58. WeAreLost Says:

    Well we did score first f yes

  59. MadMax Says:

    GJ Roberto!

  60. Gencoimports Says:

    This is the game day thread, Joes forgot, distracted by their Doug Martin controversy obsession.

  61. MadMax Says:

    Haha, we’re using this one Bonzai

  62. Chris Says:

    First time in forever without a game day thread . Joe must of started on the Bushmill early

  63. mixxx31 Says:

    C’mon D, lock tight!!

  64. BennyBucs Says:

    Bum rushing this thread as the makeshift game thread since Joe is slipping. FIELD GOALS WILL NOT CUT IT MAN, THE OFFENSE NEEDS TO TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS.

  65. MadMax Says:

    Witten and Zeke!!! That should be our D’s main focus!

  66. MadMax Says:

    Load that box baby!

  67. lurker Says:

    joe is slipping.

  68. NJBucsFan Says:

    MAybe the Joes broke up

  69. WeAreLost Says:

    come on

  70. ElioT Says:

    Can’t let that happen.

    Cowboys are feasting.

  71. MadMax Says:

    Boy, they did their homework and are mixing it up! ug!

  72. lurker Says:

    dang the cowboys are moving easily…

    and jameis need to throw in front of receivers

  73. cmurda Says:

    LVD is struggling mightily. Doesn’t look healthy. He just had terrible coverage on an easy route to defend

  74. MadMax Says:

    Yes O penalty, back em up.

  75. DallasBuc Says:

    These draw plays are killing us

  76. MadMax Says:

    held hem to 3, good.

  77. cmurda Says:

    Not yet Max. I’m hoping they don’t go for it.

  78. BennyBucs Says:

    Smh Zeke will be the end of us. They need to get their heads in the game, don’t get too cute with the play calling. They someone needs to account for zeke at all times

  79. Gencoimports Says:

    On the Bucs last drive …. Doug Martin had three nice runs in a row. Next play a fourth consecutive handoff. Defense stacks the run, Martin gets only one yard and it’s second and nine and Bucs ultimately settle for a FG.

    That play was all set for a play action pass, Too many runs on first down.

  80. ElioT Says:

    Offense has to get something going here and score a TD.

    We can’t get into a grind fest with Elliot.

    Come on Jameis! You can lead this team!!!

    Let’s f**king go!!!

  81. MadMax Says:

    Yep, I know cmurda, just going with it

    @Benny, EXACTLY! Thats their best hope.

  82. MadMax Says:

    not a fumble, arm was going forward

  83. lurker Says:


  84. ElioT Says:


    Can’t have that.

    Let’s go defense!

  85. Gencoimports Says:

    I’m afraid not it was a fumble

  86. MadMax Says:


  87. lurker Says:


  88. BucGator Says:

    Martin looks good tonight and I like him as a player. Definitely think we need to draft a RB this draft. I did hear Doug drinks like a fish on the regular.

  89. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Open thread is now up.

  90. MadMax Says:

    Come on Mike Smith and D!!!!!!!

  91. Bucnut2 Says:

    Our d and o look like s@@T

  92. Bucnut2 Says:

    Game over

  93. BucGator Says:

    They do not look that bad Nut. One bad play, let’s see if they can rebound

  94. DallasBuc Says:

    LVD having a bad game

  95. DallasBuc Says:

    Not competitive so far