Injuries Catching Up To Offense

December 12th, 2016

How long will Dirk Koetter be smiling if the offense continues to sputter? (Photo courtesy of

The Bucs offense yesterday looked every bit what you would expect from a team depending on Freddie Martino and his Band of Renown and Josh Huff — a never-been and a has-been, respectively.

Effectively, they’re the No. 6 and No. 7 receivers on the roster.

A lousy defense like the Saints tying the Bucs in knots spoke volumes.

One, they knew taking out Mike Evans meant the Bucs likely would struggle. Viewers and fans in the seats could see there was no timing to speak of between America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, and Huff. Martino was invisible.

It didn’t help that Doug Martin struggle terribly rushing the ball with just under 3.0 yards a carry. That’s also his season average, the worst of his career. And stop it with the lame-offensive-line excuse! If the offensive line is truly the problem, then feel free to explain in great detail how every other Bucs running back has better production running behind the very same offensive line — unless you are suggesting the offensive line is laying down for Martin.

Hell, Martin had better production running behind a true sieve of a line that included Anthony Collins, Josh Allen, Evan Smith and Garrett Gilkey, three of whom are out of football. No, this is not Doug Martin hate. This is non-production hate ignoring the name of the running back!

Joe asked Dirk Koetter after the game if the many injuries at wide receiver have finally caught up to the team. Koetter flatly said that was not the case and took the sword for the sluggish offense.

Afterwards, it hit Joe: Of course Koetter was not going to out any players for being subpar. Notice Koetter always says if a guy is on the field he has confidence in him? That’s just public support.

To Joe, it sure looks like all of those injuries are taking their toll on the offense.

58 Responses to “Injuries Catching Up To Offense”

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    Here on this site, when Gerald’s play is mediocre coming off an injury it’s because he’s playing hurt, but when Martin’s play is mediocre coming off an injury, it’s just due to Martin’s diminishing skills.

  2. EA Says:

    I think the Saints defense has turned the corner a little bit too, they are not as bad as they were at the beginning of the season.

  3. Canadianbucsfan Says:

    Koetter has also recently stated that they have to surround Jameis with better playersm

  4. Buc 4ever Says:

    If Martin is the problem why didn’t we see J. Rodgers in the game? Our offensive line is playing poor. Before Martin even take the hand-off he must make a cut to avoid being tackled for a loss. On one play both he and Jameis was tackled by one defensive lineman in the backfield when Jameis tried to hand him the ball. The same for the safety when the defensive line pushed our linemen into the backfield. We must fix this line because if not, Jameis is going down with an injury next. That’s why Jameis is so good under pressure. ..He see it on every play

  5. tdtb2015 Says:

    Joe needs to watch the game again. They were holding all game long. The refs beat our offense. The worst was Ali being held to prevent him to create a screen pass.

  6. tdtb2015 Says:

    pass ^ protection.

  7. ohman Says:

    quiz has 27 yards on 9 (3ypc) carries the last two weeks (12 yard long, so remove that and he has 15 yards on 8 carries). Peyton barber has 44 yards on 11 carries (4ypc), plus he can’t pass pro.

    I’m perplexed as to who exactly is outplaying martin? he’s still our best pass pro back. whoever is in gets hit in the backfield, our oline has been ATROCIOUS in run blocking. we are bottom in the league if you look at yards to contact (for backs).

  8. bucsalltheway Says:

    funny how joe ignored the fact that doug martin also left out line general logan mankins smh….but i’d expect that from a guy who never played running back a day in his life….what you have to understand is guys have different running styles joe and your bash martin or rodgers success early on…rodgers is a skinny frail back that can fit through creases that a bulky martin can not fit through. doug is a contact eater where as rodgers is a small elusive guy i dont think your comparison is fair.

  9. gilhealy Says:

    New Orleans needed this game. If you expected us to march up and down the field you don’t understand the NFL. As much as I like this site, you guys are awfully critical of guys busting their tails for our enjoyment. It was Huff’s first game. “Has been” is a silly label. He “has been” on the practice squad running the opposition offense. This week he’ll get snaps with our offense. Calling these guys idiots, maroons, has beens or whatever is irresponsible at best. You constantly berate BSPN, NFL Network, and other outlets for bad Buc coverage. Yet they never stoop to the level of ridicule this site does. Enough already. It’s elementary school behavior.

  10. bucsalltheway Says:

    i know you didnt throw any names out there but i know your refering to the other back that filled in and registered a 100 yd game this year. but he also carried the ball like 30 times when he did hit those numbers lol im just pretty sure if someone did a backyard football draft they’d still pick martin over rodgers any day lol

  11. Rrsrq Says:

    Doug is running the ball well, when he gets a chance to run. Yeah, his ypc suffer because for every good run, he is hit in the backfield on another run.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Gut feeling is that there’s a LOT more going on behind the scenes than we as fans are seeing. Martin was fair running to the left side (14 carries, 56 yds), but terrible running to the middle/right side (8 carries, 11 yds). Rodgers (2 carries) got nothing. Sims didn’t do much better (4 carries, 17 yds but 1 run to the right was for 12 yds). Granted, all 3 RBs have been hurt, but all 3 got stuffed. The one common denominator: the OLine.

  13. bucsalltheway Says:

    ^^^^gilhealy^^^ kudos bro!…i thought i was the only one who felt that way. its bad enough to hear the negativity when your teams losing but to read the negative name calling while we’re winning sucks….yeah what team has zero misques during competitive division games. that’s like calling the cowboys losers for losing to the same team twice in one season but yet there the one nfc team that’s a solidified lock for the playoffs so far. i just know we gotta bring it superbowl style in jerry world. our last 5 games we been hitting teams with one hitter quitters the cowboys we have to hit them five times as hard….yeah the offense hasnt generated points like we’re capable of but we at least start fast and dont play from behind in the first half like the lovie era.

  14. adam from ny Says:

    martin is running pretty well…his average is getting crushed by the stuffings he is taking way behind the line of scrimmage – which is pretty much on the OL

  15. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its a combination of things. Doug does not have his burst back!!!! The O-line is not getting the best push!!! Facing defenses have 2 priorities, Double ME13 and key the run!!!!! What is the last game we did not see 8 in the box and everyone else cheating down!!!!! LS88 is the Big Blocking Back!!! He is good at reading where the RB should go!!! And he is hurt (again)!!!!!! Other teams see CB84 as a TE that can catch with his hands. but has no speed!!!!! He can sit down in a zone, but he is not breaking off big plays!!!!

    Look at the Yac from the Bucs!!!! ITS the BOTTOM of the league!!!!!!!!!!
    The Offense is not explosive and dynamic enough to get room to run
    All the new guys on the field means a limited play book and limited audibles!!!!!
    Huge down grade of WR that can block!!!!! started with VJ83 and we are down to the practice squaders!!!!!!
    Our TE are too specialized and either telegraph what we want to do, or are a huge hole as a pass option or blocking!!!!!!

    NFL Bucs Draft 2017 Wr, Te, and safety (unless KT37 plays at this level the next 3 games)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Andrew Says:

    Doug is running hard so it appears he is doing all he can. But the guy is missing or is slow to getting to holes. Watch the safety again, Doug misses a major hole to the left.

  17. Gencoimports Says:

    You stop it Joe! Rodgers had 2 carries for 0 yards yesterday behind the same exact line.

    The FACT is every Buc running back with more than 10 carries on this team is avg. under 4.0 a carry when you throw out the 49ers game. (The 49ers game should not count when comparing backs since Martin and Sims did not play in that game and the 49ers have the worst rushing defense seen in 35 seasons.)

    speaking of Sims, Charles Sims is avg. 3.0 a carry this year vs. 4.9 last year. Why aren’t you blaming him as well? Because he didn’t look at you funny in the locker room I guess.

  18. Dreambig Says:

    I am a fan of using whatever running back is working. The problem is our offensive line is really not that strong. Does anyone else notice when it is 3rd and one or we are on the goal line and try to run up the middle, our Oline gets blown 3 yards off the line of scrimage and we lose yards almost every single time. Its been happening for weeks. If you haven’t noticed it, your not paying attention.

  19. Bob in valrico Says:

    The only holes I saw during the game were on the left.But even then Doug had to make a pretty good play on the TD and dive through a small space for a TD.That said the right side was being pushed into the backfield way to much
    creating a wall of bodies for Martin to get through.also think these collapses
    affected Winstons play after the first couple of drives.

  20. Gencoimports Says:

    spot on Buc Realist. The Joes won’t write about those valid issues you mentioned, because they only have tunnel vision on blaming Doug Martin for everything,

  21. gracelivin Says:

    The reason our run game looks atrocious is because we telegraph the run, we get in tight sets, and the D puts 8-9 in the box yet we still run. We rarely spread out the defense on 1st down but instead pack them in by our formation. If we were a bit more diverse in formation and down when we ran, things would pick up and the play action would be more unpredictable. All this would result in better offensive production in both the run and the pass.

  22. Bob in valrico Says:

    Not to mention that both,Cherilous and Smith had bad penalties produers that stalled drives.

  23. tmaxcon Says:

    You guys are acting like Martin was Gayle sayers…. He’s never been good much less great two years in a row. He looked like a FAT armadillo dancing in place on several plays. Whether you fan boys get it or not your boy Martin is at best a part time complimentary back. He has NEVER been consistent… Martin is UNRELIABLE

  24. Guzzie Says:

    Sorry Dougie isn’t the future, plenty top talent RBs in this draft, weapons and protection should be our focus in the draft and free agency

  25. Guzzie Says:

    Worry bout that later keep getting those Ws, don’t care how ugly, each W is a Beautiful

  26. Bob in valrico Says:

    agree,also think bringing an extra tight end as a run blocker telegraphs the play.I would like to see us pass protect from this formation some to add some surprise.
    That said we did these things all last year with very good success, but this
    a different less effective line than last year.Eventhough J.R. Sweezy hasn’t played, its pretty clear that Bucs knew they needed an upgrade to their
    run blocking with the retirement of Logan Mankins.

  27. DallasBuc Says:

    How many yards did Jizz Rodgers pick up yesterday?
    You’re welcome.

  28. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    Yesterday the offense was just plain bad. Thank god for Brate and Evans getting some key first downs at the end of the game. Huff had a couple targets, Shep was thrown to once on third and goal, and Martino didn’t do anything. Can’t wait to get Humphries back

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    tmaxcon, ‘Martin is unreliable’? Really? Last year Doug played in all 16 games, ran for over 1400 yds (for a 4.9 average) and added over 250 more in pass receptions. Sims also played in all 16 games, ran for over 500 yds (also a 4.9 average) and added over 500 yds receiving. Both have been injured this year and if that’s why you label Doug as ‘unreliable’ then fine. But behind a decent OLine (last year’s was more productive than this year’s), Martin & Sims together represented probably the most effective tandem of RBs in the NFL. Realist hit the nail on the head: it’s a combination of things. But labeling Martin as ‘unreliable’ doesn’t cut it.

  30. Gencoimports Says:

    tmaxcom, he’s no Gale Sayers. And he’s probably not 100pct.

    But to say he is the sole reason for the Bucs lack of run production is ridiculous. I think any quality running back would struggle behind that line, and with the same predictable play calling. Rodgers/Sims combined for 6/17 yesterday.

    A blind man can see it, but some just want to make him the scapegoat.

  31. martinii Says:

    Wish I had more time. Great win but i am sick of hearing this crap about Martin. He has had injuries, but he has been a great back under bad conditions over the past 3 years. It is stupid to say it is his fault when you constantly plow him into the line. Need better play calling and less telegraphing. Now that we have a healthy stable of backs and should have a full compliment of starting OL we will be fine. Everytime Doug bulls into that line it wears down defenses. Then there is alway the threat that he will break one. I hate it when people bitch when we are winning. Seems like there always has to be a critic to put a damper on great effort.

  32. DallasBuc Says:

    Oline is overrated by the present crew shilling for their bff and business partner GM.
    Martin is not the problem.

  33. DallasBuc Says:

    Is the “Band of Renown” joke funny?
    Hey, did you know that BFF and business partner GM Jason Licht likes AC/DC?

  34. tmaxcon Says:

    Defense Rules

    YES Doug Martin is unreliable… ZERO back to back 1k seasons. He is a part time back anyway you look at it. He is dancing like a FAT armadillo every other run… Doug is a good back when healthy but can not be counted on he has proved that.

  35. Poor Glennon Says:

    Every team has injurys……..move on. Sounds like Joe is selling tickets for the excuse train……NOT all aboard.

  36. Poor Glennon Says:

    If #3 throws for 350,all is well. Win or lose. He throws for 150, the sky is falling and our WR suck. We were garbage behind Humphries to start the season. Who exactly has great 3rd 4th and fifth WR anyway?

  37. Bob in valrico Says:

    Enjoy your posts.
    I have wondered if Koetter limited the offense at times because of his collapsing right side of the O line.Its pretty clear that Jameis plays more confidently and is more accurate when he gets good blocking.Jameis took
    at least one big sack.There was a botched handoff that appeared like Jameis
    was supposed to fake the handoff.In any case the defense swarmed the play and we were lucky to recover.The other weird double fake handoff was also swarmed on by the defense.

  38. Reach87 Says:

    Extremely well said. I hope some people listen. I’m sure not everyone will, but appreciate the post.

  39. Aubpierce Says:

    The performance of the offensive line does not compare to last year. What are their grades? When your running back is getting hit in the back field, and sometimes as the ball is exchanged, it’s not the running back.

  40. Ryan Says:

    Martin’s best run was the 1 yard TD run. He took the hand off and there was a DL player waiting for him at the Bucs 5. Martin made him miss and somehow took a 4 yard loss and turned it into 6 points.

  41. Bucsfanman Says:

    I have to start wondering if a few of you actually watch football enough to comment. For sake of ease, I am simply copying and pasting the most sensible take on Martin:
    “Its a combination of things. Doug does not have his burst back!!!! The O-line is not getting the best push!!! Facing defenses have 2 priorities, Double ME13 and key the run!!!!! What is the last game we did not see 8 in the box and everyone else cheating down!!!!! LS88 is the Big Blocking Back!!! He is good at reading where the RB should go!!! And he is hurt (again)!!!!!! Other teams see CB84 as a TE that can catch with his hands. but has no speed!!!!! He can sit down in a zone, but he is not breaking off big plays!!!!

    Look at the Yac from the Bucs!!!! ITS the BOTTOM of the league!!!!!!!!!!
    The Offense is not explosive and dynamic enough to get room to run
    All the new guys on the field means a limited play book and limited audibles!!!!!
    Huge down grade of WR that can block!!!!! started with VJ83 and we are down to the practice squaders!!!!!!
    Our TE are too specialized and either telegraph what we want to do, or are a huge hole as a pass option or blocking!!!!!!

    NFL Bucs Draft 2017 Wr, Te, and safety (unless KT37 plays at this level the next 3 games)!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    To emphasize, defenses need only worry about 2 things from our offense: Mike Evans and our run-game. What do you think is going to happen?!

  42. Bob in valrico Says:

    the New Orleans defense stopped a lot of things we tried to do on offense.
    They are not lousy as some have said.Really was a defensive battle for the most part and our INT’s helped put us over top.But if Doug Martin does not
    get in the endzone,it could have been a different game.

  43. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax- I know your feelings on Martin but I will say this, part-time or not, he’s the best, most consistent back on our roster.

  44. Reach87 Says:

    Unreliable? We counted on Martin last night to score the only touchdown in the game and help us get the win. He scored the only touchdown and we got the win. We counted on him last night to pass protect and get the win. He gave up zero hits/sacks in pass pro and we got the win. Like any player in the NFL, if he is hurt and can’t suit up for a game, then yes, he is unreliable. With that thinking, I’d be curious to the percentage of players who have not missed a game since he’s been in the league. I presume they would be labeled unreliable as well (no response required or desired). Personal attacks (“fat armadillo,”, “fat doug”) when he gives the team all he’s got when he’s in there AND gets us the results we want (WINS)…thoughtless. P.S. I would imagine everyone in the Tampa Bay Area would be interested in when and where you’re going to call him a fat armadillo to his face. Let us know.

  45. JJBucFan Says:

    Playcalling is way too predictable. If Jameis is allowed to throw on first down, the next play is a run. If we run on first down with any success, next play is a run. Koetter needs to start mixing it up or he is gonna get our RBs or Jameis killed. No deep shots against a porous secondary. It is okay mid-game to design a play to your new 4.4 guy, “hey you, what’s your name, go on a fly route”. Whether it is complete or not, you have to show it. You have to stretch the defense. Just my opinion. Also, did we take RB screens, draw plays and swing passes out of our offense? He loves that dangerous WR screen where the 5’10” 180 pound WR comes back to the middle where the LBs and DTs are. Had some success early but only a matter of time before one of these guys gets decapitated.

  46. Cobraboy Says:

    Joe, I reviewed the game on the NFL Game Passes “coaches film” mode.

    The Bucs offensive line was CONSISTENTLY getting blown up, the Saints DL were virtually living in the Buc backfield between the tackles.

    Fact is when the OL wasn’t getting blown up, Martin was going for 4-8 yards a pop. But on numerous carries Martin got hit almost the same time he got the ball.

    And who was the worst offender? Hawley. I don’t know what’s going on with the guy but while he may be scrappy, the Saints just schooled him. Second worst offender? Cherilus. He played a horrible game.

    The interior of the Saints DL is very, very strong. Between Jordan and Rankins, I don’t know what NFL team is stronger up the middle that the Saints.

    I give Martin a pass. I give Simms a pass. I give Rodgers a pass. No RB will be explosive without solid line play, and the Saints DL were blasting the Bucs OL, stuffing the run and having Winston run for his life on many snaps.

    I will not be surprised if Marpet is moved to center and Sweezy plays his natural LG position.

    Football tactical geeks should sign up for Game Pass just for the coaches film alone.

  47. Cobraboy Says:

    Martin got 66 yards against a tough run D. That’s in essence a 1050 yard season, not bad for an NFL RB.

    1400 yards is under 90 yds. per game.

    He’s not that far from old form, and that is getting blown up on numerous occasions.

    The Run OL this season is not as solid as last, but the pass OL is better…

  48. BUC55 Says:

    This idea that Martin sucks and the OL is good…….are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Do you really watch the games? If you really watch and truly draw that conclusion, then you are an idiot.

  49. NewTampaChris Says:

    Offensive line play was the sore spot on Sunday. I hope Demar Dotson’s bell gets un-rung quickly. Cherilus got owned yesterday and really needed some help.

    Still, it’s outstanding to be playing a meaningful game on December 18th!

  50. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The O-line was the weakest unit on the field on Sunday and I think it was pretty obvious. The offense in general was bad but the O-line got no push and gave up sacks / pressure and had some really bad penalties that totally sh1t on any drives we had going.

    Agree with anyone who said the right side looked bad.

    There was a play where Cameron JOrdan threw CHerlius to the ground like he was a rag doll and then gobbled up whoever was running it behind the LOS. The best RB of all time would have been destroyed in that situation .

    I don’t think Doug Martin is an amazing back or top 3 type guy. More like top half of hte league RB. But he’s not the main problem. He’s not playing his best though regardless

  51. Gencoimports Says:

    Appreciate it Bob in Valrico

    The more the Joes attack Doug Martin and refuse to take into account the other factors that many of us has brought up about the inefficiencies in the running game over the past 7 weeks, the more I am convinced they are just trying to stir about controversy to generate page hits.

    They are not that obtuse. It’s deliberate. But they are risking their credibility taking a hit.

  52. unbelievable Says:

    Charles SIms also average 3.0 on the year and so is Rodgers if you take out 2 game against the worst run defense in the league. You know he had 2 carries for 0 yards last night right? Oh but I guess that is better than Martin.

    But keep sh!ting on Doug and refusing to except that this o-line can not run block consistently. I guess you think play calling also isn’t the problem huh?

    Hey I get it, you get lots of clicks with articles like this, but this narrative you keep trying to push is making you look almost as foolish as your Johnny rehab fantasies.

  53. unbelievable Says:

    Agreed gencoimports, credibility going down each and every time.

  54. gambelero Says:

    I think the whole choreography of the offense is off. Our plays are too easy to predict. We run 80% of the time with run formations and pass 95% of the time from the shotgun. We must have run the ball the first play in the red zone 98% of the time this year.

    We played not to lose yesterday and didn’t lose, which is not what usually happens when you play not to lose. We’re third in the league in attempts and 29th in yards per attempt. Meanwhile, our yards per pass play more than double our yards per run. The epitome of this was a second-half drive against San Diego, run for no gain, pass for 8 yards, run for no gain, punt.

  55. gambelero Says:

    should have been “rushing attempts” rather than the ambiguous “attempts”

  56. Bucsfanman Says:

    Cherilus made me miss Demar Dotson!
    The title of this post says it all. Injuries are showing!

  57. Dizim Says:

    You to joes got this web site how again….. the experts huh???? Please stop it you two fools are fans not to be taking seriously.

  58. salish_seamonster Says:

    It will be another interesting offseason. No matter what happens the rest of the way this year, the next offseason will have to provide a 1B receiver that can threaten defenses, more pass rush help, safety help, and possibly a starting RB. It’s a tossup whether the defensive needs are greater than the offensive ones. Anyway, we’ll know more after the playoffs!