Report: Martin Benched (Again)

December 27th, 2016
Reportedly finished for season.


Bucs fans have seen the last of Doug Martin carrying the rock for Tampa Bay this season. And, maybe, for good.

Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, everyone’s favorite Muscle Hamster will be inactive for Sunday’s season finale against the Stinking Panthers, and Stroud hints Martin’s days with the Bucs are certainly in question and may be done as the team plans to re-sign running back Russell Hansbrough.

But the decision to sign Hansbrough off the Giants’ practice squad indicates Martin will at least be inactive again this week. It’s unclear whether the team plans to release him or place him on some reserve list.

Now this adds much more intrigue than the we-needed-a-jolt line of thinking for benching Martin against the Saints.

With the Bucs out of the playoffs (unless you believe in bigger miracles than a bunch of college kids beating the greatest hockey team in the world in a small arena in upstate New York), this is just stunning to Joe.

That is, unless the Bucs are having live tryouts for next season using the Stinking Panthers as scrimmage fodder.

Look, Joe has been typing for weeks that something is wrong with Martin whether he lost a step, lost vision, or something else. No, the effort very much was and has been there (just look at his last two touchdowns). Just not the production.

If the fact Martin is being benched for the second straight week to end the season doesn’t validate what Joe has been typing, then nothing will. When is the last time any team benched a healthy, productive player to end a season unless there was an underlying issue being shrouded?

It’s difficult to believe the Bucs would release Martin to make room for Hansbrough, for no other reason than Team Glazer would have to eat $7 million. If that is the case, it suggests something going on behind the scenes worse than just garbage production.

Martin currently has 144 rushing attempts, No. 27 in the NFL this season. No one has a worse yards-per-carry average with as many attempts as Martin (2.9 yards per attempt).

At some point Martin’s apologists can’t keep using the same tired excuse of a lack of blocking when Martin’s backups have better production behind the very same line and running backs on other teams with worse offensive lines have better production. That is, unless these same head-in-the-sand types also want to believe the Bucs’ front line is laying down for Martin, which is an outrageous allegation.

Let’s just say Martin’s season is over for the Bucs. That would really raise Joe’s antennae.

61 Responses to “Report: Martin Benched (Again)”

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    WOW, just WOW. This goes back to Joe and ” tag the man, give him a 1 year prove it deal”. Don’t worry Joe, there will be many, many folks here crying about poor Doug and making excuses for him. Could it be that he has a big injury guarantee, and the team wants to make sure he doesn’t cash in on a big injury, especially if they are not sure if he will be back with the team? I like Doug, met him at camp this year, but man, something is not right. Agreed, like our boy the Commish said, O line upgrades are needed. I think if Ben Gottschalk comes back healthy, give him the change to start at C. But like Joe says, it can not be ALL the O line, when other backs( one who was on his sofa to start the season) is more productive.

  2. gotbbucs Says:

    I’m hoping there’s an under the table handshake type of deal in place to trade him somewhere when the new league year starts.
    There’s really no way to defend it, he’s been pure garbage this year.

  3. Off the Cuff Says:

    Maybe Doug Martin’s running has been hot garbage this season, but if you’re making a playoff push wouldn’t you want to use all of your weapons? Full house backfield anyone? I love how Dirk koetter’s play calling has been so predictable when he’s supposed to be this guru.

  4. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    @gotbbucs, I was thinking the same thing. They might have said, you will be inactive all of 2017 unless we figure out a new deal where we can lower your money we owe you.

  5. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Off the Cuff, maybe the play calling is is that way due to lack of weapons. If you have Huff(gag) and Martino out there, your 7th and 8th WR, there is only so much you can do. I will wait and see, when this O has NFL talent at all positions, then we will see.

  6. Guzzie Says:

    Bucs are a mess, stupid giving a 28 year injury prone RB a big contract, a injured FA guard a big contract, betting a 33 declining rapidly WR for $12 million a year, drafting a kicker in the 2nd that is worst than most street FAs, it’s getting old, these mistakes could’ve been avoided, thought this GM came from New England

  7. bucsalltheway Says:

    just remember who started at runningback when we made the 5 game streak happen. did rodgers not get hurt this year did charles simms not get hurt this year. best chance to win never rested on one player we have to play team ball. they talked all that family crap and now there disfunctional like most families. doug is the black sheep of the family right now. i love jameis play when he’s on but 5 int’s in the last two weeks is clearly a majority of the blame.

  8. Kobe Faker Says:

    koetter foot in mouth itis!

    say 1 thing beginning of the week and say the opposite at the end of the week

    Martin is running hard . oline needs to create lanes…lol

    koetter and the rest of the sheep here doesnt realize its very very hard to run on 8 man fronts

    found a stat on the other board. bucs lead the league on 1st down lost yardage(56) 13% of there 1st downs

    tough to move the chains starting like that and puts alot of pressure on the QB with 3rd and long

    You think defensive coordinators look at stat? 8 man fronts and the predictable clown is the gift that keeps on giving

    the top playcallers know how to loosen the stacked box with short passing but our insecure clown?

  9. bucsalltheway Says:

    @guzzie he came from new england but you couldn’t wedge the master handbook of cheating out of belichicks hoodie pocket. lol….but i agree sweezy wasn’t a good move. red flag should have been that if he was such a stud player than seattle would have fought to keep him but they knew that injury existed. what ever happened to physicals before you sign a man.

  10. Bucnut2 Says:

    Guzzie- I agree with everything you said except that I think Licht has done some good things like, marpet, kwon, brate.

  11. bucsalltheway Says:

    @kobefaker amen brother! finally someone who understands the game on a runningback or any type of offensive mind….i swear alot of these readers never played the position a day in their lives.

  12. Guzzie Says:

    Bucnut2, i think Licht is probably this best GM we’ve had, just when he misses, it’s really big misses, these are easy to see mistakes

  13. bucsalltheway Says:

    @bucnut2 i agree even though you have to give lovie the credit for kwon he labeled him the most nfl ready linebacker in that draft and boy was he right. marpet had one of the best combines and nobody pulled the trigger for him because he came from a small school. and brate just happens to mesh well with the offense and catch well.

  14. Mord Says:

    If it’s not scapegoating, there must be something pretty serious. Martin has struggled, and this move may well be warranted, but there’s an awful lot of dirt being thrown on his grave already.

    I do think it’s fair to consider that a portion of the yards that make his replacements’ YPC stats look better came against the most inept run defenses we’ve faced.

    And for that matter, when DCs see a Pro Bowl RB among the the Bucs’ only legitimate weapons (by reputation, if not execution), stacking the box to stop the run and challenging the offense to beat then with the likes of Martino and Huff makes good sense; and that *should* stifle Martin at least a little

    If they still think highly of Martin, it would seem reasonable that Licht and Koetter may project that a more balanced offense next year makes him more successful —but— I can’t imagine they’d surrender and protect him just for that hypothetical possibility at this point in this season. Nah.

    .. the alternative implication does look pretty bad

  15. Rrsrq Says:

    Still disagree wth the move, players are professional and they should play but I think the psychological affect was similar to Lovie shutting down Shep in the locker room. Coaches coach and put their players in the best situation to succeed, since he is giving his team the best chance to win… what’s the record when Doug plays.

  16. Kevin Says:

    Saod it all along should have tagged him….ohhhhh well

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    well if Rick Stroud said Martin is getting cut – then it must be true… SMH

  18. Getaclue Says:

    Should of gotten Alfred Morris

  19. I know why Says:

    Should have just had Martin on that 5th option then none of this would be a big deal

  20. Chromolly Says:

    Doug Martin has midget syndrone,lI’ll suck muscle is what he is

  21. America's Commenter Says:

    Resigning Martin to a huge deal was just another brilliant personnel move in free agency by Jason Licht. Revis, Barron, Collins, Johnson, Verner, Carter, Sweezy, and Martin. How many millions were wasted? At least $80M, maybe $100M? You don’t see the real contenders blowing cash like that.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    There’s always more to the story than meets the eye … or what we read in the media. Three weeks ago the Bucs were on a tear winning 5 in a row. Became overnight media darlings and playoff talk was rampant. More than likely the locker room was rock-solid behind Koetter & Smitty (defense rising up was the biggest reason for the wins in that stretch in my opinion). Now they’ve lost 2 in a row … against 2 very solid teams in their stadiums … by less than 2 TDs total and the Bucs are what, clowns in disarray all of a sudden? Bucs had a chance to win BOTH games in the 4th qtr but couldn’t pull it off.

    When I look at the Bucs current roster, my biggest question is ‘How’d they ever win 8 games to this point (and hopefully 9 by end-of-season)?’ Bucs have some major holes on both offense & defense with this roster, and it’s a huge credit to Dirk Koetter & his coaching staff … and to Jameis Winston … that we’ve gotten this far this season. Lots of players have ‘over-achieved’ in my opinion, and that’s a very good thing, as well as a credit to excellent coaching.

    Just for kicks sometime, look at our Bucs roster and put a checkmark next to each player you expect to be here not next year but the year after that (2018 roster). That’s you core roster to build around. I’d be surprised if anyone comes up with more than 15-18 names. Point being: Bucs have a lot of work to do to build a perennial winner and contender. It’s going to take at least 2-3 years of excellent drafting and player development to make that happen. Changing coaching staffs every 2 years isn’t the answer, as we’ve already seen.

  23. Vincente Says:

    For those wondering why Doug Martin is on the bench it’s simple. You don’t produce you don’t play. I back any move the coach makes. He sees these players daily and has one on one time with his players. I say we support Coach Koetter because I believe he gives us the best chance to make our Buccaneers great again.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Defense- PUMP THE BRAKES!!! What are you trying to do? Make sense?! Excellent points all around. This team is still a long ways away. We’re better, but not good.
    I completely disagree with deactivating Martin. There are so many reasons just to dress him. Trade value? 3rd and 1?
    We are so void of weapons. Why on Earth would you stack the deck for the other team?! Just my opinion.

  25. BucGator Says:

    I have heard from multiple sources that Doug has a seriousness drinking problem. I wouldn’t be shocked if there is more to this story.

  26. BucGator Says:


  27. lightningbuc Says:

    You can look at yards, blah blah blah, all I know is that when Doug Martin plays the Bucs are 6-2. When he doesn’t play, well….

  28. Dave Pear Says:


    That’s a pretty serious accusation. You probably shouldn’t just be throwing that out there without being able to back it up. Having said that, I have heard from multiple sources that BucGator is a meth head and has to resort to being a male prostitute to support his habit.

  29. Supersam Says:

    Another Licht contract failure. Idk how Licht survives this offseason, his contract track record is abysmal. And it isn’t all Doug. Our Oline is trash.

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

    Goodby Mr. Martin,hello Mr. Cook.

  31. Supersam Says:

    “Hello cook” yea that’s all we need, another woman basher on the team. Won’t happen.

  32. pick6 Says:

    cutting martin now would be as unwise as cutting donald penn in 2014. the bucs gain nothing they need (cap room is abundant, as are roster spots until the end of preseason) by cutting martin. Unless somebody wants to cough up a mid round pick, it makes all the sense in the world to hoard RBs until you’ve made sure your big draft pick or free agent pans out and that you make it to week 1 with enough healthy players to attain your goals for the year

    doug will probably be much fresher next year after having not dressed for half the season anyhow. just like his big rookie year, his big 2015 probably took a toll on his body that didn’t show up until the following year.

  33. martinii Says:

    This is the time of year when it is difficult to post anything eye opening. The reality of the season is it is one game short of being behind us. Appears the Buc’s have improved simply by their win loss record but for those who projected a playoff calibre season you will have to wait till next year. As far as the offseason it is obvious we need to improve at some position either through draft or FA, but we need to let a few players mature and improve with NFL experience. We have a lot of depth on this team, the problem is it is starting after a season of injuries and failures. One thing I have learned over the past few years is that football is a game of next man up and all the superstars in the world can’t substitute for team quality. Stats are for losers and the game is changing in quality and entertainment value annually. Finally I will end this this useless post with a useless prediction that no one will read or remember. Doug Martin will be back next year, He will be healthy, and he will be a 1000 yd runner. He is due.

  34. Waterboy Says:

    Martin only got 14 mil guaranteed, tagging him was 12 mil for 1 yr. so they only loss 2 mil total if he’s cut this off-season.

  35. JonBuc Says:

    Stunning turn of events…maybe there’s a Ray Rice type video we just don’t know about. The 5 game winning streak is simply a distant memory now…and a blowout loss to Carolina awaits…

    Will Licht’s out address the following in season ending press conference?
    – Sweezey Swindle
    – VJAX severence package with no Plan B, C or D
    – Doing a give up slide on Doug Martin

    I doubt it…his Ale is beginning to smell skunky

  36. JonBuc Says:

    There were so many better ways to handle this vs the embarrassment/shaming route. IR, active but limited touches, 3rd down blocking back. Nah…let’s deactivate him Keyshawn style and pull a scrub off another teams practice squad that we’ve cut multiple times already. Botched by Bucs Brass…

  37. Patrick in VA Says:

    Maybe they’re making next year another contract year for Martin. They’re benching him to make it real for him. He goes in to the off season knowing that he’s not nearly as comfortable and locked in as he thought he was. Whatever he did prior to 2016 to get ready for that season, he needs to replicate it if he wants to keep from getting cut.

  38. Bucsfanman Says:

    RB is not the biggest need for this team in the off-season. And, is Cook=Elliot? I don’t think so. The Bucs can’t afford to swing and miss on any premium draft picks this year. Build the foundation first.

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

    Please if Elliot wasn’t in dallas he would be Todd Gurly right now.

  40. D-Rome Says:

    Look, maybe it’s time this team cut the dead weight. Dirk Koetter called out his “contract year” last year. I think something could be wrong with Doug Martin physically but it just doesn’t matter. Doug Martin has performed poorly and it’s has impacted Jameis. I think Jameis could have easily eclipsed 30 TDs this year if Martin didn’t have such a significant drop off compared to last year.

    Doug Martin could very easily be a part of the losing culture that needs to be eliminated. Maybe he’s a locker room cancer that no one knows about. That being said, it seems like he’s being singled out. Maybe that’s because Dirk is the OC.

  41. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    Licht is in top 5 worst GMs in the league, hopefully there is not a personal issuse affecting doug martin, but if koetter, has “his type” of back for his offense and ol jason gump just signs martin, then there are bigger problems, build a competent OL, not with crappy collinsesque players, the OL today could be from left to right penn, marpet, zuttah, d smith (G) and Laremy Tunsil, would be one of tops in NFL, cmon licht if your here draft to build team

  42. shouldhavedraftedefiert Says:

    Average life span for a RB is 3 years. Out with the old in with the new. Had some great games. Will be missed.

  43. RealityCheck Says:

    Every single first and 10 – run directly up the middle for no gain. Good luck to the other running backs trying to run in up the gut with 8 in the box and one guy almost tackling you before you even get the handoff.

  44. gotbbucs Says:

    His shake is gone. He never did have open field speed or good vision. I said it from his rookie year, they had to do delayed handouts to him because he couldn’t process fast enough to see where the holes were going to be. No speed, loosing his shake, poor vision all equal non-effective RB. All of those things mean that he takes hard hits on almost every carry.
    Is the o-line and lack of other weapons for a defense to key on hurting him? Of course, but there have been plenty of backs through the years that have had worse in front of them and still managed to average better than 2.9 yards per carry.
    It is what is, the story as old as the NFL itself, at some point the wheels fall off of RB’s and they are just done.

  45. Supersam Says:

    Pure speculation here Joe but you think there’s any chance Licht and Mike Smith already have a “handshake” trade for Doug Martin when Smith becomes a head coach next year? Say Jacksonville, they need a runningback in the worst way. Maybe there not playing Doug in case of and injury and Smith takes him along to his new team. Again just speculating here.

  46. Change is here Says:

    I DONT EVEN CARE anymore. The bucs always find a way to make some stupid decision. Hey loetter why don’t you learn how to call a half way decent game instead scapegoating a player.

    Koetter is just as much to blame for Martin as Martin is.

    1st and 10. 8 in the box. Run straight up the middle.

    You’re just another soon to be fired coach trying make his “mark”

    Yea guarantee koetter isn’t here 3 years from now.

  47. Kobe Faker Says:

    jacksonville high school?

    did you see what the saints did to our run defense?we have the worst run defense in the NFL.

    offenses have tape on our defense now

    run to the edge/inside…if somehow you dont get 6 yards…

    pass to the 2 worst pass covering linebackers in the NFL or

    throw toward VH3

  48. Owlykat Says:

    Get off Licht’s back. He brought in the talent that transformed our OL from the worst in the league to the average OL we have now. However, they have OL in the wrong positions and that isn’t Licht’s fault, that is on the OL Coach. It can be fixed by bringing in as savy a OL Coach as we did this year on Defense. We need a LT as our first pick even if we have to move up to get him, then move Smith to LG, Pamphile to RT, Marpet to Center, Sweazy to RG. Use our current Center, Hawley, as the C/G backup, our rookie G as a G/T backup, and keep Dotson as a LT/RT backup, cut the other vet backups so Licht can use the money for a proven RB free agent. Get another DE in the second round, a decent WR in the third round, a developmental OL with the fourth round pick, move Ryan Smith to CB, and sign another FA S. BPA on rest of our picks who can also play STs. I am hoping our last poor showing on Defense will save our DC to stay to take the SB next year.

  49. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    kobe right on, not fully blaming smith though, he is working with 2 non nfl safeties and 2 of the smallest corners in the nfl, this is all on licht, he should have listened to his asst gm robinson on how to build a solid team… u win in january w great defense and running the ball, so draftinf a meh DB and crappy kicker doesnt align w that

  50. Doctor Stroud Says:

    My conspiracy theory is that Martin is still injured (hamstring again) and that Coach Koetter is taking heat for his player. Then again, I’ve been known to diagnose players thousands of miles away from my air conditioned office.

  51. MadMax Says:

    @pick6, exactly what I was thinking. And there could be a lingering injury that needs more healing time….or something he couldve re aggravated. Let him heal. Its not like we were going deep in the playoffs anyway with all of the other injuries. Coach K was probably thinking about that. Bottom line, we improved this year and found a quality backup at RB in Jacquizz.

  52. MadMax Says:

    its all a guessing game Doc….but thats funny.

  53. Bucsfanman Says:

    @NOSBOS- Exactly my point! We don’t have the O-line for Cook to be effective. It’s not a knock on Cook, I like him.

  54. SOEbuc Says:

    Koetter stated yesterday he’s putting in the best players to give the Bucs a chance to win. That has obviously been Quizz Rogers this year.

    Whether it be Doug never recovered, the line, or his vision is off, he shouldn’t be starting this game.

    I’d like to see some Peyton Barber carries.

  55. rayjay1122 Says:

    I would try to trade him but I doubt there would be much interest.

  56. unbelievable Says:

    Your 2017 Bucs record:

    6 – 2 when Martin plays the full game.
    2 – 5 when he doesn’t.

    just sayin…

  57. LakeLandBuc Says:

    And the DUMB YUCS still have to pay him $7,000.000 next season. Now who is the loser here? Doug should sit on the sidelines dress in a $10,000 designer Italian suit, Alligator shoes, a Rolex and diamond earrings.

  58. BIG. IRISH SECTION 318 Says:

    If he’s traded for a draft pick…….what will they get?
    A 3rd rounder?

  59. Ed Says:

    Watching Doug on TV he looks so much slower than he did as a rookie a few years back. For a dude as built as well as he is his injuries were unexpected but his best is behind him, he got his payout from his earlier years when he was out producing his contract.

    Give a team 2 or 3 good size running backs with average or better than average speed and don’t rely on one guy. Rogers and Smith are good for now, find a bigger back that is stronger and move on without Martin.

    Just like LVD and McCoy, these players that were the best players on losing teams should be dealt with causion when terms are up, if they can’t help you win, find other players that aren’t paid like celebrities and come to work to win.

  60. BigHogHaynes Says:

    No more Nevis talking about the obvious regression of the O-Line!!

  61. NFLNut Says:

    If the Bucs are planning to try and trade Doug, they should simply announce he has a nagging injury … you don’t come out and say that Peyton Barber gives you a “better chance to win”. Saying such destroys his trade value!

    There are almost ALWAYS quality running backs to be found in almost every round of the draft and this year is no exception, so bringing back Quizz, Simms and Barber and adding in a talented rookie shouldn’t be difficult at all.

    I’m a huge fan of both Fournette and Cook but it wouldn’t shock me to see some later round RB’s like Gallman, Perine, Michel, Chubb, Pumphrey … even Barry Sanders (I have a feeling he and his family didn’t want him to get many carries in college as strange as that sounds, and even though he only got 141 carries in his NCAA carrer, he averaged 5.3 ypc, scored 7 TD’s [1 every 20 carries] … and can be a solid punt and kick returner … I’d take a 6thh or 7th round flyer on him!)