A Fitzpatrick Lesson For Doug Martin & Fans; America’s Salivation

May 20th, 2017

Gil fires away every Saturday with his thought-provoking Bucs columns.


Sitting on the balcony of my beach resort room as I type this, I can’t help but think outside the box on something: how the Ryan Fitzpatrick signing ties in to a potential false belief in running back Doug Martin.

No, of course it doesn’t directly. At least not physically. One guy dances better than the other, one shaves while the other does not believe in a razor, etc. But the similarity is how the team has talked about Martin and the previous nominees for backup quarterback.

Remember when general manager Jason Licht came out and talked about quarterbacks Ryan Griffin and Sean Renfree? I do. He spoke highly of them back in March at the NFL Owners Meetings.

Need a refresher? He said he “really” likes Griffin and Renfree, how they can go from unknown to known “pretty fast,” and so on.

Still not following?

The Bucs have said how they love the way Martin looked good in workouts (in shorts and a t-shirt). They highlighted him in a video sprinting in sand, and so on. Do you follow now?

Look, I know there is a Martin Mob out there, and many are those who stop at anything to defend someone who has a substance abuse issue of sorts. But is the team really excited to have Martin back for – at least – 13 games? Is he reliable? Is he still a good running back after averaging 2.9 yards per carry last season? Or is this all smoke to try to lure a team to take Martin off their hands? Hype him up and cloud minds like they did with Griffin and Renfree?

Call me skeptical, but until he is here when Week 4 rolls around, I don’t see him being on the sidelines in pewter.

America’s Team

Hey, don’t look now but the Bucs are all over the national spotlight. From NFL Network to Fox Sports, Tampa Bay is climbing up the media power rankings. A lot of it has happened this past week alone.

It’s amazing how far the team has come since that college guy Dirk Koetter was the team’s coach in just one season.

Folks are talking double-digit wins, division title, or a deep playoff run. But the beauty behind it is what makes this an exciting time.

Coaches are making changes and continuing to adapt to the strength of the players – especially on defense. Jameis Winston is entering his third season in the same offense with added weapons and there’s continuity on the offensive line. All that is what will propel Tampa Bay into the playoffs.

Everything seems to be rainbows and sunshine to this point and why not. This is the most promise that Tampa Bay has seen in a very long time. On paper, this team makes you salivate.

And on Sundays in 2017, this team will make the newspapers eat their words.

29 Responses to “A Fitzpatrick Lesson For Doug Martin & Fans; America’s Salivation”

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

    Yea man, I caught your drift after a few lines. It’s kinda wierd seeing so much love for the Bucs all of sudden. I ain’t mad, not mad at all. I told a childhood friend of mines who ask me last season if would be okay to claim the Bucs as his team. He was a long time 49er’s fan but a Nole also. I told him jump on board now capacity about to be filling up on real quick on this ship.

  2. Mike Says:


  3. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    10-6 and at least one playoff win. Take it to the bank.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Personally don’t really care whether or not the Bucs climb in the national spotlight and media power rankings, just want to see them win and keep winning. It’s all about one game at a time, one play at a time, and guys stepping up to make those plays IMO. Seen several ‘dream teams’ loaded with talent who bought into all the preseason hype surrounding their team and then failed miserably.

    Bucs have built a very competitive team in terms of starters, but lots will change between now & end-of-season. How well our 2’s & 3’s are developed and prepared to jump in when the inevitable ‘bad stuff happens’ will be critical to our success this season I think. Looking at it from that perspective, signing Fitzpatrick & holding onto Martin increases our options down the road, and that’s not a bad thing.

  5. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Excellent parrallel between the backup qbs and martin. Seems to be alot of lip service for martin without giving any real substance. Sure id be elated if dm22 played like it was 2015 again. Do i expect that or him to make the roster? Not really

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    I was the 1st one here or anywhere bashing the play of DM in the beginning of last year. His burst, vision, tripping was pathetic and i was abused by the DM nut huggers.

    *im big time quizz supporter

    However now the stupid fans and the writers have gone completely the other way

    The running back position is the most susceptible to being injured. Its very highly likely 1 of backs will be dinged up or too injuryed to play by week 4….but we have idiots that want to release him at week 4 when he is available to play?

    “What the hell is going on in here”


  7. Issic Haggins Says:

    True That Gil !!! I can Def see the bucs trading Martin once a starter goes down in the late pre season or several games in. Licht loves to have what he views as an extra pick in the later road nods to move and target players !!! Licht basically drafts for need picking from his boards power rankings that have fallen !!

  8. NickyB Says:

    Does Gil know they didn’t cut Ryan Griffin? They legitimately like him and will probably keep him all year again.

    I get the skepticism regarding Doug. But bottom line is he’s the best back on the roster and they would be flat out STUPID to cut him. He could be MUCH needed fresh legs come week 4. There is no benefit to cutting him.
    Hmmm, the “best back on the roster” was dreadful last season, averaging 2.9 yards per carry and no 20-plus-yard carries, despite a pile of rushes, 28th-most in the NFL. And he’s been bad, in addition to being injured, in three of the past four seasons. –Joe

  9. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Or you know it could be comparable to the O-line situation, where they let it be known numerous times that they liked the guys they have in house, and stood pat.

    Much like they have with the Running back position all year long.

  10. Tnew Says:

    So for something maybe never seen here….,Kobe is 100% correct. Cutting Martin anytime prior to week 4 without a relapse is negligent. Where Gil’s Argument loses its legs is Martin has twice had really good seasons where Griffin and Renfree have 0 NFL snaps.

    Sorry to place logic into an argument.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I look at this as a fortunate situation for the Bucs…..we can renegotiate Doug’s contract and keep him……we can do that then trade him later in the season…..we can dump him if we can’t get a trade….we have all sorts of options because we have a good corps of RBs.
    This also opens up the door for us to trade Sims….and, yes to the right team he has some value as a 3rd down back.

  12. martinii Says:

    Appears article written to appease Martin Haters, although from a conspiratorial perspective the Back-up QB issue played nicely. In reality Fitzpatrick is on the team because Licht came to the conclusion that an experienced Back-up QB wins out over 0 real time experience from two candidates. In reality Martin will be on the team if and only if he performs well in the offseason and remains healthy. The two stories are not related and you can be sure that our coaches and GM are only going to do that which gives us the best chance to win. No smoke and mirrors BS.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    I hope that “continuity on the offensive line” doesn’t mean they “continue” to play like they did in 2016!

    Gil your point on the Fitz /Doug Martin comparison is valid considering the rhetoric sounds familiar. But there’s a big difference in the “confidence talk” when you are comparing coaches talking about 2 QB who have never played meaningful snaps in the NFL vs talking about the only All Pro RB this franchise has ever had.

    Doug Martin may have only “shined” for 40% of his career in Tampa Bay (2 out of 5 years) but he HAS performed as one of the best RBs in the league before when not injured and can do it again if he stays healthy and “clean”.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Look at the positives……we can trade Martin……renegotiate his contract and keep him or trade him……we have a good RB corps that likely will succeed without him.
    Sims is now a very possible trade bait…..and yes he does have some value to the right team as a 3rd down back…..as he does to us.

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

    I’m wit you Gil people have been saying the last few weeks and I’m trying to figure out how exactly they are reaching the conclusion DM is the best back on the roster??? And again I’m not against a DM return I’m just saying.

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

    At his best maybe yes. But when factor in all the other stuff I can’t totally agree with that statement.

  17. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Maybe we get lucky and trade Martin and Sims together for a 3rd and 5th rounder or Washington has a brain fart and trade Perine for both of them. One can only dream….

    Go Bucs!!!

  18. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Joe Says:

    Hmmm, the “best back on the roster” was dreadful last season, averaging 2.9 yards per carry and no 20-plus-yard carries, despite a pile of rushes, 28th-most in the NFL. And he’s been bad, in addition to being injured, in three of the past four seasons. –Joe


    You know, not all stats lie Joe. Just like the stats you whip out to prove “dreadful” Martin was in 2016. But fail to acknowledge other stats/ factors.

    For example, I have yet to see you write an article on the Bucs O-line leading the lead in Runs stuffed. 24 percent of the time a Running back toted the ball, nearly 1 out of 4 runs, the guy was hit behind the line of scrimmage. Not exactly conducive to a successful running game.

    Yes, I know you will respond to this by waving around Quizz & Barber’s 4+ ypc average. But, I can bet that you won’t respond to it with Martin leading the team in Yards after contact.

    To me, Martin leading the team in Yac yards suggests that he faced off against a lot more stacked boxes than his fellow Running backs.

  19. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    …leading the *league*….

  20. Mike n Says:

    newspapers eat their words… lol. A lot of sensitive people in Tampa. Pumping the breaks just a tad might not be the worst idea

  21. Bucnut@ Says:

    Blake- well said!!!

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Oh Blake I’ve been telling the Joe’s since January about 24% of our runs being stuffed behind the LOS. (Worst in the league)

    Hell I brought it up again yesterday. They blame it on the backs, or lack of WRs, never the o line.

  23. buc89 Says:

    Good argument Blake. I do remember doug getting hit by 1 or more defenders in the backfield basically everytime he carried the ball. Maybe it was the opposing defenses simply trying harder to stop doug than our other backs.

    To me, it just always seemed like an “effort” issue with doug. It seemed like those same problems existed in his contract year and he overcame them, but couldn’t overcome them every year. I don’t think anyone is questioning his talent, I question his drive.

  24. Stu Says:

    Tend to disagree with the “continuity on the offensive line” comment…a new center and a new RG show lack of continuity IMVHO.

  25. BuccoDav Says:

    I’m jot sure why we need a minimum of an article a day saying the same thing about Doug Martin.
    They must be trying to brace us for the inevitable, or at least what they think is the inevitable.
    As of now, DM is a part of this team and until notified otherwise by Bucs officials in will still root for him and wish nothing but the best for him.

  26. BringBucsBack Says:

    Thanks Blake!

    Put another way; the Joe’s seem to think that a defense is going to game plan all running backs the same way one would against the NFL’s 2nd leading rusher the year before.

    Defensive Job #1, Stop:
    A. A mildly careless, “gun-slinging” 2nd year QB
    B. The NFL’S 2nd leading rusher?

    The answer is obvious.

    This also explains why the other Buc RB’s had a higher average per rush. With all due respect, they are not going to garner the same attention. The Joe’s repeatedly, conveniently & shamefully omit these facts.

  27. Fsuking Says:

    You are overthinking this way too much. The Bucs talk about how they like O.J Howard and Kwon Alexander all the time too? Does it’s mean they are gonna get cut? Consdering Ryan Griffin will probably be on our team anyways, I don’t follow your logic at all

  28. Fsuking Says:

    “Hmmm, the “best back on the roster” was dreadful last season, averaging 2.9 yards per carry and no 20-plus-yard carries, despite a pile of rushes, 28th-most in the NFL. And he’s been bad, in addition to being injured, in three of the past four seasons. –Joe”

    Hmmm, the (it’s not even an argument) “best back on the roster” started the season acceptability before failing to find room behind the fearsome duo of Kevin Pamphile and Leonard Wester/ Gosder Cherilus! It must be true though that defenses where so pre occupied with Russell Shepard and Adam Humphries, they simply did not have the man power to stack up an 8 man box. Not to mention, the guy was rolling balls all the time. Let’s not forget that Jaquizz Rodgers had two 100 yard games, one in a blowout against the NFLs worst D-line and one on 30 carries against an avg Panthers line. Doug still had 100 plus all purpose in a critical game against KC and a solid game against Seattle before profoundly sucking against SD. But who’s counting? Obviously not Joe(s)

  29. Fsuking Says:

    How dumb would we look if we cut Doug Martin and he goes to the Patriots and rips us a new B-hole in our own stadium?