Smelling Something Fishy

June 20th, 2017


Are the Bucs going a bit too far over the top?

That seems to be the sense Chris Burke is getting.

The NFL writer types he’s starting to get sort of a whiff of buyer’s remorse in the way the Bucs are pushing the good health of running back Doug Martin. It has moved Burke to wonder aloud why the Bucs seem to be on a hard sell.

The Buccaneers just cannot stop talking about how focused and driven Martin looks this off-season. The latest hype came courtesy of GM Jason Licht, who last week told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo: “He looks like the Doug Martin of 2015.”

The Doug Martin of 2015 rushed for 1,402 yards and caught 33 passes. No Tampa Bay back eclipsed even 600 yards rushing last year, so a return to form from Martin would be huge. Among the reasons to pump the brakes a bit is that Martin cannot even suit up until Week 4, as he has to serve out the remainder of a PED suspension. Will he be able to deliver an immediate impact come Oct. 1? What happens to his role if the Bucs’ offense clicks without him in Weeks 1 through 3? There are questions still to be answered, but few players get the type of praise Martin has received this off-season.

These are very, very valid questions. What happens if the Bucs gash defenses on the ground in the first three games? Is Martin a starter, if he returns? And why fix something that isn’t broken, if the running game is humming when Martin comes off the street cold and perhaps not in proper game-condition?

These are all important questions Joe would love to learn the answers to.

48 Responses to “Smelling Something Fishy”

  1. rrsrq Says:

    The reason the Bucs are selling Martin is because the media is asking the questions about Martin. But those are valid points, but all it takes is one injury as we saw last year. The only RB that was healthy all games last year was Barber, if I’m not mistaken.

  2. jvato24 Says:

    So what should we do?? Cut Martin and make Sims the #1 again?? Rodgers the primary back?? Or maybe injured rookie McNichols, the fact is he has the best chance to be the best RB on the roster and that’s why you ride with him. Too late now to cut him, not sure why the constant chatter about this, if he doesn’t work out, it negatively affects the team somewhat majorly. It almost feels like you want him gone so you can toot your own horn and say I told you so. I’m a fan and hopeful and optimistic he comes back strong.

  3. Doit Bucs Says:

    It is IF football season. This is the time of the year that’s all about the IF. What IF someone get hurt in the first 3 weeks. What IF the run game is not doing good. Then Martin is the best person to see in week 4. Now what IF the run game is great in the first 3weeks. Then Martin will be the best insurance plan to have IF one of the backs go down at some point in the season. Plus want IF the Buds have a good running game what’s to say it could be better IF Martin is put in in week 4. I hope not but what IF by week 4 a LB, WR,CB,OT go down then Martin could be great trade bait. Martin is a great player to have on this team in so many ways. What IF you stop trying to get Martin off this team?

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    They are selling Martin in the event another team has a opening at RB due to injury. If our running game is lights out weeks 1-3 and we can get a draft pick also in a trade more power to Licht. if not then he comes back week 4 and they have a BIG decision to make whether they keep 5 backs (no), or cut someone.

  5. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    IF the Buc’s ground game is tearing it up without Doug his chances of remaining a Buc grow slim.

    In a PERFECT world the Bucs would like the guy they drafted to be Doug’s replacement to be ready sooner rather than later.

    But if the Bucs are tearing it up with a combo of Quizz, Sims, and Barber the Bucs may keep Doug for depth but they are not going to stop a successful group.

  6. Bucsfan4life Says:

    I’m all commented out on the Martin thing but I will say this I can’t believe the joes in good conscious believe rogers and sims are a better option that a healthy focused martin. I’m not saying he is either of those but at this point by not drafting a reliable rb it feels to me like the Bucs backed themselves in a corner at least for this year unless Jeremy has a great first 3 games. I know there are a lot of not so good gm’s on this board but how can anyone believe for sure sims or rogers is the answer. These guys don’t care about anything but winning games and if martin is healthy and focused regardless of what anyone thinks about right or wrong martin will be in there starting on week 4

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, that ‘What about Martin?’ storyline is actually becoming humorous. Maybe we could rename it “The story that refuses to die”. Until the 4th game of the season that is, when the Bucs will have decided which way they NEED to go. Until then, just gobs of speculation.

  8. Bucsfan4life Says:

    @defense rules aren’t u going to be as glad as I am when the season starts so these martin stories will die

  9. ClodHopper Says:

    Maybe Martin really is focused and resembling 2015. IIRC, I remember Joe mentioning more than once about the drive and determination Martin showed in his eyes and his demeanor in the locker room on a daily basis in 2015. We already know his results are schizophrenic, leading us to believe his drive is too. It’s not too far fetched to me

    Who’s knows? We shall see

  10. LongSeason Says:

    Dewey, I was going to bring up the slight chance of a Martin to ? trade if the running game is humming. You don’t want to say the guy sucks if you think a trade may happen for Martin and a ? round draft pick or ? player. Even with the 3 game suspension, Martin could rush for over 1,000 yards if he is in great shape. This is really a wait and see situation.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    Blah, blah, blah, if, if, if!
    This is only a conversation because he tested positive for PEDs. If not for the failed pee test, Doug Martin is toting the rock as your starting RB because he is the best RB on this roster. Until proven otherwise, he’s STILL the best RB on the roster.
    Haven’t we seen enough dancing from Sims? Rodgers is not a full-time back, McNichols is a rookie, and Peyton is a green-horn. In addition, in case people have forgotten, Sims and Rodgers were both injured at one point or another last year.

  12. Bucsfan4life Says:

    @longseason even if a trade was possible I see about 10 teams who could use a rb which are Detroit, Green Bay,Baltimore,Browns ,Broncos ,Lions, Colts , Giants,Jets ,and Seattle. I’d have to hope they wouldn’t trade him to a NFC team so that would leave Baltimore, broncos, colts, and jets. Jets are trying to tank this season so that leaves broncos, colts, and Baltimore. I guess it could happen but I don’t see it

  13. Casual Observer Says:

    Enough on Martin already. Wait for the preseason games.

  14. ndog Says:

    In case no one noticed when Doug Martin played last year he was horrible. No vision, no burst, no moves, looked slow at times. And worst of all he got hurt in just game two which means you are not someone the team could count on. How some of you are so sold on this guys blows my mind. Do we want him to be great of course, but we also want McCoy to be great and that is a pipe dream as well.

  15. tnew Says:

    So, by Joe’s own eyes, from watching OTA’s and Mandantory Training, he sees this

    And it seems every day there was a highlight that came from Martin in the pass play,

    But Chris Burke, an writer from Ann Arbor, MI, thats the guy that has it all figured out.

  16. DBS Says:

    I did not see where he said this is training camp and he looks as good. Just as goo as THIS time in 2015. Some people just like to read between the lines. Or try to play GM and say what the Bucs will do. Give it up. What happens is what happens.

  17. DBS Says:


  18. Bucsfan4life Says:

    Ndog do u honestly think he missed that many games due to a hamstring? I knew after 3 or 4 games there was something going on behind the scenes. Martin didn’t miss those games because of hamstring issues. Just like some other athletes he missed it due to other issues. By your logic Tony Gonzales, Laveon bell ( who is about even with martin in rushing production, Marshawn lynch, Adam jones, Steve smith, b Marshall, Big Ben, v jax, Talib, suh, and a whole bunch of others should have been let go without finding out if they can still produce. Truth of the matter is none of us know if he can still produce including Bucs which is why he hasn’t been let go yet and won’t be until we find a replacement or we are certain he can’t produce anymore

  19. Joe Says:

    This is only a conversation because he tested positive for PEDs. If not for the failed pee test, Doug Martin is toting the rock as your starting RB because he is the best RB on this roster.

    That is very much up for debate.

  20. Bucsfan4life Says:

    Joe who is a better rb on the roster if it’s up for debate

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    @rrsrq….I agree….if the media ask, how is Doug looking out there? then the staff has to answer the question honestly….if they ask how’s he looking, and he’s looking great, then they have to say he’s looking decent…he’s looking pretty good…he looks in shape…he looks quicker….what else are they suppose to say….

    as for the run game clicking without him, I hope that’s the case….not because I have anything against Doug but if the run game is clicking that means the oline is doing their job, play calling is less predictable and all of our new weapons are keeping defenses spread out….

    if that’s the case, I say ride the hot hand…keep Doug in case of injury….can never have enough good players….that may motivate Doug and push him to be a better team mate and force him to focus of his craft….GO BUCS!!!!

  22. bucs_365 Says:

    If Martin is healthy, physically and mentally, he isn’t only the best RB by far, he’s the only back on the roster who has proven to be a quality feature back at any point in his career. Could McNichols be a sleeper? Maybe.

  23. Joe Says:

    Joe who is a better rb on the roster if it’s up for debate

    Based on last year? All of them. Martin had the worst yards-per-carry of any (eligible) running back in the NFL last season. Besides, when the Bucs needed a win at New Orleans, Dirk Koetter benched Martin. Not many coaches when they need a win to make the playoffs bench their best position player.

  24. Support Conte Says:

    It’s easy. if the RB’s are running wild in those 3 games, he’s going to get cut. If there are injuries or the running game is not good enough, he’s going to get the chance to be the one.
    not much to think about

  25. Bobby M. Says:

    What’s accomplished by not promoting him?

  26. Pick6 Says:

    this is a writer referencing a week old quote. because of the time lapse it has the appearance of the organization pouring it on, but in reality it’s just a writer rehashing something that JBF and tampa media wrote about and bucs fans read about a while back

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Joe- I have to respectfully disagree. If you base it solely on last year then I can see your argument. But, what are the knocks on Martin? He’s been inconsistent and injury-prone. The same could be said for Sims and Rodgers. The difference is that Martin has actually performed as a feature back in portions of his career. Sims and Rodgers? Not so much.
    In my opinion, until someone like McNichols or Barber steps up, Martin is the best RB on our team. He’s better than Sims, Quizz, and Barber, last year withstanding.
    In addition, you use the YPC stat to bolster your argument. There’s another stat floating around that indicates the Bucs were one of the worst teams in TFL. You simply cannot put ALL that on the RB. Defenders were consistently in our backfield before the back reached the LOS.

  28. martinii Says:

    Wow I can’t wait till training camp, but in the meantime lets all play “What if,” the Buc’s are lights out at RB the first three weeks and Rodgers pulls a hammy week 4 after Martin is cut? The problem is we have a bunch of Martin Haters who are afraid he will come back after week 3 and play at a 2015 level. You know who cares as long as someone plays lights out and we WIN! I hope Jameis plays lights out.

  29. Pick6 Says:

    could be many reasons not to rush him back, but almost no reason to cut him at this point unless he flat out refuses to play special teams. he is better than the 53rd guy the bucs would attempt to stick onto the roster, and the bucs could extend\pay mike evans and even sign a late offseason veteran or two without stressing the salary cap

  30. tmaxcon Says:

    dirk koetter will not count on doug martin. he was burned last year. koetter and licht want winners not unreliable gerbils. all you martin fanboys kill me. 2 good years out of 5 and you fools act like he’s reliable. LOL… Raise your standards folks. Martin can not be counted on he has proven that 3 of the last 5 yards which last time I checked 3 is greater than 2 so he’s had more GARBAGE time than good time. same fools who thought dungy’s pathetic 2 wins were glory years I bet.

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    Raise the standards to whom, tmax? Sims? Quizz? Barber? The rookie?
    Whether you care to acknowledge it or not, the 2 “good years” places Martin as the most accomplished back on the roster. And, it bears repeating that he would still be the starter if not for PEDs. If facts make me a “fanboy” then, Go Gerbil!!!

  32. Maze Says:

    So what’s the problem? If the other backs are performing well when Martin returns who gives a damm what Martin looks like.

  33. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Doug’s 2 years from 30. If the rookie can take the reins, I won’t feel to bad about losing him. He gave some good games, but, the injuries pile up. Wouldn’t mind someone who doesn’t get caught from behind.

    I don’t hate the guy. Let them all compete. Winner starts. But, if Doug isn’t the starter, I wouldn’t keep him around.

  34. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Doug is still the best RB on the team. He shall be the starter come week five.

  35. unbelievable Says:

    Few players get the type of praise Martin has received this off-season.

    This is simply not true at all. There are 32 teams in the NFL and TONS of players from them get loads of praise during the off-season every single year.

    But this writer’s opinion fits a certain narrative so….

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “The Buccaneers just cannot stop talking about…”

    All of their players, not just Doug Martin.

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    First Down Tampa Bay Says
    “Doug is still the best RB on the team.”

    We don’t actually know if that statement is true. We cannot even say he is the best ‘proven’ back on the team.

    Last year, Quiz averaged around 5 yards per carry, right? And we have a rookie that is a complete mystery atm.

    So technically, we do not KNOW Martin is the best.

    But barring one stepping up, I think he’ll be here come week 4 and will remain.

  38. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “few players get the type of praise”

    Desean Jackson. Mike Evans. Kwon. Hargreives. Brate. OJ. Goodwin.

    Seems to me there are plenty of players on this team getting just as much hype.

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And, of course…Winston.

  40. Cobraboy Says:

    Martin’s YPC controversy is complete nonsense.

    I posted once before how often Martin ran against a stacked front, and how often first contact was more than one yard behind the line of scrimmage based on personal charted observation of EVERY carry he had in 2016 thanks to the NFL Game Pass “coaches film” archives.

    I should have included how NONE of the other Buc RB’s had this honor. Not even close.

    OTHER TEAMS think Martin was a threat even if some Buc fans think otherwise. Otherwise, they’d have not stacked the line as much.

    Of course stacking the line was easy considering how few weapons the Bucs had in the passing game.

    Frankly Martin’s YPC is impressive when one sees how often he was hit way before the LOS.

    Doug Martin is the best RB currently on the roster. It is what it is.

  41. AnotherBucsFan Says:

    Agree with Cobraboy 10,000%! Iseem to recall Doug getting hit behind the LOS a TON. He has incredible burst the first 10 yards when healthy. I often lose sight of him only for him to reappear 10 yards downfield when there is a scrum. I do wish he couldn’t get chased down from behind but for the first 20-30 yards or so he is excellent.

  42. Howard Cosell Says:

    Man… If the Bucs gash defenses w/o Martin?

    Wow. What a great problem to have that would be.
    I’ll take it, please!

  43. unbelievable Says:

    @cobraboy and AnotehrBucsFan,

    The Bucs had the MOST run plays stuffed behind the LOS of any team in the league last year!

    24% of all run plays our RB was hit behind the LOS.

  44. SOEbuc Says:


    I’m assuming you’ve seen Doug up close and personal during these OTAs Joe. Do you think he is looking much more cut up and lean like Dirk and Jason continue to say about him? I’m assuming they wouldn’t lie about something like that. If this front three can stay healthy and Doug can also, Jason might not be lying about him returning to 2015 form.

  45. SOEbuc Says:

    ^ and we also got O.J. who will hopefully turn out to be a dominate run blocker^

  46. Cobraboy Says:

    @ unbelievable:

    In fact, first contact with Martin was made at least one-yard behind the LOS on 42% of Martin’s rushing attempts in 2016.

    There were more between the LOS and one yard, a bunch more. I just counted those at LEAST a yard behind the line.

    Hard to blame Martin for those hits. Maybe a few if he chose the wrong hole.

  47. buccaneerGod Says:

    Every one is always on Joe’s nuts about articles he writes.You don’t haft to read the article or bitch about recirculated subject matters. He simply reporting on what some asshole had to say. Joe is a reporter not a punching bad for you all’s disdain this why I stop frequent this site due to the negativity that is shared here. Doug is a beats when the wheels are on him and gmc is best dt and gruden was are best coach. I think we all want the same things we don’t have to insult each other over pointless subjects we as a fan base need to come together and build a place of hell for opponents to visit. there fan base and teams she feel out of place and over whelmed in Tampa Bay ..Ok im done with my rant go bucs lets torch 2017/2018

  48. buccaneerGod Says:

    few typos there but point was made