“Where Is His Head?”

June 10th, 2017

Former Bucs TE dishes on Doug Martin.

It’s a question that might not be answered for a full three months.

What will the Bucs do with Doug Martin?

The former bellcow running back of the Bucs has had a wildly up and down career in his five NFL seasons: Good, bad, bad, very good, total garbage. That’s not a good track record.

Throw in his PED (we think) violation last year, which will force Martin to miss the first three games of this season to finish his four-game suspension, and it’s fair to say Martin’s career is at its lowest.

And dangling over his head like the Sword of Damocles is a $5.7 million contract this season for those 13 games, no longer guaranteed thanks to Martin flunking a whiz quiz. Ouch.

The good news is Martin sought treatment to fight his demons in the offseason and, from what is publicly known, Martin is currently beating those demons. That’s the most important thing. That’s bigger than football.

Martin looks leaner, looks to be more nimble. And his coaches and Bucs officials say all is good with Martin.

Of course they do.

You expect anyone with the Bucs to come out and say Martin looks horrible and is secretly lobbying Derrick Brooks for a job with the Storm? Of course not.

What cannot be seen is what’s going on in between his ears. And Martin’s mental focus was a topic of discussion when former Bucs tight end and member of the Buccaneers Radio Network, Anthony Becht, hopped on “Movin’ the Chains” to talk Bucs with co-hosts Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“We all know his work ethic,” Becht said of Martin. “I’ve seen it first-hand. There is nobody that works harder at the running back position across the league than Doug Martin. It is, ‘Where is his head?’ Can we count on him? Is he going to be able to take the next step and believe in what he is doing and not get into some of these things that were affecting him off the field. That is going to be the biggest thing for Doug.”

That is sort of what Joe has hinted. Martin is dealing with a dependency issue. Major props to him for realizing it and taking steps to overcome it. Just because he has completed a program (so we are told) doesn’t mean Martin has the devil licked.

The Bucs, both on and off the record, have stated they do not have to make a decision on Martin until Martin finishes his suspension in late September.

There are more than a couple of reasons for that approach. One is the subject Becht touched upon.

35 Responses to ““Where Is His Head?””

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Sounds like you’re coming around to what everyone else has been saying for months Joe … that the Bucs won’t make a decision on Doug Martin until after Game 3. The ‘Why?’ seems simple: it’s in their best interests to wait until then to see what they’ve got & what their RB situation is. No need to make premature decisions. By the way, seemed like a lot of innuendo in there. PED (we think)? Completed a program (so we are told)? Starting to sound like some of the stuff coming out of DC nowadays.

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    I have to say, that after reading this article, is a feeling of deja-vu!!!!!! take out drug martin’s name and it sounds eerily like the final days of Jfro career!!!! From the up and all the downs, to the alleged drinking and other stuff at the club, to the folding like a lawn chair when their is pressure!!!!!

    And if drug martin does come in week 4 and plays well for the remainder of the season, It is not like everyone will say that we are “set” for RB going into 2018!!!!!!! All the questions will remain for the remainder of drug martin career (which is not much longer) !!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  3. R.O. Says:


  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    it’s in their best interests to wait until then to see what they’ve got & what their RB situation is.

    Agree completely with this…goes along with why cut your nose off to spite your face. It won’t be personal…they’re keeping Doug simply as insurance.

    But I would like to piggyback onto that thought. I think some of Doug’s fans do not understand that if Doug Martin is playing for us this year it means one of our plans failed. Doug is a last ditch desperation stop gap plug. The Buc and consequently their fans do have a rooting interest in how this plays out.

    By FAR and away the best outcome for the Bucs is for McNichols to be the real deal and Martin’s replacement going forward. Rookie contract….much younger legs…the future not the past…no baggage going forward.

    Again Doug fan this is not an indictment of Martin or another debate about his talent level. It’s simply business! I hope Doug lands somewhere on his feet and gets to play a few more years but for the Buc’s sake I hope McNichols turns out to be the same surprise this year as Miami’s Boise guy Jay Ajayi was last year. Love to see two Boise guys going at it on opening day.

  5. Mikadeemas Says:

    And to say “props for realizing” ? He didn’t go to the NFL and confess. He got caught. He may not be addicted. But most would say and do all the right things to save their multi million dollar job.

  6. The Buc Realist Says:


    The “best outcome” will be if our RB stable is solid and another team has a huge injury at RB and we can trade drug martin for a 5th round pick with escalators up to a 3rd on performance!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    You keep on kicking this dead horse or can………down the yellow brick road.

    I could honestly careless and so as the majority of all bucs fan imo.

    Dougie Fresh has never had a great career here…….he’s now at the end of his career and the bucs will move on from him after this season and drafting a RB will a top priority for JL in the draft next year…….you watch.

    But for now…….we gotta keep on hearing about this crap just like Roberto Flamingo and his kicking woes.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Doug Martin’s fate at the end of 3 games will rely on two factors….(barring injury to one of our other backs)……

    1. Do we have another back on the roster we absolutely want to keep…..like Peyton Barber. Or, is one traded….like Sims.

    2. Can we get something for Martin……a healthy Doug Martin with a renegotiated contract has some value.

    My suspicion is that we won’t keep Martin in the long run. That’s why we drafted a RB…..

  9. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Love to get something in return for a trade but I don’t understand how that would go down.

    It assumes another team out there would pay Martin’s high salary as well as surrender a draft pick. I don’t mean to offend the Doug lovers here but I’m just not sure he’s that valuable.

    Remember the Bucs/Any team he’s traded to…have only ONE option…honor Doug’s salary in his current contract or Doug becomes a free agent. If the Bucs do not honor Doug’s contract his agent will weigh everything…Doug’s best chance to reestablish his career…money…

    Everybody just assumes that Doug will automatically agree to a renegotiated deal with the Bucs for less money….maybe…perhaps he finds a better deal somewhere else…on his own. The Bucs pony up the pro rated 13 game amount on that 5 and a half million or they void his contract and Doug gets to negotiate the best deal.

  10. Bobby M. Says:

    I think in an ideal world….the Bucs want to have Barber and the rookie as their 1/2 punch. Martin, Simms, and Rodgers are all on a yr to yr basis…..with Simms being the closest to the door….IMO

  11. The Buc Realist Says:


    Vikings traded for Bradford in a very dominik like fleecing!!!!!! unlikely to happen……yes, But never say never!!!!!!

  12. DB55 Says:

    Man people act like he’s doing lines off jfro cheeks during halftime. Yet half the owners and writers are drunk 24/7.

    Shiiii I’d prefer him to down an 8 ball before a game. Maybe we can win for once ala cowboys circa 1990s

  13. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    OK ya got me. I never say never!

  14. Buccfan37 Says:

    Martin was injured most of last season. I never thought he could bust through the blocking on his way to long TD runs without being caught after big gains. The muscle hamster tag did not materialize out of thin air.

  15. The Buc Realist Says:


    What are you talking about!!!! You should have seen him tote the “pill” last year!!!!! He could not be stripped and no fumbles of the “pill” !!!!!! Then he took it to the house everytime (hopefully uber)!!!!!!!!! He was unstoppable!!!!!

    OHHHH, you meant on the field!!!!!!!!!!

  16. BigHogHaynes Says:


  17. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @ The Realist: FREEMAN WAS UNDERMINED !!

  18. The Buc Realist Says:


    By what!!! say it!!! Be a Man!!!!! I say it!!!!!! By Alcohol, and the Club, and Drugs, and lying, blaming others, and non-work ethic!!!!!! Those are the reasons he cannot even get a work out anywhere!!!!!!!! and it started in 2010 and was a problem in 2011!!!!! A Coach was brought in to fix him remember!!!!!! and to clean up the three year bachelor party of the rah/dom era!!!! And thank goodness he did !!!!!!!!!! We should thank that great man everyday!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    So lining up for painkillers before games are not performance enhancing drugs.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    Kap and Freeman were undermined. Right BigHog? Every black man is pure.

  21. The Buc Realist Says:

    Jameis Winston says: Mr. Realist, we cooked a 24 lbs turkey for Thanksgiving, what’s the largest turkey you have ever seen????

    The Buc Realist says: That’s easy, I once saw a huge racist jive-turkey named bighoghaynes!!!!!!!!!!

  22. AceofAerospace Says:

    I give no druggie credit for “recognizing he has a problem ” and “voluntarily checking into rehab” AFTER he fails a whiz quiz. He did what was required to continue employment. Nothing more. Nothing less. Enough of the atta boy kudos. He “intentionally” crapped on his team and his fans. He gets no sympathy from me and he definitely gets no kudos until he go above and beyond what was required for future employment. Based on his track record, we’d be lucky to get one more good year out of him. Goodbye Drug Martin. You had it made and you “pissed” it away.

  23. LakeLandBuc Says:

    There’s not a RB in this league, who can run behind this pathetic O-Line. Doug Martin should be hoping for a trade or getting waived.

  24. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    There’s not a RB in this league, who can run behind this pathetic O-Line.

    Be careful. Now that Realist has started the practice of checking out the vault by Thanksgiving you’re liable to be eating crow instead of Turkey.

    They had one invisible position last year…RT…and one inferior…C

    OL is a unit and when you deep six them like that you can hardly hold Marpet, Pamphile, and Smith responsible for being part of a “pathetic” OL line.

    If Sweezy is healthy and they find just a competent RT…this OL will not be pathetic at all and in fact they could compete as one of the top OL’s in the league.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Everyone is assuming Doug will not be the season starter. He has not been demoted yet. Clearly he won’t play in games 1-3, so his backup will step in. That’s Rodgers.

    They are not going to cut Charles Sims because they value him in the passing game. McNichols is new blood, so he’s going to get the 4th spot. That leaves Barber the odd man out. It’s just how the numbers fall.

    If I were the one making the decisions, it would depend on how Jeremy McNichols looks in camp. If he looks like a bellcow back who can produce consistently, then I would consider releasing Martin. However, everyone is talking about his salary not being guaranteed this year. It’s also not guaranteed any other years…so the Bucs could keep him this year to give Jeremy McNichols time to settle in. I would keep the lineup below but release Barber so he can find another gig, then play Hicks in short yardage situations during games 1-3 to give him a test run. He may well end up being like Alstott in the role.

    Doug Martin
    Jacquizz Rodgers
    Charles Sims
    Jeremy McNichols

    Peyton Barber (will be on team games 1-3 probably, unless the Bucs want to do right by him and release him in cuts so he can get on a team)

    Quayvon Hicks (might get a fullback, short yardage role if they can squeeze him in somehow…but he could also end up on the practice squad).

    Russell Hansbrough (camp meat)
    Blake Sims (camp meat)

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Going on the assumption that Sweezy is good enough to stay (I hope) and Marpet does well at center…that leaves Dotson, who is below average at the position. And even when he did not play last year due to injury, his backups did horrible.

    RT is still a major concern, but if Smith can stake a step forward this year, we can help RT with extra blockers.

    Still…I consider Sweezy a major wild card at this point. Sort of an ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ status. I’m hoping for the best though.

  27. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    I hear you about Sweezy…he’s really the wild card…if he plays as well as he did in Seattle we have the making of a really solid interior three…all guys who love to play at the edge…

    I agree though RT is the unanswered question. Personally while I like Dot I’m not sure he has enough gas in the tank. My fantasy is that Benenoch breaks out like Pamphile did in his second year.

  28. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    ((Sorry, you don’t get to maliciously attack Joe’s credibility because you don’t like what you read.)).–Joe
    However, I do believe Behct though, a well-respected been there-done that guy: “Can we count on him? Is he going to be able to take the next step and believe in what he is doing and not get into some of these things that were affecting him off the field. That is going to be the biggest thing for Doug.”

  29. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    Not a credibility attack Joe. I did think they were crap statements where you actually did call good people’s crediliity into question.

  30. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I would go for two of Martin’s bad years as IR. Yeah, that happens. I don’t deny he had a substance issue, and as Becht says, whether he has really beat it remains to be seen. But 4.2 ypc avg for his career nonetheless on 4227 carries, and the praise he’s getting from his coaches is legit. I know it’s legit. And no reason to question whether he’s been through the program, especially when the Bucs inform us he has. So sorry Joe, the “so we hear” and acting like his mom is source of the info is worthy of a comment back. LOL! Joe has not remotely implied that Martin’s mom is a source of info on his 2016 or 2017 condition or status. That’s just purely ludicrous. –Joe And again, no one has said he’s no longer the belllcow…that is…if the Bucs will have a bellcow at all. That’s nice spin, except Martin used to be called the bellcow but now the Bucs won’t even say he’s their guy in Week 4.–Joe The little jabs are your call to make, and we readers see them. So we comment on them when it appears they are worrthy of it. Again, nothing to do with your credibility. Actually, your deleted jabs, were direct shots at Joe’s credibility.–Joe Some stuff just needs to called out.

  31. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    No reason the Bucs would say he’s their guy in Week 4. But no reason say h’es not, and certainly no reason to dispute what his leadership is telling us (as I said, not like it was his mom). No reason to disput whatsover. As Anthony Becht said…got to wait and see, and Doug does have to prove he’s still worthy. But I think it’s a stretch to say it will be miracle if Martin is around (as you have said in a past article). Again, saying your comment was crap has nothing to do with your credibility. For a guy who calls other humans feces, you sure get upset easily. That’s just my opinion.
    Again, what was deleted was far more than calling something “crap.” Joe does not tolerate — nor should Joe or anyone else — malicious shots against credibility and, subsequently, Joe’s ethics. What’s written here is Joe’s livelihood and passion and it will never be subject to baseless attacks. Disagree in the comments all you want, but when the line is crossed, Joe will always react. And for the record, these attacks don’t “upset” Joe one bit. –Joe

  32. Joe Says:

    PED (we think)? Completed a program (so we are told)? Starting to sound like some of the stuff coming out of DC nowadays.

    Not insinuating anything. We do not know, and maybe never will, what Martin tested positive for. That is privileged information. The Bucs cannot speak on this and we can only go by what Martin has said, and what Martin says is what he wants us to know.

    Martin very possibly could have tested positive for something rather sinister, or simply the wrong PED. We do not know for sure.

    As for the clinic, what was the name of the clinic? How many weeks was he involved? Did he pass with flying colors or not? None of this is known for sure.

    This is not a shot at Martin in any way. Just the ugly truth. We do not know for a fact what is going on behind the scenes.

  33. Joe Says:

    And to say “props for realizing” ? He didn’t go to the NFL and confess. He got caught. He may not be addicted. But most would say and do all the right things to save their multi million dollar job.

    No one forced him to go through a substance abuse program. He did that on his own. And Joe commends anyone who does that.

    Martin just as easily could have ignored the issue.

  34. Joe Says:

    But for now…….we gotta keep on hearing about this crap just like Roberto Flamingo and his kicking woes.

    A former Bucs player and current employee of the team decided to speak in a very public forum about Martin and his issue and status with the team. Joe found that compelling. As Joe has stated many, many times, if Joe finds a subject interesting, he will write about it.

    As always, you do not have to read a post on a subject you do not like. There are tens of thousands of articles in the (free) archives you can choose to read.

  35. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    Roberto Flamingo. Pretty funny.