How Important Is Doug Martin?

July 8th, 2017


As Joe noted yesterday, a panel of writers has a list of top-10 non-quarterbacks for every NFL team.

Embattled Bucs running back Doug Martin is listed at No. 5, ahead of Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Vernon Hargreaves.

Well, let’s take a look a bit closer.

Since the Bucs drafted Doug Martin, he has had only two good seasons, very good seasons. That would be his rookie year of 2012 and more recently 2015. In both, Martin ran for 1,400 yards. His other three seasons, Martin didn’t even run for 500 yards, which by any standard is paltry.

In Martin’s five seasons, only once have the Bucs had a winning record. That was last year when Martin was both ineffective and unavailable. Late in the season Martin sought medical help for an unspecified addiction, which Joe sincerely applauds Martin for tackling head-on. One’s life and health are far more important than football.

But if the lone winning season the Bucs have had with Martin on the roster was arguably his worst and he was a non-factor, just how important is Martin?

Joe would suggest, not very.

30 Responses to “How Important Is Doug Martin?”

  1. Thomas Says:

    I disagree; since the Bucs GM made the decision not to go after a quality 3 down back Doug is critical to move the chains; several of our loses were due to the offense not picking up that 3rd and two. DM needs to be that short yardage back now that the Bucs failed to sign an AP in the offseason

  2. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Doug Martin was still our best Pass blocking RB last year. And he ran for several crucial goal-line touchdown’s late last season.

    In fact, there is an argument to be made that Doug Martin was still the most important RB on the roster last year. Seeing that we were 6-1 in games with him as the starter.

  3. jimmy Says:

    Yeah, Molly Hamster was so important, The Godfather deactivated him for most important game.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Looking at SI’s full list, several others not listed also received votes for Top-10 players on the Bucs. Among them: “C Joe Hawley (three); S J.J. Wilcox, K Nick Folk”. Hawley won’t be a starter, Wilcox may or may not be a starter, and Folk is still battling for a spot on the roster. Perhaps those 5 writers who voted (Jacob Feldman, Emily Kaplan, Jonathan Jones, Eric Single and Jenny Vrentas) might want to switch to covering the ‘other’ football: soccer.

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    How important is Doug Martin?

    He is most talented back on roster.
    Can a 5th round pick replace him? Maybe, I doubt it.
    Still don’t see why you hold injuries against him- 2013-2014
    Will he be reliable? -that is the issue- so far Bucs management are betting he will be and I trust their judgement
    Very difficult to win a championship without a strong running game.
    Again, Bucs have nothing to lose by letting it play out… if Martin is healthy and straight, Bucs have pro bowl caliber back… if not, then you get to say “I told you so” all season.

  6. Rrsrq Says:

    Heck, all I know it is a good time to be a Bucs fan, I am rooting for all 53 (54 including Doug) on the roster

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Another article that mentions importance of Doug Martin:

  8. grafikdetail Says:

    having a top rated rushing attack makes a team better & harder to beat… a healthy Martin can help the Bucs go from average to dominant…it’s as simple as that… no other back on the roster has the track record… so yeah Martin is important

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Doug Martin is very important to the Bucs….whether or not he lives up to that importance is another matter.

    Let’s face it, we really have nothing to lose….if he performs, great….if not, cut or trade him.

    The only worry is having to place Peyton Barber on the PS or having to carry 5 Rbs for the 3 weeks Martin is out.

  10. SOEbuc Says:

    I’m pretty sure the Bucs started their game plan the day they signed Sweezy.

    We’re gonna get this real good run blocker to complete our front three and throw Jameis nothing but top receiving weapons so LBs and safeties have no clue where to go or what’s going on. When that happens Doug is going to be able to bust up the middle like he does except with more space and energy getting through the holes.

    I think he is very important and I think Jason and Dirk feel the same way.

  11. CautiousOptimism Says:

    “But if the lone winning season the Bucs have had with Martin on the roster was arguably his worst and he was a non-factor, just how important is Martin?

    Joe would suggest, not very.”
    Barely a winning season. Not a playoff team. I would argue a healthy Martin behind an oline that could get some better push opening running lanes would have been enough to at least win one more game and get us in the playoffs. Martin was injured most of the year. If you don’t blame McCoy for not showing up on the stat sheet when battling injuries you can’t have a double standard with Nartin.

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Preach it Joe! I simply do not get all the love for Doug Martin here. The Muscle Turtle was never all that as Joe pointed out but the most telling stat is the fact that the winning season we had was last year he wasn’t even available.

    I disagree; since the Bucs GM made the decision not to go after a quality 3 down back Doug is critical to move the chains;

    Wow Thomas way to disrespect Jeremy McNichols!!! Perhaps some facts might change your point of view.

    First…McNichols playing for the same school as Doug posted better numbers. He’s a far superior receiver than Doug…a better pass blocker…and he’s faster…although I concede that’s not saying much and he’s no burner.

    Miami RB Jay Ajayi blew up last year…he was the RB for Boise State after Doug but before McNichols. Boise State is getting the rep as “running back U.”.

    Why can’t McNichols do the same thing? He has the same pedigree as Doug and Ajayi…in fact better numbers than Doug.

    McNichols was available for us in the 5th round because of his injury and one of the most running back loaded drafts in recent memory. There were a ton of RB’s available this year.

    Dirk Koetter of course has a very tight Boise State connection from his coaching days…he turned the program into the mid level power it’s become. I saw pics of him at last year’s BSU golf tournament for the football program. Do we think Koetter knows EVERYTHING about players at Boise State?

    Would he have signed off on a player if he didn’t believe he could play at the next level.

    Considering McNichols has already played much better when you add his receiving skills which are said to be comparable to a wide receiver…posted identical YPC running numbers…seeing what Ajayi did last year…why wouldn’t the odds be just as strong that McNichols is a real player as much as Doug finding that part of his game which has shown up only 40% of his time with the Bucs?

  13. BucEmUp Says:

    At one point I thought Martin was the best back on the roster…but after seeing how Jacuzzi Rodgers has come into camp, he looks like he has trained for the biggest opportunity of his career. I still think its crucial Martin stays with the team this coming season, I’m not sold on twinkle toes or Barber, and neither are Licht and Koetter or they wouldn’t have drafted McNicholes (who was on nil network yesterday and looks like he’s built like a cinderblock) My prediction is that Rodgers comes back and after week 3, Koetter plays the hot hand. Rodgers look really good right now. However if he goes down everyone will see how important Martin will be. Thats how its looking to me

  14. BucEmUp Says:

    I really think the running back situation is going to look a lot more like New Englands going forward week to week. Anyones guess

  15. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    But what is our record IF he plays? Do we finish better than 9-7? Probably. Do we make the playoffs with that better record? Definitely.

    We were lucky last season to have the success we had with our paper-thin run game. Just think how much better we could’ve and would’ve been if Martin would’ve had his stuff together. Point is, we sustained success with little run game at all so if we could’ve had a better run game (Ahem Doug Martin) then we probably make the playoffs. Martin is a very important piece of this team. When he’s on, he can seriously alter a game. Obviously having a good RB can change a defense and thus help our offense flow.

    Whether you all like it or not, Martin is still very big on this team.

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    Certainly can understand Martin’s doubters point of view, I just choose to believe otherwise heading into a brand new season. That Bucs optimism is all I’ve got football related to thrive on. Potentially squashing that high can wait for later.

  17. uckinator Says:

    It’s the offensive line folks. All running backs that make it into the NFL have the ability to make the 1st guy miss. The question is…Does the 1st guy miss 5 yards down the field or 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage ?

  18. martinii Says:

    Do you know what makes a good story line? You take a guy who has talent, potential, and an inconsistent resume and you keep telling him he is a loser. In other words you make him mad and give him a reason to have a pro bowl season. All intangibles aside “Pissed off,” is a great motivation. Go Buc’s

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Uck if it’s anything like last year it will unfortunately be 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

    However I do think the oline will be improved from last year. The big question is how much? Actually the bigger question will be whether Sweezy can perform…

    I also think it’s funny that when we talk about Dougs 3 bad years, it’s hardly mentioned that he was injured all 3 of those seasons and missed multiple multiple games.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “In Martin’s five seasons, only once have the Bucs had a winning record.” – J0E

    I hate it when people point out team losing records when talking about a singly player.

    No one player can carry an entire team. Winning takes a bunch of good players, so Martin cannot be held accountable for that, at least not solely responsible.

    There have been so many other factors that attributed to those losses…including Josh McCown.

  21. Maze Says:

    Trolling at its finest

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    To equate Joe’s analogy, I think we should dump Lavonte David, because in his five seasons, only once have the Bucs had a winning record…

    And let’s dump Luke Stocker, because in his six seasons the Bucs have only had one winning record.


  23. Cobraboy Says:

    And Will Gholston? In his four seasons, the Bucs have only had one winning record.

    Cut him!

  24. firethecannons Says:

    after 3 games in nfl, bet lots of teams will be interested in Doug Martin, maybe even us but if not his trade value will likely be significant

  25. Trubucfan22 Says:

    That winning season wasnt much thanks to the offense. Tbh our defense carried the team through the 5 game win streak. The offense struggled last season. No 2 ways about that.

    If you want to debate how important Martin look at what the team record was when he played last season. Only lost 1 game that Martin started and finished. 6-1 iirc. 3-6 when Martin did not play. Also, who was the starting RB during that infamous 5 game win streak? Oh yeah, that was Martin. I guess if you look at the ultimate stat, the only one that matters, Martin is pretty important.

    Plainly put, if the bucs want to make a deep playoff run, they will need Martin to carry the rock and be dominant like he can be. Rodgers is a good back up, but no one can honestly say he can be our work horse for 16+ games. Sims? The rookie? Peyton barber? Those guys are pipe dreams to carry the load. We need Martin to come back dominant.

  26. CautiousOptimism Says:

    Trubucfan22- correct and all well said. If Martin stays healthy he will be a dominant force on this team.

  27. Tommy Martin Says:

    If the front office did not think DM could not help this team they wouldn’t give him a new contract. DM will prove all the hates wrong. I hope they are willing to admit it. GO BUCS.

  28. godzilla13 Says:

    Samaje Perrine was available before we picked Kendel Beckwith, who by the way is going to be a stud or even J.

  29. MadMax Says:

    How fn fantastic is it that Light drafts a running back from the same school as Dougy to push him? Ya’ll think the kicking game war is on….haha, this one is brewing too. I predict it will be a great fight!

  30. Cobraboy Says:

    @Trubucfan22: With a vastly improved OL and WR’s, there will be little stacking the box against Martin. And I’ll bet on the souls of my unborn children that defenses will not have first contact with Martin at least one yard behind the LOS on 43% of his carries as in 2016.