A Doug Martin Flashback

August 18th, 2017

Strong night. Strong scrutiny by Chucky.

Despite a dropped pass and limited touches, Doug Martin looked like a No. 1 running back last night for the first time in a long, long time.

He finished with five carries for 30 yards, including a three-yard touchdown scamper and an 11-yard run, plus two receptions for 11 yards against Jacksonville.

Nice job.

Before the Bucs’ first series, Jon Gruden, aka Chucky, who was calling the game for ESPN, talked about Martin. Chucky, who seemingly loves every football player, went on about how the Bucs have a “tough decision” whether to keep Martin on their roster. Chucky wondered aloud why Martin has such bad years, but Chucky raved about Martin’s talent while also questioning whether the Bucs would choose to pay him at his current large salary.

For Chucky, it was like a year’s worth of negativity. And it was especially interesting considering Chucky has spent a lot of time around the Bucs in the past few weeks, including more than an hour in Dirk Koetter’s office.

Martin skeptics like Joe might smile thinking Martin certainly enhanced his very limited trade value last night.

Regardless, the Bucs are in no hurry to make a decision. They don’t owe Martin a nickel until Week 4 of the regular season. And they’ve made it clear they feel no pressure to say Martin will play for them until then.

For now, the Bucs will be content to keep an eye on Martin’s performance, work ethic and drug tests. It’s a wise approach. And so far, so good.

48 Responses to “A Doug Martin Flashback”

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Given how the other RBs performed, I don’t see how the Bucs can get rid of him.

    I also am starting to wonder of they keep 5 RBs this year. Because Barber ran his heart out last night. I may have been wrong about him not making the cut.

    On top of that, Hicks played really good as a lead blocker at FB.

  2. CautiousOptimism Says:

    He looks good every year. Always comes down to health like any other player. He has had injuries each down year that explains the lack of production. That fact is conveniently left out of the conversation when his tenure is brought up. Martin is our starting tailback and with a little help from the oline he will be fantastic this year.

  3. Buc15 Says:

    Joe I hate to say it but I told you so. Martin is by far tje best RB on the team and will be the man come week 4.

  4. Eric Says:

    I still think he is just slightly above average.

    But that makes him the best we have.

  5. BurgDweller Says:

    I like the Dougie who wants to get paid.

  6. Bucsfan4life Says:

    Joe just admit it there is a good chance martin is on this roster week 4. A lot better than the 20% chance u guys were giving him. There is a steep drop off in talent after martin in the backfield

  7. Clw JB Says:

    The difference in his talent to the rest of the group is undeniable, I think they are just making it so public to force DM to the straight and narrow – the carrot 🥕

  8. Easy Denman Says:

    It’s obvious he’s our number 1 running back and it would be a mistake to cut him this season. Massive drop off after him but I will say Barber was pushing the piles when’s he was in.

  9. LongSeason Says:

    If Doug goes from the \Drug Hamster’ and Drouginator and becomes the Muscle Hamster and Douginator and also proves reliable as a person, then I have no problem with him being kept on the team. Nice if he would renegotiate his salary so it was incentive laden with less gauranteed money and a clause that says any missteps and he forfeits the remainder of his contract. If he helps us win games keep him. If he is going to cost us games, then ship him to Cleveland.

  10. Evolvingbucfan Says:

    Joe- since Martin negated the terms of his contract with the drug/suspension, can they renegotiate his salary after game 3? or if he starts game 4 is he owed 6 Mill?


  11. Guzzie Says:

    Joe, if I recall you were pretty adamant about resigning Doug originally, and I definitely think you’re right to change your opinion, but obviously DK and JL think highly of him, really hope they put Doug on the back burner the next couple of weeks, be really stupid to play him as much the 3rd game, need to see who is going to be the lead back, Jaquizz and Sims are not the answers, JWin is going to have to throw 50 times a game if we done give Barber and JMac a chance with the 1st team

  12. Tony Stark Says:

    I dont think the bucs need an elite rb this year with their WR corps. They just need someone who will dig out 4-5 yards here and there to keep the D honest.

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    He’s still the “Muscle Turtle”! He gets zero credit for that 11 yard run that was a major hole opened by the OL…Marpet and Sweezy are going to be great this year.

    When they did the end around with DJAX I thought uh oh…here’s a loss in the backfield…but then DJAX showed what real speed can do.

    When the “Muscle Turtle” got his TD I thought…great…wide open around the left side and he barely had the speed to make it.

    He had a good game…McNichol flashed a bit..driving piles forward when hit but he was with the 3’s….Barber had the best night statistically and in reality.
    Sims is Sims. Quizz didn’t get enough opportunities to really judge.

    I do not know if the “Muscle Turtle” will be a Buc in week 4 or not. As DK says you can never have too many good players. But last night confirmed what I’ve felt all along. RB is a moot point for this team. The success of our running game is dependent on our OL…we have no superstar RB’s on this team but a solid collection of good backs.

  14. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I’ve been saying all off season….I’m really ticked off at Martin for what he did. He hurt his team, but he’s not Greg Hardy or Ray Rice, and the Bucs and those closest to him know Martin’s heart and progress and would be fools to cut him. Martin will be a Buc all year (and also, don’t expect a trade), and it’s clear he’s their #1 for now, with Quizz as #2. Right now it’s Sims at #3 but I have expected they will go to Barber soon, if not by Monday, by the time Cleveland leaves town next week. McNichols #4. Sims is a good candidate for trade before the deadline, and after Martin gets back from suspension, and I’d say is on the bubble. Joe has said it will be a miracle if Martin is on the roster in the regular season and I continue to write that opinion off. Duemig wanted to already cut him and save the money–as Steve would say, “that’s just dumb.” But to all, the Bucs don’t need the cap space and they are as serious about the RB as they are the K and backup QB position right now, and we see how they work is being done to get those right. If Martin turns in a decent game against the Browns, the only thing that will get him cut is his off-field problem (and that’s not happening, at least not over the coming season).

  15. Maze Says:


  16. Maze Says:

    The wise approach is keeping your by far most talented back on the roster and anything else is retarded

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    We have learned that McNichols has a long way to go. He so far has looked fairly blah.

    Sims is a third down back.

    Barber has some smash, but that’s it.

    Rodgers is not a bell cow, not even close.

    Martin, by far, is the cream of that group.

  18. Maze Says:

    Martin making a lot of people around here look damn foolish

  19. Batman Wood Says:

    Martin looked good overall, but it still seemed slow to the hole. He’s tough but has no real burst and can’t shake a linebacker in the open field. I like Barber and hope he gets a big workload early on.

  20. Lamarcus Says:

    Even my wife w a football IQ of a 2 yr old says the bucs would be dumb to cut Martin. Then she did not even realize Mcweapon cuz w a name like that I didnt add up. Come on ppl. Dm ain’t CAN’T go no where

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    It’s amazing what a decent OL does for the running game, huh?

    I’ll review the game today, but does anyone recall him being hit behind the LOS last night? Last season with 5 carries he’d have been hit twice…

  22. LargoBuc Says:

    Martin looked dam good tonight. He knows whats at stake. I cant speak for anything beyond this year but I would guess that Martin will be our starting rb, unless someone else really steps up those first three games. But I haven’t seen anything to suggest that will happen.

  23. tmaxcon Says:

    3 good runs against a horrible jaguar team is hardly a guarantee Doug Martin is great. 3 good runs against a horrible jag team also does not erase the fact the unreliable gerbil has sucked 3 out of 5 years in the league… don’t get your hopes up dm fans he can’t be counted on and will fail miserably. wait for the 30 for 30 it will be much more entertaining than that losers career highlights.

  24. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    I think after last night, Barber’s stock went up past Sims…we say Sims is a third down back because he can catch (and Sims sucks running up the middle), but I think Barber can do all, from what we saw with him against the second team. I’d like to see him used more Saturday with less from Martin (makes sense anyway given suspension and fact Martin looked good), and then Sims. Sim’s needs to show they Bucs need to keep him at this point past Week 3. Barber seems the frontrunner for #3, and I think McNichols keeps #4 no matter what. Barber strikes me as the next Ernest Graham at the very least. Very good backup or rotator on RB-by-committee, versatile, good team mate.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    Poor tmax, all that’s left is butthurt rage with his “analysis” going down the drain of casual fan obscurity.

    Martin looked like his old form, and True Bucs Fans should be pleased.

    “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

  26. tmaxcon Says:


    so in your mind 3 good runs last night offset letting his teammates down and sucking for 3 out 5 years. how does that add up. Please explain to me if you were jason licht and gave that punk loser all that money knowing full well he had issues. You know doug looked licht in the eye and said it would not be a problem going forward and guess what it was a huge problem. he screwed licht and koetter and more importantly he screwed his teammates over not to mention he was the worst back in the nfl last year. So in your mind 3 good carries last night erases all the red flags and past discretions. I’ll give you martin has talent when he is right but gambling on a running back who has proven is bad more than right is a stupid play by anyone especially given the bucs playoff aspirations.

  27. Bird Says:

    They won’t owe him his full salary if he does come back either . No pay for those 3 games

  28. Lamarcus Says:


    Let it go dude. Dm was impressive and let’s be real. No way a NFL coach cuts Martin without a decent replacement. 2 out 5 years of 1400 is better than 95 percent of the league. Or probably 98 percent. Tell me a rb that had that kind of production in the past that can be had right now?

    I’ll do w Dm. U can do w mc weapons of the world

  29. tmaxcon Says:


    so when doug screws the team over this year and I blast you and cobraboy can you please give me a preview of all the excuses you will use. kind of board this morning and could use a good laugh.

  30. Getaclue Says:

    If the Bucs were serious about moving on from Martin there are about 10 backs we passed on and half I’m going to hate watching on other teams, might as well have Lumpkin back out there

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    I think it’s easy to forget how Martin looked in 2015 and 2012. Martin may not be AP, LT, or Barry Sanders (obviously!) but he’s better than the rest of the RBs on the roster right now. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, If Doug Martin doesn’t fail a pee-pee test, he would STILL be the starting RB.

  32. Nano Says:

    And you wanted him out the door !!!
    Stop it lol

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    @TMax: If Martin has a nice year what will you say then?

    I’d say the odds are much better of him being solid that crash and burning.

    Guaranteed, Licht and Koetter are smiling behind their hard-ass public position on Martin.

  34. Pickgrin Says:

    Martin looked good. Barber too. Thought McNichols had a couple nice runs. That run where JMac moved a pile forward about 6 yards on his own strength was pretty impressive.

    Still sticking with your “10% chance Martin stays” prediction Joe?

  35. Rob in Land O' Lakes Says:

    Cobraboy wrote: “It’s amazing what a decent OL does for the running game, huh? …… does anyone recall him being hit behind the LOS last night? Last season with 5 carries, he’d have been hit twice.”

    Amen to that brother! Last year and during the offseason, when I suggested that the OL was the main problem, I was looked at like I had three heads.

  36. JAB83 Says:

    What make The Muscle Hamster so good when he is NOT HURT. 2 of 5 years. Is his ability to run to daylight and run THROUGH the first line of defense.

    IMHO year 5 was a mistake most young men, HUMBLE by nature, run into when the have success. He simply forgot what got him to that point. NOT the physical part but the mental part.

    HE WILL NOT BE CAGED. Instead he will cage your thoughts of him. He will announce his denial of his super hero form is what lead to his issues. And once and for all he will be known as The Muscle Hamster.

    Long Live The Muscle Hamster

  37. unbelievable Says:

    It’s just preseason but anyone with working eyes saw that Martin was clearly the best RB last night, by a very wide margin. Rodgers couldn’t do anything. Barber showed some nice ability but of course that was against the 2s and 3s.

  38. 813bucboi Says:

    DOUG WILL BE A BUC WEEK4….he is our best rb and the run aint sh!t without him….the key to the season will be the run game….GO BUCS!!!!

  39. unbelievable Says:

    ^ yup that’s another good point. He’s was injured all Of his bad years. Not like he just played 16 healthy games and stunk it up. Certain ppl seem to forget that. Of course availability is key in the NFL but it still bears mentioning…

  40. pick6 Says:

    that starting interior gets alot of credit for the revival. i think it will be alot easier to run the ball this year if that interior trio stays healthy. as far as doug, i saw similar jump cuts from doug last year before getting hurt, he just had no space to jump into

  41. Guzzie Says:

    I really like McNichols, he’s short but not small, he’s bigger and faster than Dalvin, I think once by mid season he’ll be our top back

  42. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    “Martin skeptics like Joe might smile thinking Martin certainly enhanced his very limited trade value last night.’

    You just can’t help yourself from yourself. It was evident last night that Martin is far and away the most talented runner we have.

    Quizz looked pretty bad against the 1st team defense, Sims didn’t get many touches, Barber looked good against the 2’s, and Mchnichol’s looked very much like a rookie trying to figure out how to play the position.

    As of right now, Doug is firmly cemented as our week 4 starter.

  43. Pickgrin Says:

    Guzzie – JMac and Cook ran the same 40 time (4.49) at the combine. I suspect that Cook can run faster than what he did at the combine though so no – McNichols is not “faster” than Dalvin Cook.

    And Cook is listed at 213 lbs – JMac is listed at 212. So no he’s not “bigger” either – just more solidly built since Cook is 2 inches taller.

    However, JMac did score more TDs than Cook over the last 2 years (53 vs 40) which ain’t easy to do – so there’s that.

  44. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Not saying this to try and take anything away from Mcnichols, but a lot of his production is based around/ was manufactured due to the fact that he was the only player at Boise state with true NFL caliber talent for the last 2 years.

    I say that raw production in College is secondary to the manner in which it was produced. Film is key. That’s why Joe Mixon was picked in the second round despite immensely controversial off the field issues.

    It’s also why Mchnichols lasted until the 5th round.

  45. BucThis Says:

    The truth is we will see after the third game. If our running game is tearing it up behind an awesome line they won’t have a reason to keep the huge DM salary. If the holes are there and yet the backs are still sucking then expect DM to be back. It’s hard to compare backs in a preseason game as the line rotates out. After week 3 the coaches will know what they have and who to keep. Until then it is just internet fodder…

  46. Howard Cosell Says:

    Martin looked good?
    Where did I hear that before? OH YEAH, it’s time for a
    Howard flashback (like a Realist Repost)…

    Howard Cosell Says:
    June 1st, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Are the Bucs disappointed with Martin? Of course they are.
    Were they mad at Doug? I think everyone was.

    However the fact is that he’s still a top shelf RB in the league and probably the best Rb on the Bucs roster. Getting rid of him would be foolish especially since the Bucs are not on the hook for much money.
    Add to that the fact that Martin works best during “prove it” years.

    Not only will he start in game 4 but he’ll go on to have a great season.
    Instruct the scribes to write it thusly upon scrolls of gold.

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    The “dropped” pass was actually a pretty difficult one to catch as Winston threw it pretty high. If Doug was a WR then I’d say hey, if you can get your hands on the ball you have to catch it, but he’s not a WR and thus I don’t really put it on him. Also he was going to get tackled immediately in any case so the play didn’t do anything other than affect Winston’s completion percentage.

  48. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Salary this, Salary that, It don’t matter dude. We are no where even close to the vicinity of being in cap trouble.

    If our O-line is tearing it up as you proposed in your hypothetical scenario, and we have no financial worries, it would only make sense to have the most talented RB we have running behind that bad ass O-line.

    Having said that, I do think that there will be a restructuring of Martins contract, one with a lower base salary, but with performance based incentives. To take advantage of Doug Martin’s drive in prove it situations, or as Licht phrased it, him needing a carrot.