Dirk Koetter Plays Defense For Doug Martin

November 21st, 2017

Before Joe gets rolling here, newcomers should know that Joe invested a ton of time last year, and through the 2017 offseason, explaining that Doug Martin should not be on the Tampa Bay roster.

But here he is, soaking up an overblown paycheck. And Martin continues to be a poor running back.

Martin is averaging 3.1 yards per carry on lot of touches. He averages 16 carries per game, which ranks 12th most in the NFL.

That brutal yards-per-carry average is near the very bottom of the league — where Martin finished last year among full-time running backs at 2.9 yards per carry.

Ok. So Martin is bad. Not a shock at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters. But what is stunning is that he is being absolved of blame by so many people.

Sure, running the football is a group effort, but so much of this is on Martin. Dirk Koetter, however, disagrees. Koetter issued a firm defense of his go-to running back yesterday.

Joe can only wonder what Charles Sims, Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers thought hearing Koetter basically say they can’t perform like Doug has.

“It’s not him that is not consistently moving the ball. In my opinion, he is not the reason we are not moving the ball on offense. If you look at that tape, Doug’s making a little bit out of not too much more often than not. We went over this exact thing last week,” Koetter told assembled media Monday. “When the passing game is not going well, the quarterback takes the heat. When the running game is not going good, the running game probably takes too much heat. It’s a team effort. If we went through all 19 of Doug’s carries we would see he had an explosive on the trap on the first drive [and] he had a nice seven-yard run that he bounced outside. Doug had a couple really nice runs that were four-yard gains.”

“… The running back is going to take the hit. Believe me if we thought Gale Sayers was sitting back there behind Doug [Martin], he’d be in there. I haven’t seen Gale out there.”

Joe is so sick and tired of the Martin fanboys (Koetter is not a fanboy, but could be soon) talking about the small handful of good runs Martin has each week.

Jiminy Christmas! The guy should have small handful with 16 carries a game.

What about all the times Martin isn’t hitting holes hard? Heck, Joe watches the tape, too, and it’s obvious Martin is leaving plenty on the field. Or, Martin isn’t leaving anything on the field; he’s simply getting the most he can out of his declining burst and inconsistent vision.

Chucky didn’t think he had “Gale Sayers” on the bench when he ignored Earnest Graham for years. And then when Graham was forced into action in 2007, he led the Bucs to a playoff berth. Undrafted rookie LeGarrette Blount didn’t get the rock full-time until Week 6 of the 2010 season. He finished with 1,000 yards that year and put the Bucs on his back.

During the debacle of the 2013 season, rookie Mike James was an afterthought until an injury to a struggling Martin pressed him into action in Week 6. James was a studly 57 carries for 283 yards until he got hurt. And guess what, after Jameis went down, off-the-street Bobby Rainey had rushing games of 163 and 127 yards.

Heck, look what Jacquizz Rodgers accomplished last season.

It happens several times a year across the NFL: out-of-nowhere running backs get a shot and thrive.

All Bucs fans really know about the running game is that it’s been rather sad for six weeks with Martin getting nearly all the work. Nobody can argue that.

Unless other running backs get a shot at Martin’s role, we’ll never really know what they can do.

Joe doesn’t see Koetter shuffling the offensive line, so why not the running back for a game?

Rodgers was strong with 16 carries for 83 yards against the Giants and earned a “game ball” from Koetter. He has only has nine carries in the last seven games. Joe can only imagine what’s going through Rodgers’ head these days.

51 Responses to “Dirk Koetter Plays Defense For Doug Martin”

  1. Chris Rob Says:

    Doug martin had 74 yds against the pats tho?? whose a better team the pats are the giants???… ill wait…. … Patriots have the worst run defense in the NFL allowing 5.0 yards per carry. The Giants check in at 4.4 yards per carry allowed. It’s all there at NFL.com –Joe

    Its the offensive line, not saying doug is a stud running back but hes good enough to be productive with at least decent offensive line play, why do yall continue to defend this terrible o-line, nobody on this o line has been to a pro bowl, doug has but for some reason yall thing this o line is great or something. I really dont get it. yall should check out Steve Cheh’s bucs game breakdowns on twitter, its clear as day

    Never wrote that the O-line is great. But it seems you have no interest in facts based on your opening line. –Joe

  2. simeon 97 Says:

    Doug martin stinks. Dump him.

  3. Jacko101 Says:

    I must say… I 100% agree with Dirk. As a Former RB myself i assure you Doug is not the problem. It’s not even worth debating honestly. Send Doug packing and you’d see. The O-line does not push…. running plays are too predictable and lineman are often in the backfield.

  4. Doctor Stroud Says:

    It looks like Coach Koetter is blocking better than the offensive line.

  5. mike10 Says:

    This offensive line is garbage.. I’m sick of seeing Martin getting blasted in the backfield or having to make a move as he’s being handed off the ball.

    Swallow your pride from time to time Joe and call it AT LEAST a collective effort. Seems you didn’t read what’s written here.–Joe

    Does Martin not make people miss in the secondary at times when he should, yes. Has he missed visible holes, yes. Who doesn’t?!

    But to run (ha) a single narrative down our throats week after week with the video is so clear, makes you appear unable to get over your personal feelings in the pursuit of a solution.
    You’re right. The video is clear. It’s hardly unreasonable for Dirk to give another back a chance. And by the way, ask an offensive lineman anywhere and they’ll tell you that sometimes (keyword: sometimes) a line will come together better blocking for a new running back, especially a young guy getting shot.–Joe

  6. BigHogHaynes Says:

    No defense needed: This O-Line SUCKS and is regressing weekly! TAKE A KNEE!!!…KEEP AMERICA FREE!!

  7. The Buc Realist Says:

    Joe says
    “Joe doesn’t see Koetter shuffling the offensive line, so why not the running back for a game?”

    They did this past offseason!!!!! 3 new players in new positions!!!!!!!! No none of the the RB are good enough behind this line!!!! But the line is not good and Joe looks foolish to ignore this over his crusade to bench or cut DM22!!!!!!!!

    And the passing game is to blame as well, as they are not good enough to get extra men out of the box!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Chris Rob Says:

    Who do yall want running the ball? what team has won a superbowl with a STUD running back?? i cant remeber the last great running back to win a superbowl. This game isnt about skill positions its about the trenches. how many championships does AP have? how many championships does David Johnson have? How many championships does zeke have?.. the running game wont change till we get at least 3 new O line men and a new O line coach. Why has charles sim regressed so much?? is charles sims old and washed up too?? he had over 1000 yds from scrimmage his rookie year, but now he cant run anymore??

  9. Howard Cosell Says:

    Martin sux AND the Oline sux too!
    It’s a double-dip of suckage.

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    Blount had more explosives and broken tackles in a half a season as Martin has had in a career.
    Like always, they pushed their draft pick to the front of the line and sent the better player packing.

  11. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    The Muscle Turtle is so slow he cannot turn the edge even when the OL DOES set him up.

    Virtually every successful run of five or more yards I’ve seen Doug make the Oline has opened a hole big enough for the proverbial truck. Yep anybody can run the ball behind a bruising OL that does that every play. Very few OL’s in the league can do that.

    I do not believe Doug sucks…I do not believe he’s great…he’s become a journeyman NFL running back…he is to NFL RB’s what Fitz is to NFL QB’s. Given the right opportunity he can look OK….Doug won’t win a game for you but he probably won’t lose it either…doesn’t put the ball on the ground and blocks OK…..that pretty much describes Doug…OK…I think it describes our OL as well…OK…when you combine two OK’s and send them against the NFL which demands excellence not OK…you have a weak running game.

  12. Capt Kidd Says:

    He had 38 yds last week and 37 of them were after contact. Anyone with eyeballs can see there’s nowhere to run, I don’t care who the back is.

  13. Lamarcus Says:

    I believe it’s a mix of both. Dm gets most of the blame. But oline has regressed more than any unit on this team.

    Dsmith- weakest link by far
    Lg-who knows
    Sweezy-on his azz too many times
    Dotson- most consistent yet gets bullrushed too often
    Te blocking is the worse I seen ever
    No full back
    Dm- idk what he doing most of the time trying to be patient when this oline is letting ppl free to clean shots too often. I did watch all the tape.

  14. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with the Kidd. It just seems that every time Doug gets to the line (rather quickly too) there are a couple of LBs waiting for him. To this (admittedly unprofessional) eye, it looks like there are seldom any holes opened for him.

  15. BucFanFromOH Says:

    I love how you guys blast Joe for simply not sharing your same opinion. Facts are simple, every player on the Bucs roster that has ran the ball even once has a better yards per carry average than Martin. Yes, everyone who has ran the ball, not just running backs. That means Jameis Winston, Bernard Reedy, and DeSean Jackson (plus all other the RB’s on the team) ALL have better averages than Martin.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    We’re forgetting ONE more aspect to this equation: Play-calling. Running on predictable “run downs” using the same 6 plays is not going to net ANY RB much yardage. When you couple that with an average RB and a poorly performing o-line you get garbage.
    Who on the roster is going to succeed given those circumstances? Sims, the dancer? Quizz, the diminutive one? Barber, a bigger Doug Martin? The best back is toting the ball and getting zip. Do we really believe that one of these other guys will fare any better?!
    Oh, and I have two words for Koetter: FULL BACK.

  17. PRBucFan Says:

    Quit with the nonsensical witch hunt, we all watch the games, we all see him getting blown up the moment he touches the ball on most touches lol.

  18. PRBucFan Says:

    A tired narrative indeed.

  19. Kevin Says:

    He’s not playing great, but i’m pretty sure Barber, Rodgers and Sims aren’t any better right now. In the playing time they have seen this season they haven’t looked good.

  20. Freder Says:

    Joe you’re not just expressing an opinion, this has gotten to be a vendetta. What?
    Has it been three years of this nagging like an insecure housewife. Take a break.
    Joe wants to win football games. Simple as that. Joe knows the Bucs need a shred of a running game to do that consistently.–Joe

  21. DB55 Says:

    Never wrote that the O-line is great. But it seems you have no interest in facts based on your opening line. –Joe
    Idk about that. I think you have in the past

  22. Joe Says:


    OK, Joe caves. Doug Martin is even better than Jim Brown. Doug Martin averages 12 yard a carry and if he gets 50 touches a game (like he normally does) the rest of the year he will have 3,500 yards. Joe is collecting cash to build a statue for the guy in front of the Den of Depression as the great running back who ever lived. Why, Doug Martin doesn’t even need an offensive line, he can break 20 tackles on each carry on his way to his normal five touchdowns a game.

    Feel better?

  23. DB55 Says:

    Koetter threw away this season by focusing too much on getting Djax the ball.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    Somebody get a straight-jacket! Joe is on the verge of insanity!

    I only know of ONE back who didn’t need an o-line: #20 Barry Sanders (GOAT)

  25. DB55 Says:


    The way you feel about Martin is how I feel about gmc. These damn fanboys be killing me and they obviously don’t watch tape. 1 good game in 3 years a hof does not make.

  26. Freder Says:

    Please. I never said he was the best ever, just the best the Bucs have. He’s a bell cow and it’s difficult to assess if the other backs could fulfill that role. No, this is about you’re neurotic obsession with Doug. Other than that, you run a fine website here.
    It is NOT “difficult to assess.” Give them the rock and see what happens. –Joe

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    There are 3 factors at play here IMO:
    (1) Doug Martin … He’s not running with ‘reckless abandon’ like RBs should (too much time dancing, probably because he doesn’t trust this OLine to have a crease opened for him to squeeze through). He’s not fast enough to pop it outside if the inside gets clogged.
    (2) Bucs’ OLine … Their run-blocking is horrific most of the time. The DLine is setting the tone at the LOS & bottling them up far too easily. And they need a true leader on the field (like Mankins was). I’m wondering too if George Warhop is the best OLine coach for this group.
    (3) Dirk Koetter … There’s zero ‘suspense’ to our running game (very predictable for the most part). Play designs look to be very vanilla in comparison to what I’ve seen from some of the better running teams (such as Dallas last year?).

    Combine those 3 factors and it’s a disaster in the making. Joe, I’d also love to see Barber get more touches, but I seriously doubt that he’d fare much better than Martin given the same number of touches against the same teams. The only way to fix this running mess IMO is to (1) Draft a RB next spring; (2) Replace at least 2 of our OLinemen with players who can kick butt; and (3) Get Dirk Koetter to relinquish his OC hat to someone else.

  28. BucFanFromOH Says:

    HAHAHA Joe for the win!

  29. meh Says:

    Most of his yards are after contact. This is mostly an offensive line problem.

  30. Hodad Says:

    If Koetter wants to blame someone other then Martin for the teams running woes, he should look no further then the mirror. We all watch the games, I know, you know, the defense knows where, and when the ball is being run. Who’s fault is that?

  31. WyldKat Says:

    It’s an offense problem. Between the QB, O-line, DM, and the playcalling; everything never comes together at the same time for these guys.

  32. unbelievable Says:

    It seems J0e needs to reevaluate his running back evaluation skills. Or just keep the crusade going, no biggie.

    At St. Pete- I heard you mention that play to the outside edge a few times since Sunday… This was at the very end of the game, we were trying to keep the clock running. Looked to me like Martin intentionally slowed up to turn more upfield and stay in bounds, instead of pushing it further outside where he would have been surely tackled out of bounds instead, hence stopping the clock.

    This stuff w/ DM has gotten so ridiculous, I’m not even a huge fan of his. But J0e is turning me into a staunch supporter with his refusal to assign more blame to the o-line and/or playcalling. I’d break down the blame in the run game as follows:

    O-Line – 45%
    Playcalling – 30%
    Doug Martin – 25%

    Simple as that, but wtf do I know?

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    WyldKat Says:
    November 21st, 2017 at 3:53 pm
    It’s an offense problem. Between the QB, O-line, DM, and the playcalling; everything never comes together at the same time for these guys.


    and who’s in charge of the offense….DIRK….that’s the problem with the offense….his system/scheme….

    first we didn’t have weapons….then it was we have no running game….then it was the QB is too inaccurate….now its the oline…..whats next?….we’re running out of excuses….

    the problem is everything is predictable…..not just the play calling but the routes the wrs are running, the blocking concepts, the QB reads….everything is predictable….wrs don’t run option routes…defenses know whats coming as soon as we line up….

    with all the weapons we have we only have 1 money play and that’s the back door pass to OJ in the flat….that play is guaranteed to get us a first down or TD….GO BUCS!!!!

  34. Pryda...sec 147 Says:

    Dougie I’m rooting for you !!!

  35. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    Dougie can block better than rogers and barber I guess. Never seen a coach start an RB cause they block well, but here it is. Koetter really crapped the bed this year with play calling.

  36. JimmyJack Says:

    I was a Doug defender but at some point you have to face it that the guy is not a feature back in this league anymore……..I’m guilty of hope wishing for hi to return to 2015 form.

    DIRK is right that he does tend to churn out a yard or 2 when it’s not really there but that doesn’t make up for his inability to make any cuts or make defenders miss.

    When I’ve watched Doug I have seen him getting beyond the line and to the second level at a decent clip…………No, sorry DM fanclub, he is not getting hit behind the line every carry. That’s an excuse.

    Runners in this league are paid to make plays once they hit that second level. This is why Joe keeps bringing up his YPC because getting past that 2nd level is whena runner is able to hit a good chunck(which equates to points) and inflate his YPC……..Martin is just not good enough to get past the second level anymore in his career……….This is not hating Doug . In fact I’d like to see Jim finish his career here as a complimentary back. Of course he is being paid as a feature back so that is not feasible.

  37. JimmyJack Says:

    And I .can care less what Dirk says about RBs. I never thought Sims was any more then a gimmick back before Dirk handed him the ball as a feature back last year.

    Not only does Dirk give Sims the ball but he gives him the ball game after game after game. He was wrong to give him the ball and didnt adjust.

    Now he is wrong about Martin and isn’t adjusting. Get a real HC in here and the first thing they do is put Barber in there……….And if Barber doesn’t get it done they wouldn’t take 5 games of trying to go to Quiz.

    Is Dirk the same guy who didn’t run Steven Jackson enough in Atlanta when he obviously had something left in the tank? Another botch job…….Maybe he learned it from Mike Smith who keep Kwon o the field when he got back from injury

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    derrickbrooks……..If Barber .cant Handle pass protection then why has he been on the team the last 3(2?) years?

    Same with Quiz…….That can only be an excuse with a RB in his first year on a new team. Either get competent backs on the team or get anew RB coach……Again, adjust fix the goddamm problem already. We were horrible at running last year. Do something to fix it. Getting worse is not an option in this league.

  39. Reach87 Says:

    Unbelievable’s post matches my eye test. Martin gets hit in the backfield way too often for it to be all or mostly on him. No need for a witch hunt, though. Running game (coaches, line, backs) all play a role. They have potential, though and are NOT bums who should be traded or cut. Keep the faith that we’ll see them gel and come thru soon…this week. Go Bucs!

  40. BucTrooper Says:

    The plan was “Pray Doug Martin returns to form.”

    The plan failed.

  41. PRBucFan Says:

    Doug is supposed to block for himself guys. Didn’t you know?

    He’s also supposed to not get blown up on every first down in which defenses pin their ears back and completely own our o-line because they know 99.8% of the time Koetter is going to call a run on first down lol.

  42. unbelievable Says:


    yes he is supposed to also disguise the run play and fool all 11 defenders on those obvious 1st down running plays. Plus block them all. And run the ball.

    Meanwhile, our o-line allowed 6 tackles for loss in the backfield, 6 QB hits, 1 sack, and 6 penalties– which, among other things, negated a touchdown by OJ, canceled out a <em30 yard run by Martin, took us out of FG range, and ended 2 other drives prematurely.

    Man, if only Doug would stop causing all the penalties and missed protections on the o-line. What a bum!

  43. Season Is Over Says:

    The facts are that Rodgers(52) has about half as many carries as Martin(112). Barber(25) a quarter of the carries. So, we don’t want to hear the ‘give the other backs a chance’ lines. They both average slightly better than Martin in ypc in the low 3’s. I seriously mean slightly better. This is not coincidence when all three backs have the same poor rate of ypc. Koetter knows this already. It is why we see Martin each game. Even if Martin has lost a step, this coaching staff makes no player better by coaching them up. Koetter has hit his wall.
    Let’s get real here. We’re really going to compare Barber’s 25 carries to Martin? Barber has yet to be given the rock to start a game and develop a rhythm. As for Quizz, in the two games he was the go-to back, he was solid and the Bucs won both games. –Joe

    The agenda here is obvious and has been all season. This OL is probably the worst in the “Lost Decade”. The OL player choices and position shifting have been some of the worst front office decisions in recent memory. This is all on Licht’s shoulders. Can anyone remember the last time a Bucs’ OL got out for a secondary block to help the runner? How about a pulling guard to spring a runner? What a novel concept. They are getting steamrolled with a stacked box because neither Mr. Magoo or Fitzpatrick can dictate a proper offense. To not see this is just plain idiotic.

  44. THETRUTH Says:

    Tracy’s home to cowboys !!

    No vision !!

    Joe do you think Marpet going back and moving smith out will help Online ?

  45. THETRUTH Says:

    Trade martin to cowboys !! I meant , dam autocorrect

  46. Wesley Says:

    O-line just can’t run block, it’s pretty easy to see.

  47. firethecannons Says:

    I don’t give a shet about this DM22 bs. I wanna know who the third person was in the front seat. Joe, you said you had a hunch–lets have a poll on that.

  48. IsrBuc Says:

    Why do you even mention the fans? It’s between you and coach now. You put so much on what some fans think, you go on air and tell us doug is this and that and then coack tells you something different and you still talk about what fans think.
    I actually agree with you on that but a. Oline is garbage at run blocking and was very poor against the pass in the second half b. caoch also said he didn’t expect anything less from fitz and and only media people thought he isn’t good enough to play the way he did in the first half. Do you still think coach was playing run run pass in the 2nd because he was afraid the QB will implode with 3 pick sixes?

  49. CroatiaBucs Says:

    AHAHAHHAHA, how does that L taste Joe you salty ass? Ahahahha

    Serious though, it’s amazing. You dismiss what most people are saying about this issue for weeks and then you have an NFL head coach with years of experience working in the league confirn what we’ve been saying for years and you dismiss him too? Woooow.

    Yes, this is not Doug Martin from 2012. But he is still the best RB on the team running behind the crappy o-line. Donovan Smith is not a good LT. I think they should try him on other position, but clearly he’s been bad at LT position for most of his career. Demar Dotson in 32 and declining. JR Sweezy is not good. Evan Smith and Pamphile are not good. The only player on this line that will still be here as a starter is Ali Marpet, that’s it.

    The bottom line is, Doug Martin is still the best Bucs RB on this team. You put anyone behind this line and they won’t have more than 3.0 yards per carry. 90% of people agree with this, inculding the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. Other 10% are Doug Martin haters. Which includes you Joe.

    You don’t mind if I side with the NFL head coach, over you Joe, do you?

    Love the site though!

  50. The Anomaly Says:

    WHat a mistake to bring him back. Licht is in real trouble. Dirk will get next year.

    Cut Dud Martin please. WOrthless.

  51. Negative Jeff Says:

    80% o line 20% Martin. Martin has never had the best vision. When we cut Martin in the offseason I bet a $100 that Martin lands with a better team and magically will be able to run again.

    Joe, you are on a bit of a crusade here. Do you honestly think that Peyton Barber will do a better job behind this garbage line? Sweezy is awful. Just awful.