Doug Martin RB TB 1 Day2 Comments

The Tampa Tribune says Doug Martin will see fewer touches under Lovie Smith than he saw while playing for Greg Schiano.

Doug Martin RB TB 1 Month1 Comment

ESPN Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas confirms Doug Martin "is the starter," but says the Bucs "want to use a rotation" at tailback this year.

The Bucs' new front office and coaching staff didn't draft Martin. They did draft Charles Sims with a top-70 pick, and Mike James returns after averaging nearly 5.0 yards per carry on 60 attempts. Bobby Rainey is also on the roster. We fully expect Martin to lead Tampa Bay in 2014 rushing attempts, but he may be spelled fairly regularly by passing-down specialist Sims, and possibly James. OC Jeff Tedford is an admitted proponent of RBBCs.

Doug Martin RB TB 1 Month

Speaking Tuesday, coach Lovie Smith insisted Doug Martin will remain integral to the Bucs' offense.

Smith dismissively referred to talk of a diminished role for Martin as "chatter," while also admitting his workload will decrease. Smith's point is that Martin's role will remain big, just not as big as it was. "One running back just can't make it through the season," Smith said. Martin clearly won't be the 80-percent-of-the-snaps player he was in 2012-13, but remains an RB2 with RB1 upside. Third-rounder Charles Sims is going to eat into Martin's work on passing downs.

Doug Martin RB TB 2 Months4 Comments

Bucs OC Jeff Tedford plans to "alternate" running backs this season because he believes it's "just too physical" for one to carry the entire load.

"I don't believe that one back can carry the load," Tedford said. "It's just too physical. I think you probably need to have 2-3 guys to bring different things to the table." The days of Doug Martin seeing 368 touches like he did as a rookie appear to be over. The Bucs have a stable of able ball-carriers, including Martin, Bobby Rainey, Mike James, and rookie Charles Sims. Three of them are likely to see action. Martin is currently Rotoworld's No. 11 running back. Working in Martin's favor is the Bucs' plan to pound the ball on the ground.

Doug Martin RB TB 2 Months

The Buccaneers are only likely to keep four of the seven runningbacks currently on the roster.

Doug Martin and rookie Charles Simms are locks to make the roster. That leaves Bobby Rainey, Mike James, and Jeff Demps to battle it out for at most two spots. Demps is an Olympic-level sprinter that should be used on special teams. Rainey and James both played well as starters at different points in 2013. The Bucs will end up cutting a good player this preseason.

Doug Martin RB TB 2 Months

The Buccaneers' website anticipates rookie Charles Sims "taking a handful of carries" per game from Doug Martin, "and perhaps also serving as the third-down back."

Bucs.com's Scott Smith makes it clear he expects Sims to be a "complementary" player -- not a threat to Martin's starting job -- but this isn't the first indication Sims could steal passing-game work from Tampa Bay's feature runner. Smith does not expect Martin to return to his 2012 form of 1,926 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns. Sims will be a solid handcuff, especially in PPR leagues.

Doug Martin RB TB 2 Months

Coach Lovie Smith issued a vote of confidence to Doug Martin last week.

Smith says the surprising selection of West Virgina RB Charles Sims in the third round was about adding a passing-down back, not about Martin's 3.59 YPC last season. "He's an All-Pro running back. There is nothing to dislike about Doug Martin. At the same time, we want Doug around here for many years. You need to have some other guys. He can't carry it every second," Smith said. Martin's role as a two-down workhorse and goal-line back is intact.

Doug Martin RB TB 3 Months

ESPN Bucs reporter Pat Yasinskas does not expect the Bucs to split up the carries too much.

As a rookie under Greg Schiano in 2012, Martin racked up 319 of the team's 371 running back carries. New coach Lovie Smith projects to give him a little more of a break, but he's already stated plans to "lean" on his starter. The talent gap between Martin and Mike James/Bobby Rainey is wide. Martin, who is fully recovered from a torn labrum, remains a good bet for 300 carries in new OC Jeff Tedford's run-first scheme.

Doug Martin RB TB 4 Months

Doug Martin (shoulder surgery) confirmed he's been medically cleared.

Doug Martin RB TB 4 Months

Coach Lovie Smith said the Bucs are going to "lean" on Doug Martin.

Smith believes in taking his starting running back off the field when a breather is needed, not implementing a true committee. "I think you have to have a bell cow. [Martin] is ours. ... Two will play, but it's not a rotation that where every series we're going to have a different guy in there." With his shoulder healed and the new regime implementing a run-first scheme, Martin has major bounce-back appeal. Mike James and Bobby Rainey are his current backups.