There’s been a lot of hype about the improvements the Buccaneers have made on offense this offseason. They signed DeSean Jackson and drafted O.J. Howard, and those moves should help Jameis Winston improve as a quarterback.
Doug Martin doesn’t want anyone to forget about him.
The Bucs will have to forget about the running back for the first three weeks of the season because he’s suspended for PEDs, but during offseason practices Martin has looked like he can make up for that absence when he’s activated.
“He looks like the Doug Martin of 2015,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.
The Doug Martin of 2015 ran for 1,402 yards and averaged a career-high 4.9 yards per carry. He was slowed by a hamstring injury in 2016 and plummeted to a career-low 421 yards in eight games.
The bad news is that the only two productive seasons of Martin’s five-year career have come when he’s played 16 games. That won’t happen this season. The good news is that the 28-year-old Martin is due for a big season. He ran for 1,454 yards in his rookie season, then combined for 950 yards in 17 games over the next two seasons. Then came 2015 followed by last year’s disastrous season in which he averaged 2.9 yards per carry.
If no one among Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jeremy McNichols or Peyton Barber step up and earn the starting job in the first three games, Martin will have a chance to prove that what he’s shown this spring is for real.