Since the start of OTAs Doug Martin has looked like a player with something to prove.
The Boise State product, who’s entering a contract year, shed weight during the offseason to become faster and more agile. Now hovering around 205 pounds and making sharper cuts, it appears his effort is paying off.
“I did have to watch my diet,” Martin said Wednesday. “I couldn’t eat a lot of foods I wanted to eat – chinese, pizza… all that stuff. I had to eat high protein and carbs for energy, because I definitely wanted to shed the weight but keep the power as well.”
Martin has averaged 7.1 yards per carry this preseason, including six attempts for 59 yards on Monday night. Most fans are just starting to realize a rejuvenated player, but for those who attended practices, this is nothing new. Pads or no pads, the fourth-year pro has been going full speed throughout camp, finishing runs and setting his sights on the end zone every time his number is called.
“That gets you ready for the game,” Martin said. “Finishing those last 10 yards, getting past the defender or finishing in the end zone on some plays, that gets you ready for your conditioning during the game. It gets your legs ready for the game. That’s something that I try to do.”
Coaches have taken note of his preparation and work-ethic, as offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter compared his performance on Monday to that of training camp.
“What Doug did the other night in the game, that’s how Doug has been practicing every day,” Koetter said. “So that was not surprising that he did that. He’s been practicing like that. Doug definitely has a pep in his step and a smile on his face.”
Koetter has received praise for Martin’s early success, as some have suggested that the new offense has brought him back to rookie form – a Pro Bowl season in which he rushed for 1,454 yards. And while that may have a role, Koetter insists this is the only Doug Martin he’s ever known.
“A lot of people are saying that (he looks like a different player),” Koetter said. “You have to remember, I was in this same division when Doug was a rookie and that’s the Doug Martin I know. Plus I’m a huge Boise State fan, so that’s the Doug Martin I know. And he’s been that way since Day 1.”
Koetter was asked if Martin arrived to camp with added purpose. The offensive coordinators’s answer was simple.
“Yeah, contract year,” Koetter said. “It’s a contract year. We’ve all been there.”
While Martin admits the contract ads motivation, his main focus this season is doing his job and letting the rest take care of itself.
“Not going to lie, (the contract) is in the back of my mind but that’s something I’ll leave that to the people up front, because it’s just something that’s going to distract me,” Martin said. “I’m just going to go out there and do my job and get these W’s.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am very happy to see Martin playing to the caliber we expected after his rookie season. Glad to see him injury free. Go Bucs!
Hope the young man does well this season.
Hope the young man does well this season.
Martin, along with the rest of the offense, was left in shambles last year when OC Jeff Tedford did his disappearing act and then quit.
Martin was continually running into brick walls with nowhere to go when he got the ball last year during much of the season.
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Staying healthy is the key. The BUC’s go as far as he goes.
Good to see Doug regain his form, but just don’t call him that name. Here is his tweet to Ian Rapoport:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet Aug 25
Muscle hamster… out! RT @DougMartin22: @NFL Appreciate the shout out but can you refrain from using that name please?
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There are worse things to be called in life, believe me, I know.
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