The Buccaneers rookies, minus Mark Barron, reported for training camp this week and had an on field workout Thursday morning. New Bucs running back Doug Martin took a few minutes with the media after practice and talked about what he feels he brings to the position.
Buccaneers first round pick, running back Doug Martin, drew quite the media crowd Thursday after the first rookie workout of training camp. The former Boise State star said has a simple goal to start with.
“I just want to be as productive as I can and do my best,” Martin said. “I’ve been in the playbook pretty much from the first day and I’m pretty used to it. What goes on here, it’s pretty different.”
Martin is expected to battle veteran running back LeGarrette Blount for playing time, but said don’t forget about the others on the roster.
“It’s not just LeGarrette (Blount),” Martin said. “We’ve got like five running backs in the room and there’s competition between everybody and all that’s going to do is make us better.”
Martin who ran for 1,290 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior, also is expected to be an upgrade in the passing game at the running back position after showing off his hands while in college. With 715 yards receiving in his career, Martin is confident he can be an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield.
“Like I said before, the versatility of being able to catch the ball out of the backfield is an advantage,” Martin said. “In this league, that it’s a passing league, that’s definitely an advantage to have.
“My versatility; that is definitely (another) advantage. Going into the season and training camp I’ll be able to run and catch balls out of the backfield and pass protect so I really think it’s that versatility.”
Martin also talked out his ability to pass protect.
“Not being the biggest guy is actually probably an advantage for me, but like I said, it’s about getting into that playbook, reviewing all those pass protections and alerts and all that stuff, it’s helped me a lot.”
The new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) that was signed before last season had a little known provision that allows rookies to report a week earlier than veterans. The Muscle Hamster – as he was known to his fans in Boise – wasn’t complaining about the early reporting date and sees the benefits of an early arrival in Tampa.
“It’s definitely helpful,” Martin said. “We have two, two and a half weeks off and I’m sure everybody will be a little rusty coming out so it’s definitely a good program to sharpen the details and get ready for this training camp so we can hit the ground running.”
Head coach Greg Schiano is expecting as much from Martin as Martin is from himself.
“I think the things that we liked when we drafted him,” Schiano said. “You know his quickness. His balance. His vision. He is a bright guy and I hope that he can bring what we saw in his college tape [and] that he can bring that to the National Football League. I have no reason to believe he can’t.
“I don’t have any favorites. You know I shouldn’t say that. I think Josh (Freeman) is the favorite to be quarterback (laughs). Most positions we will dish out the reps in an appropriate manner and then we will see where the chips fall.”
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