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    • michael89156

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      Koetter: Lack of carries hurt Bucs RB Martin’s production  doug_zpsogy4inan.png Bucs running back Doug Martin Martin, who appeared in only 11 games last year, ranked tied for 36th in the league in rushing attempts in 2014, gaining 494 yards on 134 carries, an average of just 12.1 per game. CHRIS URSO/STAFF   By Roy Cummings | Tribune Staff Published: August 6, 2015 at 06:58 PM TAMPA — Weak play by his offensive line and injuries to his shoulder, knee and ankle may not have been the only factors contributing to running back Doug Martin’s struggles the last two years.To hear Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter tell it, a lack of opportunity may have also played a role in Martin’s failure to reach the 500-yard rushing plateau, particularly last year.“A couple of years ago he was getting a lot of touches,’’ Koetter said, referring to the 2012 season, when Martin went to the Pro Bowl after running 319 times for 1,454 yards.“I mean, all the running backs I’ve been around — Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew, Stephen Jackson, Michael Turner — you know what they say? They say give me the rock. I’m sure Doug’s saying that, too.’’He may be. Martin, who appeared in only 11 games last year, ranked tied for 36th in the league in rushing attempts in 2014, gaining 494 yards on 134 carries, an average of just 12.1 per game. ***Man in the middleWhen the Buccaneers spent their fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft on LSU LB Kwon Alexander, their plan was to see if he could possibly unseat Danny Lansanah as the starting strongside linebacker.That plan has since changed.Alexander is working exclusively at middle linebacker, where he’s taking second-team reps behind projected starter Bruce Carter, but is consistently impressing the coaches.“It’s proved to be the right thing to do,’’ defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of moving Alexander. “Once we sat him down and told him, ‘This is what you have to concentrate on,’ we’ve see growth with him.“He’s been flashing out there, so we’re anxious to see how he keeps coming. We’re all intrigued with him. We thought we got a steal in the fourth round when we got him, and so far he hasn’t disappointed.’’To excel as a middle backer in the Tampa 2 scheme, a player must be able to call defensive plays and cover pass catchers running down the middle of the field. Alexander can do both, Frazier said.“We’ve really been impressed with how hard he studies and the way he prepares,’’ Frazier said. “And he’s a good athlete. He’s got good range. The thing that’s impressed us most is his ability to play man coverage.“He’s not just a guy who can drop in zone. We think we’ll be able to match him up against tight ends and running backs as well, and that’s always a plus the way teams spread you out in today’s NFL.”***Quick studyQB Jameis Winston came to the Bucs with a reputation for being a hard worker and quick learner. His teammates can attest to both attributes.“I come in pretty early every day, like between 6:30 and 7 a.m., and when I get here he is already in the locker room working on his abs and doing his core work with our strength coaches,” Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy said. “That means he’s already in the mix of it. He gets to meetings early and does everything he has to do off the field. He puts in all the work necessary and he has all the tools, too.’’One of those tools appears to be a lightning-fast ability to learn offensive schemes.“I heard he learned the offense in two days, which is crazy because he’s a quarterback and he has to learn everything,’’ second-year WR Mike Evans said. “It took me a while and I only have to learn one or two positions.’’

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    • Anonymous

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      I don’t know about lack of carries being the prob. He looks to be in much better shape now. So we will see, hopefully he wins comeback player of the year award.

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    • tbfan4047

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      I do like that Koetter seems to believe he can get Martin back to rookie year form. That’s encouraging coming from our new OC.

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    • Anonymous

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      Lack of carries? Sorry Koetter but thats just not true. Martin hasnt looked great for mainly 2 reasons. 1) he just simply hasnt looked as fast, lacked vision, and less wiggle. To summarize he just hasnt been as good.2) The Oline run blocking has been atrocious.I think its possible he has a big bounce back year because those 2 things could be corrected. He was clearly a better version of himself as a rookie, so perhaps being healthy and reportedly more fit and light will bring him back to his old version. And maybe the new Oline pieces and job competition coupled with the a real OC will make the Oline a lot better than last year. Im very worried about 2 rookies starting on the Oline but at least both are strong run blockers. D.Smith will be a good run blocker as a rookie and it was good to hear that Marpet was moving people back on run plays during his reps with the first team.

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    • Anonymous

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      #22 got hit by the “Lovie Effect”…  not his guy.

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    • Anonymous

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      It is amazing how many pieces from one of the worst offenses in the league over a two year period are being phased out.  Probably personal.

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    • Anonymous

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      I’m sure his ineffectiveness had nothing to do with it. When something isn’t working, apparently you are just supposed to keep doing it.

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    • Anonymous

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      I'm sure his ineffectiveness had nothing to do with it. When something isn't working, apparently you are just supposed to keep doing it.

      As long as you assign "his" ineffectiveness to him, perhaps.  But, who was the RB that stepped into that offense and lit it up with those touches that #22 wasn't getting?

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    • Anonymous

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      It was lack of vertical offense. Defense started coming down hill on us after Glennon and McCown started playing. Even in 2013 he was still averaging 105 yards per game and 4.1 ypc first 3 games with Freeman.

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    • Anonymous

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      It was lack of vertical offense. Defense started coming down hill on us after Glennon and McCown started playing. Even in 2013 he was still averaging 105 yards per game and 4.1 ypc first 3 games with Freeman.

      You mean those same 3 games where Freeman averaged 190 yards, 45% completion rate, and a cumulative total of 2 TDs 3 ints?

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    • Anonymous

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      Doug Martin is the new Caddy.  Had like 3-4 great games as a rookie and everything else has been garbage.  Rookie form, snookie form bah….3/4 of his rookie year sucked.

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    • Anonymous

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      Doug Martin is the new Caddy.  Had like 3-4 great games as a rookie and everything else has been garbage.  Rookie form, snookie form bah....3/4 of his rookie year sucked.

      I don't believe you can fake your way to almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

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    • Anonymous

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      to make up a number, i would say 99% of the time a RB needs to get to the LOS to be great.  if you are asking your RB to dodge his first guy about the time he is getting a handoff, its not his fault.the last couple years doug has had a few options.  get tackled 2 yards deep.  hit the "hole" hard and run up the back of your OL.  or dance in the backfield.  surprise surprise he aint looked great.  surprise surprise charles sims didnt look great coming off an ankle surgery facing the same 3 choices.99% of all RBs need a hole.

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    • Anonymous

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      …not to mention the times he did pop for a big gainer… only to look back at the yellow laundry.

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    • Anonymous

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      I'm sure his ineffectiveness had nothing to do with it. When something isn't working, apparently you are just supposed to keep doing it.

      As long as you assign "his" ineffectiveness to him, perhaps.  But, who was the RB that stepped into that offense and lit it up with those touches that #22 wasn't getting?

      His back-up has had a higher YPA for two years in a row. I'm sure the OL tries harder for Rainey, or some other BS excuse.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 577

      Doug Martin is the new Caddy.  Had like 3-4 great games as a rookie and everything else has been garbage.  Rookie form, snookie form bah....3/4 of his rookie year sucked.

      I don't believe you can fake your way to almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

      The last 2 years beg to differ I'm afraid.

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