The Buccaneers were celebrating the return of Doug Martin on Wednesday, but it didn’t go without recognizing that his job got a little bit tougher last week when All-Pro guard Logan Mankins called it a career.
When asked about Mankins, head coach Dirk Koetter began by calling him “one of the best players and an even better guy”, but as far as the team is concerned, he’s confident in the next-man-up approach.
“We’re going to miss a lot of things about Logan, but life goes on and the next man has to step up,” Koetter said. “The guys who are out there, whoever it is, we’ll have ‘em ready.”
Later in the afternoon, Doug Martin was reached via conference call to talk about his new five-year, $35.75 million deal. After expressing his excitement in returning to Tampa – a mutual feeling between he and the team – Martin echoed Koetter’s sentiments about Mankins and where the offense goes from here.
“Logan Mankins is a true pro and a future Hall of Famer,” Martin said. “He will be missed, but I’m glad able that he was able to show those guys (Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet) how to really play the position – the type of attitude and aggressiveness that you need. He will be missed, but I know the guys we have now are going to play in his honor.”
For those worried Martin’s success was only because it was a contract year, the 27-year old back assured that he isn’t that type of guy. The pieces are in place on offense and he’s ready to take the next step forward, both personally and with his team in 2016.
“I think it’s going to be better than last year,” Martin said. “If you look to the previous year when I was hurt, we didn’t really have an offensive coordinator and weren’t really as potent of an offense. This coming year we have something to build on and I’m ready for the challenge. If anything, I think it’s going to get better.”
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.
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I don’t think Martin is that type of guy either but I don’t think the Seahawks guard we just signed is the second coming of Mankins either.
We got extremely lucky when we picked up Joe Hawley last year. He and Mankins gave the line some attitude and passed it along to Marpet.
Doug was right about the lack of an offensive coordinator killing the offense the year before. The running game wasn’t successful regardless of the back in 2014. Conversely the running game was just as good whether Martin or Sims was running it in 2015.
Heard our new Guard Sweezy is a nasty road grader! I think this is a good thing. We need attitude on the line. He will need to work on his pass blocking a bit, but I think he will help RB Martin to another awesome year!
Mankins had a poor 2014 and an better 2015. Nowhere near his probowl production in new england though. His leadership and toughness will be missed but I am excited to watch JR Sweezy and Kevin Pamphile compete in training camp.
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