About the author

Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

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    It’s silly to pin a loss on a single player when nearly the entire team under-performed in the game. First and foremost the defense under-performed the most – more than doubling the points allowed in the previous 5 game win streak. The offense slightly under-performed only a little (20 points vs. 22.6 points) the five game average coming in to Dallas.

    And of course, lest we forget, Dallas currently enjoys the best record in the league at 12-2, and has the fourth ranked defense in points allowed, and face it only Bucs homers predicted a Bucs win for that game. So searching for scapegoats on that loss is not a useful exercise.

    Martin is clearly having a bad year compared to his good years. Injury obviously played a part. The offensive line has been on again/off-again, and was definitely off again against the Cowboys.

    Saying it was a mistake to sign him to a second contract, however, is just 20/20 hindsight.Doug Martin was after second in the league last year, barely losing out to Adrian Peterson who has a much fatter contract and has also missed a lot of playing time this season. Also, Martin could easily come on strong in the remaining games this season and, we hope, this post- season, and he could also very easily come back next year as he did last year. Keep in mind, we’re still paying him less ($7.15M) compared to other star running backs in the league on their second contracts, like Adrian Peterson ($14M) and LaSean Mccoy ($8.01M). McCoy is having another good season, but AP has only produced 72 yards this season.

    Patience, Butterfly!

    1. 1.1


      Don’t think the loss is all the fault of the running game…but Dallas won because they could run and compliment the pass game…unlike our offense everything rested on Winston and that is really tough against a good defense. Would like to see Rogers start this week to see if we can spark the running game again!

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    Good grief – this sounds like 2014-isms all over again…”trade Martin or cut him…he’s terrible”. There’s nothing wrong with Martin. Our OLine is being exposed for what it is this year, without Mankins in particular, – subpar – and Martin is suffering for it. In the league of parity you can get away with some big flaws for a while, but eventually you’re figured out and that’s that. Improve the OLine next year and we’ll have 2015 Martin back…remember him…the Probowl guy. Good grief what a typical Buc move it would be to jettison a guy a year after making the Probowl, barely losing the rushing title….I’m sure the Pats would love for us to make another mistake like that…

    1. 2.1


      Yup – and besides, the contract for Martin has only $15M guaranteed out of the $35.75M total. So Doug has another “contract year” coming up next season. If he underperforms next season, we won’t owe him another dollar thereafter. And since his contract is not back-end loaded as so many are (like Adrian Peterson’s, whose salary jumps to $18M next season), if he does produce, he will remain on a reasonable salary for the rest of his contract ($6.75M, $7,0M, and $7.0M respectively in 2018, 2019, and 2020).

      Martin has proved that he can be very productive when he’s healthy and when he plays behind only a “meh” quality offensive line, as we had last season. He’s not productive when he’s hurt (no running back is) or he is playing behind a less-than-meh offensive line as we have right now.

  3. 3


    Martin runs hard and the effort is there, but just doesn’t get anywhere because he’s being hit in the backfield or right at the line of scrimmage. He rarely gets to the second level. He never had a lot of speed to be able to get to the edge. Thus he’s limited to being a between the tackles style runner. I’m agreeing with Dr.D and others who see the difference as the only change in the O-line from a season ago; Panphile for Mankins at LG. I also agree with Horse that, while a scrappy player with a bit of attitude, Hawley gets overpowered and gets no push up front. While some folks seek to blame Donovan Smith, I see the problem inside.

    I’m not smart enough to know how much of the inability to run effectively lies with Doug Martin since only Rodgers has had much success. One has to wonder why he was even available in the first place and why he was inactive this game. The coaching staff has two games to evaluate the situation. Hopefully for the playoffs, but also for what needs to be addressed this off-season.

    1. 3.1


      The injuries on the offensive line have been very hurtful. With Sweezy unavailable the entire season, and then Dotson out against the Cowboys, and then his backup Cherilus pulled his groin in the second half, we were down to recent-practice squad scrubs. We need more O-line depth obviously next season.

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