SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:
FAB 1. MARTIN NEEDS TO START PRODUCING OR RISK LOSING CARRIES
All eyes are squarely on Doug Martin at One Buccaneer Place. The team has wanted him to be the bell cow running back to lead the offense, but through five games Martin has been a huge disappointment.
He’s missed two starts with a knee injury, but in the three starts he’s had – against Carolina, Pittsburgh and New Orleans – Martin has failed to rush for 100 yards this season. Not in each game, but combined.
In 37 carries he has 94 yards and one touchdown, while averaging a measly 2.5 yards per carry. Martin’s longest run of the season? It was a 16-yard gallop on the Bucs’ final drive at New Orleans in which the Saints were intent on defending the pass. Take away that carry and his rushing average falls to 2.2 per carry.
Martin’s struggles date back to last year prior to his season-ending shoulder injury at Atlanta in Week 7. In fact, Martin has had just one 100-yard rushing game – a 144-yard, no-touchdown effort against New Orleans in Week 2 of the 2013 season. It has been over one calendar year and seven straight starts since Martin has had a 100-yard rushing performance.
For a running back that was drafted in the first round, that’s unacceptable.
The modern day NFL has become a passing league and there is only an average of six 100-yard rushers per week out of 32 teams. Last week there were eight 100-yard rushers, so that’s slightly more than one third of the league that had a rusher top the century mark considering that some teams had a bye week.
Yet if Martin fails to reach triple digits in rushing yards in Sunday’s game at Baltimore it will be eight games – half a season’s worth – dating back to last year in which he has posted a 100-yard outing. In his last nine starts, Martin has just one 100-yard game.
To put that number in perspective, the Bucs’ backup running back Bobby Rainey, whose 220 yards rushing lead the team, has had three 100-yard games in his last nine starts. In his last nine starts, Martin has rushed for 550 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to catching 18 passes for 119 yards.
In his last nine starts, Rainey has rushed for 752 yards with six touchdowns, while catching 27 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. In the same amount of starts, Rainey has 202 more rushing yards, 47 more passing yards and six more total TDs.
I’m not saying that Rainey is the second coming of Barry Sanders. He’s far from it. But what I am saying is that Martin certainly isn’t, either. He certainly hasn’t been as productive as Rainey has over the past two seasons.
You can’t blame the offensive line for eight out of nine bad games. At some point, the running back has to be accountable and make something happen on his own by making a cutback run or making a defender miss. Martin is not a terribly creative runner.
I’m not the only reporter shedding light on Martin’s struggles. There was an interesting piece on Martin on Grantland.com that also shares my concerns about his effectiveness.
“No man in football is getting more out of one good game at the right time than Martin is from his stunning performance as a rookie against the Raiders. In that 2012 tilt, Martin ran the ball 25 times for an incredible 251 yards against an Oakland Raiders team that … offered only cursory defenses against runners that year, finishing 24th in run defense DVOA. This is always an unfair exercise, but take that one game off his record and his rushing average in 2012 falls from 4.6 yards per attempt all the way down to 4.1 yards per carry, while his career totals fall all the way to 3.8 yards per carry.
OK. One big game is one thing. But Martin really hasn’t looked good at any point during the past two years, either during his brief spell on the active roster in 2013 or in limited time this year. He’s averaged just 2.5 yards per carry on his 37 rushing attempts, which is the second-worst rate for running backs with 30 carries or more. Only Donald Brown, who ran wild for a mere 2.1 yards per carry before getting injured Sunday, has been worse than Martin.
At this point, I think it’s OK to jump off the Martin bandwagon. Bobby Rainey has averaged 4.7 yards per carry behind the same offensive line and in many of the same situations as Martin. Rainey is shiftier, but he catches passes well out of the backfield and just looks to be a smarter, more decisive runner than his predecessor. Martin, whose longest run of the year is just 16 yards, is a sunk cost drafted by the last Bucs administration. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him lose his regular job in the weeks to come.”
Martin produced five 100-yard rushing games in his rookie season in which he rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns. But that seems like a distant memory in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately NFL.
Rookie Charles Sims is quickly recovering from ankle surgery and will be ready in a few weeks. Martin better start producing quickly or he’ll start to get less carries. Sims, who was drafted by head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht, could be the future of the running back position in Tampa Bay.
Once viewed as a threat to Rainey’s existence on the roster because Sims quickly moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart, the team’s third round pick may put Martin’s roster spot in jeopardy – unless Martin can fire up the running game as he did as a rookie.
For now, Smith is stubbornly sticking with Martin despite the lack of production.
“We’re staying the course,’’ Smith said of Martin, whose 2.5-yard average ranks 45th in the NFL. “Doug has done some good things. When you’re the starting tailback, you know what goes along with that. We’d like Doug to get 200 yards every game, but we’re not there yet. But in time, he’ll break out.’’
That better be on Sunday or changes could be coming to the running back position after the Bucs’ bye week and that could affect Martin’s carries.
FAB 2. NOT MANY TRADEABLE OPTIONS IN TAMPA BAY
With Bucs running back Doug Martin underperforming, some fans and interested observers may feel like the team should trade him. With the NFL trading deadline coming up on Tuesday, October 28, fans of teams like Tampa Bay that have woeful 1-4 records will want to see a fire sale at the trade deadline to stockpile draft picks for 2015.
The only problem with that scenario – other than the fact that the NFL is not Madden 2015 where trades are easily consummated – is that bad teams usually have bad players. And the good players on the bad teams aren’t typically put on the trading block. The NFL is not the NBA or the NHL in that regards when it comes to trades.
What’s Martin worth right now? Not much. Perhaps a fifth-round pick – if you can find a team that’s interested in a running back, which is an undervalued, dime-a-dozen position in the NFL these days. The Bucs are better off keeping Martin, especially since rookie Charles Sims is unproven, and coming off an injury, and seldom-used Mike James is averaging 1.1 yards per carry with 11 yards on 10 carries.
Atlanta’s third-string runner Antone Smith might have better trade value than Martin does. Smith gets a few carries in between veteran Steven Jackson and rookie Devonta Freeman’s touches, and has rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, including a 38-yard touchdown against Tampa Bay in Week 3. Smith is averaging a whopping 11 yards per carry. In fact, that’s better production than Freeman has this year with his 73 yards and no touchdowns on 19 carries.
Trent Richardson was shipped from Cleveland to Indianapolis for a first-round pick last year and that deal was a huge win for the Browns due to Richardson’s ineffectiveness with the Colts. That trade killed it for teams wanting to deal running backs to other teams for high draft picks. It’s just not going to happen anymore, so don’t expect the Bucs to fetch anything except a late-round pick for Martin if they tried to deal him.
Outside of Martin, there just aren’t many tradable options in Tampa Bay. Some fans want wide receiver Vincent Jackson gone because he’s dropped too many passes over the past two seasons, he is not as fast as he once was, and he’ll be 32 in January. Don’t expect that to happen for three reasons.
The first is that he’s a team captain and he’s a valuable part of the team from a leadership standpoint, especially in the wide receivers room, which has a lot of young players that can learn from his example. The second is that the Bucs are trying to evaluate Mike Glennon to see if he’s the quarterback of the future. The best way to do that is to ensure Glennon is set up for the best chance for success, and taking away his top receiver is not a good approach.
The third reason is that Jackson carries a $10,000,000 base salary in 2014. If he’s traded by the trade deadline, he’ll still carry a $5.625 million base salary to his next team. How many teams have that much salary cap room right now to absorb that, in addition to a $9,777,777 base salary in each of the next two seasons?
That’s much the same reason why the Bucs wouldn’t be able to trade free safety Dashon Goldson. If Tampa Bay trades him prior to the deadline, a team would still need to have over $4.2 million in cap room to absorb his salary. Finding teams that need safety help and have that much cap room available at this stage of the season are hard to come by.
And then what’s the compensation? A fifth-round pick?
Who else is tradable – defensive end Da’Quan Bowers? The whole league knows he’s underachieved. What could he fetch – a sixth-round pick?
The reality is that Bowers is more valuable to the team this year than a late-round pick next year because of his versatility to play both end and tackle, especially with Gerald McCoy’s broken hand. Bowers knows the system.
The team’s 1-4 record is evidence that the Bucs don’t have enough talented depth at most positions to even think about putting players on the trading block. But would Tampa Bay entertain trading for a player at the end of the month? Perhaps.
One player who may be available is playing at Raymond James Stadium this Sunday – Baltimore inside linebacker Arthur Brown. The team’s second-round pick last year, Brown underwhelmed during his rookie season and never claimed the starting job that was vacated with the departure of Ray Lewis after the 2012 season.
In 2013, Brown recorded just 15 tackles, a forced fumble and half a sack in limited playing time on defense. The 6-foot, 230-pound Brown was an All-American middle linebacker in Kansas State’s 4-3 defense, is viewed to be too small to play inside linebacker in Baltimore’s 3-4 and is not a great fit for the scheme.
Tampa Bay’s 4-3 defensive scheme is a haven for fast, undersized players like Brown, who would provide competition and security at the Bucs’ middle linebacker position as starter Mason Foster is slated for free agency at the end of the season. With first-round draft pick C.J. Mosley playing so well next to veteran Daryl Smith, Brown is deemed expendable, and the Ravens explored trading him in September.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht and Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome have already done business before as Newsome traded for center Jeremy Zuttah and gave up a fifth-round pick in 2015. While the Bucs acquired an additional fifth-round pick with the Baltimore trade, Tampa Bay traded away its fourth-round pick next year for veteran guard Logan Mankins.
Giving up a third-round pick for a player of Brown’s caliber might be a deal worth doing, especially if Licht has to address the middle linebacker position next year in the draft anyways. Even if Foster is re-signed, it won’t be a mega-deal, and the Bucs will need depth and competition at that spot. Getting an athletic player like Brown, who has 4.68 speed and recorded 201 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions in two years in a similar defense with the Wildcats could help secure the middle linebacker position for years to come in Tampa Bay.
FAB 3. JOHNSON CAN’T WAIT FOR REDEMPTION SUNDAY
The stat sheet was ugly for defensive end Michael Johnson last Sunday in Tampa Bay’s 37-31 overtime loss at New Orleans. Coming off a two-sack game in which he forced a first quarter fumble that led to a touchdown at Pittsburgh, Johnson had zero sacks, zero turnovers and zero tackles against the Saints.
The only box with a number in it on his stat sheet is the one for quarterback pressures, as Johnson’s third quarter pressure on Drew Brees forced an interception that was returned 33 yards for a touchdown by linebacker Danny Lansanah.
“Personally, I was a little too focused on Drew Brees and what he likes to do in the pocket instead of just going and getting after it,” Johnson said. “I have to know better. Going back and watching the tape, it was sickening how many opportunities that were there that I didn’t take advantage of. That’s the main thing, just going out and doing what I do best.
“There was a lot left out there. But we have them again and it will be a lot different next time. Right now we’re on the Ravens. We’ll do our best to get out there and get back on the right track and get to this bye week feeling good. And come back, make a run and shock a lot of people.”
The target shifts from Brees, a cerebral quarterback with an ultra-quick release, to Joe Flacco, a bigger target with a strong arm who likes to push the ball downfield.
“He’s a big quarterback,” Johnson said. “He’s strong and a lot more athletic than people give him credit for. He does a great job of getting the ball down field when he has time. He throws a great deep ball so you don’t want to give him that time to set up and do that. Also, he has some escape ability. I’ve seen him get away from a lot of people who look like they’ve got him and he gets away from them. We have to do a good job of getting to him and bringing him down.
“He can throw it down field deep, as evidence in that playoff game against Denver [in 2012]. I’ve seen him connect on some bombs over the years. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to him and not allow him to do that.”
Johnson, who played five years in Cincinnati, is hoping to have the same kind of success against another AFC North opponent as he did against Pittsburgh where he notched a season-high two sacks. Playing Baltimore twice a season, Johnson has notched 5.5 sacks in 10 meetings with the Ravens.
The 6-foot-7, 270-pound defensive end is primed for a big game on Sunday going against undrafted rookie left tackle James Hurst, who is filling in for the injured Eugene Monroe. After a solid first start against Carolina’s Wes Horton, Hurst surrendered three sacks to Indianapolis in Baltimore’s 20-13 loss last week. Two of those sacks were to outside linebacker/edge rusher Bjorn Werner.
By just reading his keys and doing his job and not thinking about what Flacco is trying to do, Johnson is hoping he can have the same type of success against Hurst that Werner had last week.
“I would like to,” Johnson said. “I’m going to go out, try to play my game and rush hard. I have to try to do my best within the scheme of the defense to make plays.”
Don’t be surprised if Johnson has a multiple-sack game against Hurst and Flacco on what will be a Sunday of redemption for him.
FAB 4. GLENNON’S MOBILITY, IMPROVISIONAL ABILITY IS DEVELOPING
Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon has made some serious strides in his second year in the NFL. In his first two starts of the 2014 season, Glennon has engineered his first fourth quarter comeback with a stunning, 27-24 comeback win at Pittsburgh and shown previously untapped improvisational ability.
In his first action of the year, filling in for the injured Josh McCown at Atlanta, Glennon showed improved mobility as he escaped the pocket against the Falcons defense and scrambled for a 19-yard gain, which was a career-long run.
“I wondered when he was going to get out of bounds,” Bucs running back Bobby Rainey said. “He showed some good wheels there. You can tell he’s getting comfortable out there and starting to play free. He doesn’t have to do a lot of thinking – he can just play.”
If that 19-yard run wasn’t impressive enough, Glennon topped that feat by rolling to his left last week at New Orleans and finding Vincent Jackson down the field for a 36-yard gain into the Saints’ red zone.
“He’s had to scramble out of the pocket. A knock against Mike is that he’s not supposed to be mobile. But the touch pass in the [New Orleans] game, of course, not many people can throw that. So there’s not a whole lot of negative comments I can give you on Mike’s play right now. He’s done a super job with just about everything we’ve asked him to do.”
The difference between Glennon this year and the North Carolina State product from a year ago is that during his rookie season teams wanted to flush the right-handed signal caller to his left. Against St. Louis last year, Glennon was sacked seven times, including three by Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn, who captured Glennon as he was forced to roll to his left.
Now Glennon is keeping his eyes trained downfield, squaring his shoulders and making big plays.
“I liken him to [Cleveland quarterback Johnny] Manziel a little bit, you know?” Bucs offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo said. “He actually said that to me, which was funny. He did a good job. Mike does – to some surprise maybe –a good job on the move, he really does. He moves well. He does a good job keeping his eyes downfield. He’s got good arm angles. He does things outside the pocket that you don’t see because he’s not out there very often on tape. That’s not his deal. But when he does, he displays that he can throw the ball – he actually had another scramble where probably he could’ve had that one as well. And that’s not a throw he can’t make. I think Mike’s done a good job outside the pocket when making it. That was a big time play. That’s as tough a ball to throw as there is in any environment: going left that far at that angle with that touch, that’s a big time throw and we’re fortunate to be able to have a guy that can do that with poise.”
The poise is the key. Glennon reveals that he’s made similar throws to the one made against the Saints last year, but the difference is the poise he displayed while doing it this year.
“I think I’ve always done a pretty good job of that,” Glennon said. “The first thing that comes to mind is the Seahawks game last year – two times the same thing I was rolling to the left and made a play. I feel that I’ve been able to do that throughout – even last year against the Bills I had a touchdown to Vincent rolling to the right. There’s been many instances, I don’t think it’s much different than last year, it’s probably just one of the first times I’ve done it or had the opportunity to present itself this year.”
Glennon is never going to be confused with the likes of Michael Vick and Russell Wilson, the quarterback he ran off at N.C. State, in terms of his athleticism. Yet, he is beginning to do enough with his legs to allow him to create plays with his arm, and that’s a key sign of development in the young quarterback.
“In the NFL against some of the most elite athletes in the world, there’s been plenty of times where I’ve rolled right, rolled left and I’ve been able to get off a play,” Glennon said. “I’m not the fastest guy in the world, but I can step up in the pocket, I can roll out and make a play down the field. As far as I am concerned, that’s all you need as a quarterback. Obviously it’s a bonus when you can move around as well as some of these other guys, but as long as you can move a little and create a lane to throw, that’s the most important thing. All these comparisons to these athletic quarterbacks, but I’ll just stick to who I am.”
FAB 5. SR’s BUC SHOTS
• Although both head coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo have publicly expressed confidence in starting running back Doug Martin, it’s interesting to note that Martin isn’t in the game at crunch time. In the final two drives in Pittsburgh, including the game-winning touchdown, and in Tampa Bay’s last possession before halftime at New Orleans and at the end of regulation it’s been Bobby Rainey who has been on the field – not Martin.
“With the game on the line and they have you in the game, that says a lot about you,” Rainey said. “That’s great to know, and it makes me work even harder to make sure that I continue to make plays that can help us in situations where we are in crunch time. It’s great to know that the coaches have that type of confidence in me to have me in the game when the game is on the line.”
Rainey scored a touchdown on a 9-yard before halftime against the Saints, and he’s hoping that his performance in crunch time will cause the coaching staff to give him more carries.
“You just have to continue doing what you’ve been doing and stay patient,” Rainey said. “We’ll get it going and we’ll get everything on track. Whatever way I can help the team I’m willing to do that, and they know that.”
• Buccaneers fans that wanted the team to draft Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley instead of wide receiver Mike Evans will get an up close look at him on Sunday as he is one of Baltimore’s two starting inside linebackers. Mosley, who beat out Arthur Brown, the Ravens’ second-round pick from a year ago, has been an instant star in Baltimore, and leading tackler with 47 tackles, which is six more than Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David.
Mosley also has five passes defensed, an interception, a forced fumble and fumble recovery and is in contention for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon knows to be wary of throwing in the direction of the Alabama standout.
“They’ve got a good group,” Glennon said. “When you think of Ravens football you think of their defense and particularly that front seven group, their defensive line and their linebackers. Historically, they’ve got all of the great linebackers that have gone through there. C.J. Mosely is a first-round pick, I’m sure that’s what they envision him being, and he already is a good player. Not only him, but they have guys everywhere you look it seems like their whole team is made up of Pro Bowlers or first-or-second round picks. They’re a talented group and possibly the best defense we’ll face thus far.”
• Bucs middle linebacker Mason Foster has returned to full practice this week and is likely to start in place of Dane Fletcher, who has been subbing in at the Mike linebacker spot for the past three games due to Foster’s separated shoulder.
In his absence, the Bucs defense has surrendered 103 points combined over the last three weeks, an average of 34.3 points per game, and Fletcher has struggled in run fits and pass coverage in all three games. Foster wishes he could have been on the field in New Orleans last week as Tampa Bay fell to 1-4 after a 37-31 overtime loss to the Saints.
“It’s tough missing practice, being limited and missing anything – it sucks,” Foster said. “Injuries are a part of the game and as you get older you have to work through it. But it sucks to miss a game against a divisional opponent like that. I’m getting better and getting ready for my return so I can be even better.”
• The mood in Tampa Bay’s locker room this week was much like it was in Pittsburgh after the Steelers let the Bucs escape Heinz Field with a come-from-behind win. The Bucs’ spirits aren’t down following the Saints’ comeback win last week. The team remains confident and is angry at itself for committing 15 penalties for 113 yards and letting the Saints come back from an 11-point deficit to steal the game in overtime.
“We have to learn not to hurt ourselves,” Rainey said. “When we don’t hurt ourselves we are a very good football team. We have to stay away from dumb penalties that aren’t necessary. Once we get back to our fundamentals and playing our game, we’ll be fine.”
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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
For this defense to be great, we will need better play from the middle linebacker, and wouldn’t be opposed to drafting one high. Lovie had Urlacher, and Briggs, we have Foster, quite the drop off. I would like to see Lansanah get a shot at MLB, and Foster try the strong side. As far as backs being a dime a dozen, why don’t we find at least one for the practice squad? Certainly there’s a FA running back out there better then we’re getting from James.
I’ve got to step up and say that I may have underestimated Glennon’s mobility. Last week he moved better than I’ve seen before and not afraid to say that I may have sold him short (pardon the pun).
While I’m not ready to enter him in the 100 meter dash, if he continues to improve as shown last week, I would have no qualms about him operating any offense.
Again, when Martin and Rainey are both healthy and playing in the same game I don’t see one standing out much more than the other. I think it’s good that you brought this topic up originally SR because it gives us something to evaluate during the game but now it seems like you’re on a crusade to get him off the team or at least demoted. I haven’t seen enough of Martin this year to defend or denounce him. I’m more than willing to give a guy with his resume a few more games while Sims is hurt. Then we can evaluate all three RB’s.
I also think it’s a pretty tough comparison between the two. The CAR defense is always tough for TB to run on. Our line is just very inconsistent and I don’t think anyone other than Barry Sanders could consistently run for a lot of yards as it stands. RB’s are a dime a dozen for the most part, but the holes just aren’t there. You have to play the hot hand, and if that becomes Rainey, so be it. But you don’t trade Martin when you have little behind him and he’s still on his rookie deal.
It is obvious to all of us that Martin is not at his 2012 standard. But I get the impression that Lovie is still supporting him. He expressed high confidence in Doug at his last presser.
Where is all of the trade talk coming from? Would help if Scott would let us know if he is hearing that kind of talk in Buc circles.
I won’t attempt to make excuses for Martin’s performance or explain why he hasn’t performed better than he has. Honestly, I know the RB coach is Tim Spencer, but I’ve never heard a word from him. I wonder what he would say about Doug’s strengths and weaknesses.
I guess I’m saying until I hear something from the coaches about Doug, I’m going to file the trade talk under the general category of “we should trade anybody that’s not meeting expectations”.
Based on what I’ve seen, whoever the back is, they need to learn to bounce it to the outside once in a while, but Rainey does look better by far. The defense is really the problem, I don’t understand why they aren’t able to quash the running game at least. I don’t think they are holding their gaps very well.
As the Bucs play each game, I always compare the players on the Bucs’ team against those on the other team and ask myself “Which players on the Bucs would make first team on the other team?” Unfortunately, I always answer myself (yes, the Bucs’ poor play has me talking to myself!): “McCoy and David.”. Maybe Evans & Sefarian-Jenkins will be part of that answer in the future, but my answer explains why the Bucs are 1-4 at this point.
So lets sum this up? We have one draft pick from 2010; we have had poor drafting and this is why we are here. This is not Coach or GM fault. It’s too late to trade Martin so he is what he is. I think he needs to put weight back on for power versus speed. I am thinking we have a decent chance to beat this team. It feels good to still be able to say that. We’re getting better and if Evans, Foster can play it will be a big help. I also believe Johnson is healthy enough to show something as to why he was signed to a huge contract. Go Bucs!
Martin has underperformed this year period. You’re drinking some really good kool-aid if you don’t see that. SR is right on topic and it is news worthy. The Defense stinks and if they were an average defense in the NFL we would be at least 3-2 right now. We need better linebacker play and Dline play. I also do not think we are that far off from being a descent team. Not sure about playoff but descent anyway. Glennon is the REAL deal and continues to improve under adverse conditions. Imagine Glennon in the same system 3-4 years with a couple of good receivers and the anticipation throws will be frequent. Go Bucs!
Not tryin to be a d*ck here I swear but 30 teams played last week so if 8 teams had 100 yard rushers that would be slightly more than one quarter of the teams… Not one third…
It’s pretty obvious that Bobby Rainey is a friend of Pewter Report. But I too have been disappointed in the lack of production from Doug Martin. It was inevitable that his play would decline and his career with the Bucs short-lived once I bought his #22 jersey. It’s the Scubog curse. I’ve always been in favor of a multi-back approach as long as the plays don’t change to tip off the defense. My theory on the Bucs difficulties running the ball is that there is something or someone tipping off the defense that a running play is coming. All of our RB’s are getting hit in the backfield but Rainey has a little more wiggle to escape. Maybe they can scout themselves during the bye week.
I must say, I’m coming around to thinking Mike Glennon could be a viable starter if we can get more weapons for him to utilize. Glennon is never going to be a big play weapon in the running game like Wilson and others of that ilk. But I have been impressed with his poise and pocket presence this year. This Ravens game is key. Play as well as he has and bring a victory and McCown will remain a high-priced back-up after the bye week. Play poorly and Lovie and staff will go back the their original QB plan vs the Vikings. We’re all rooting for you Mike.
Long article. Unfortunately It’s a very long list of players on this team mired in mediocrity.
Man i dont get all this hate for Doug Martin. Whats the real reason for Dougs lack of production? Think about it what happened in 2012, Josh Freeman happened, 4000 yards passing ,many big plays down field to Jackson and William ,which the effect was teams could not load the box with 8 men . If you watch the games this year, 10 guys are are within 10 yards of the line, with one guy deep.So really Doug gets the ball starts to run and 2 guys are already in the back field. I dont care who is running the ball there is no where to run. Doug didnt forget how to run, he just needs a little room to run, so lets see if he can get the help he needs from the QB to make defenses play honest.
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