Bucs DT Gerald McCoy and RB Doug Martin - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
As loyal PewterReport.com readers know, my coverage of the Bucs draft actually begins in September during college football season as I sprinkle some notes in SR’s Fab 5 columns during the fall and winter about potential Bucs draft targets. I’ve been hitting the draft hard in some recent editions of SR’s Fab 5, such as last week’s column, so I’ve decided to switch gears this week and focus more on some of Tampa Bay’s veterans with the team’s offseason workouts beginning on Monday, April 17.
I was able to get some dynamite, exclusive interviews this week with linebacker Kwon Alexander, right tackle Demar Dotson and left guard Kevin Pamphile, in addition to the chance to speak with legendary Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp and defensive end Simeon Rice. I hope this edition of SR’s Fab 5 is as fun for you to read as it was for me to write.
Here we go.
SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.
FAB 1. MARTIN SET TO RETURN TO ONE BUC PLACE
To be a Buccaneer – or not to be a Buccaneer?
That is the question.
Football Shakespeare aside, that is indeed the question surrounding former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin.
Martin is expected to show up on Monday, April 17, when the team reports for the beginning of offseason conditioning drills. He still has a three-game suspension looming as a result of testing positive for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), but that only affects the regular season.
Bucs RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“Doug is family,” Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson said. “I don’t know any other way than to greet him. Doug is family. We’ll greet Doug the same way we’ve always greeted Doug. You say, ‘Hey, what’s up, Doug?’ You laugh. You kick it with him. That’s family. I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way.”
Another blocker for Martin, left guard Kevin Pamphile, is also happy to see him re-join the team for offseason workouts.
“I’m excited,” Pamphile said. “I missed him. Hopefully he’ll be welcomed back with open arms. We’re going to be back together as a family and get after it. I know he’s excited to get back. I can’t wait.”
Martin is allowed to lift weights and go through the first phase of the offseason program, which is conditioning. He’s also allowed to go to team meetings and on-field work in the OTAs and mandatory mini-camp. If he’s still on the team after the draft, Martin can even go to training camp and play in the Bucs’ preseason games in August.
If Martin somehow makes the 53-man roster – and him being cut by the Bucs is not a foregone conclusion at this point – he would be banished from One Buccaneer Place for the first three weeks of the regular season and allowed to return in October for the fourth game of the year.
So until he’s not a Buccaneer, Martin is a Buccaneer.
The question for Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter is indeed where to put Martin on the depth chart, and how much time – and carries – does he invest in a player who won’t be available until Week 4? That question doesn’t have to be answered until the team takes the field in May for OTAs, but it’s already on Koetter’s mind.
Bucs RB Doug Martin – Photo by: Getty Images
Is Martin going to be punished for making poor choices that caused him to be checked into a drug rehabilitation center during the offseason and for letting the team down last year with a sub-par performance and this year with the three-game suspension to start the season?
Will Martin begin the offseason deep down the depth chart because he won’t be able to help the team out early in the season, in addition to the possibility that Tampa Bay may ultimately cut him or try to trade him at some point between now and October?
Or has Martin convinced Koetter and general manager Jason Licht that his troubles are behind him, and does the fact that he is the most talented running back on the current roster automatically seat him atop the depth chart?
There are several plusses Martin has working in his favor and time is on his side. Koetter and Licht don’t have to do anything right now, as he won’t be paid a penny until his game check after the fourth week of the regular season. And he’s already making less money this year.
Martin was expected to earn $7 million in base salary in 2017, but will only earn $5.6875 million instead as his three-game suspension will cost him $1.3125 million. If he ends up remaining in Tampa Bay this year the team could force him to take a pay cut, or restructure his deal with a pay cut, but with incentives to earn some of his money back, as guard J.R. Sweezy recently had to do.
Martin does count against the team’s 90-man offseason roster, but he won’t count against the Bucs’ 53-man roster when the season starts because he will be on the suspended list.
There are other positives with Martin that Koetter might lean on, such as the fact that he played a Boise State, and Koetter, an Idaho native, once coached at the school and has some sentimental ties to the program. But more importantly, Martin shined in Koetter’s first year as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator, running for 1,402 yards and making the Pro Bowl as the NFL’s second-leading rusher.
That helped the Bucs produce the league’s fifth-best offense in 2015 and top the 6,000 total yards mark for the first time in franchise history. That production on offense, combined with Tampa Bay’s underwhelming win-loss record and Lovie Smith’s dismal showing as defensive coordinator in 2015 led to Smith’s firing after two years and Koetter replacing him.
Martin’s success in 2015 played a large role in Koetter becoming an NFL head coach for the first time. That can’t be overlooked.
No one has had more success running the ball in Tampa Bay during the past two years than Martin. That’s a fact that Koetter isn’t going to sweep under the rug.
To his credit, when backed into the corner of a contract year without getting a fifth-year option Martin shined. He came to training camp in 2015 sleeker and a tick faster. After two injury-plagued seasons in which he ran for less than 500 yards, and with his tenure in Tampa Bay on the line, every run had purpose and determination written all over it that year – even in training camp and the preseason.
After receiving a five-year, $35.75 million extension in 2016, Martin didn’t look the same in training camp last year. He wasn’t heavy, but he wasn’t as slender as he was in the summer of 2015. Martin wasn’t slow, but he didn’t have the same burst in camp that he did in his Pro Bowl season the year prior.
Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising that he had a bad year due to injuries and ineffectiveness. During Martin’s third year out of the last four with less than 500 yards rushing, he felt the pressure of his contract and made some bad choices regarding how he was coping with it.
Koetter and Licht have met with Martin this offseason and been encouraged by how things are going for him personally. He recently shared a Twitter post and a recent picture of him at Boise State reflecting on his recent past.
“Never forget your past, it’s the foundation that built your existence and the secret to your future.” pic.twitter.com/vEFav8ecz5
— Doug Martin (@DougMartin22) April 7, 2017
“Never forget your past, it’s the foundation that built your existence and the secret to your future.” pic.twitter.com/vEFav8ecz5
— Doug Martin (@DougMartin22) April 7, 2017
Is Martin a changed man? Is he motivated to show he wants to earn his big money contract? Will he show up at One Buccaneer Place looking like the 2015 running back? Does he want to show that he still belongs as the team’s starting running back and that he’s worth waiting until October for?
And perhaps more importantly, if the team is patient with Martin and he checks some of those boxes, how will he handle his three-week hiatus in September as he sits out his suspension? Can he be trusted to stay clean? Can he be counted on to stay focused?
Can Martin stay healthy in camp and in the preseason? How will a preseason injury affect the team’s attitude towards him?
How will having Hard Knocks in training camp affect Martin? You know he’s going to be one of the storylines.
What happens if the Bucs elect to draft a starting-caliber running back in the first three rounds? There are only four spots on the roster for running backs, and Jacquizz Rodgers and the rookie will occupy two of them and not likely factor in on special teams covering kicks the way a third- and fourth-string running back needs to.
Would Martin be asked to play special teams? Would he even want to?
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Could the Bucs trade him before or after his suspension has been served? Or would the team be better off keeping Martin as an insurance policy because he knows the offense so well? Or does Koetter envision Martin as a co-starter with Rodgers or a rookie when he returns in October with Sims sliding down the depth chart to the fourth position?
If he stays, would he agree to a pay cut if the team asked, or would he demand to be released and re-start his NFL career elsewhere?
There are a lot of questions that Koetter and Licht have to sift through for answers when it comes to Martin, and as they’ve maintained since speaking with me, and the PewterReport.com staff at the Senior Bowl in January, time is on their side. There’s no harm in keeping Martin on the offseason roster – certainly through the NFL Draft later this month to see what running back Tampa Bay ends up drafting.
And Koetter and Licht will be interested to see what type of shape Martin is mentally and physically when he returns to One Buccaneer Place on Monday. How he shows up on Monday could start answering some of the Bucs’ questions about him.
“It’s going to be good having Doug back,” said Tampa Bay middle linebacker Kwon Alexander said. “I can’t wait to have Doug back. He’s a great player and a great person. Sometimes people have to go through things they have to fix, and he did that. I feel like he can learn from that. I had my issue before. It’s a thing that you just have to move on from, move forward and push past it. Get back with the team and get right. It’s time to go to work.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have to agree with Sapp, Let the Patriots do one. That’s the team everybody wants to see, especially the “Hoodie”.
I love Warren, he definitely has an opinion! I love his opinion on Meshawn, “who was full of s*#t.”, couldn’t agree more with that.
I love Alexander being extra motivated with a chip on his shoulder. Watch out, NFL!
Ronde Barber and Hardy Nickerson will be excellent choices for the Bucs’ Ring of Honor. I think the turning point of the Franchise from double digit loses to Super Bowl Champions was the signing of Nickerson as a free agent from Pittsburgh.
Another awesome Fab5, Scott. Go Bucs!
Thanks, Iowabucfan. I appreciate it. And yes, Warren Sapp is one of a kind and isn’t afraid to share his opinion.
NFL has rules that essentially if you make the playoffs twice in a row, you’re not eligible. With all the rules, there’s basically 8 eligible teams for Hard Knocks.
Great Fab 5. Hard Knocks will the Super Bowl Bucs would have been amazing. I tend to disagree with Sapp though that this team is too boring for Hard Knocks. Jameis would probably be one of the more entertaining guys in the league. Hargreaves seems like he would make for good tv as well. The situation at running back will be fun to watch. The Rams weren’t all that interesting outside of Waufle’s salty language and Kenny Britt crashing his atv and the idiot who believes in mermaids…and it was still great to watch.
As far as the draft…man I will be extremely disappointed if we passed on McCaffrey or Ross because of the depth of those positions…especially for a project like Peppers or Jackson (this draft also might be the deepest DB draft…like, ever). The gap between the top 3 running backs and top 3 receivers and the rest of the pack is EXTREMELY evident on tape…unless you think Joe Mixon is part of that group and on your board considering his issue. The top 7 skill players are special, game changing players…Foreman, Mack, Godwin…are not. They could be good players but they aren’t special prospects. Any of those guys will have an immediate impact and help us get to the postseason this year…whereas Peppers or Jackson would probably only be an instant upgrade on special teams and probably a detriment on defense while we figure out what to do with them.
I agree that the top 7 skill players are game changers and that’s why I think they will all be gone at 19. I don’t agree with your assessment of Peppers. I am an all out Ohio State fan and as much as I hate to say it, Peppers is a great player. I watched him for the last couple of years and this kid is loaded with talent. He was a corner all through high school and won 4 championships there. He was also a track star winning the New Jersey Non-Public Class A outdoor 100-meter dash record with a time of 10.77 seconds. He has a personal best of 10.51 seconds in the 100 meters. In his senior year at Paramus Catholic, he won both the 100 and 200-meter dashes in New Jersey’s Meet of Champions, becoming only the second person ever to do so in consecutive years. He was a 5 star #2 over recruit coming out of high school and never failed to impress. He played Safety his first year and had 45 tackles, 5.5 Tackles for loss, and 10 pass break ups. Unfortunately, He was forced to move to LB where he excelled also but cost him a lot of draft stock. The fact that he did move to LB shows how much of a team player he is which is extremely important in the NFL. Had he not played LB, he would be a top 10 pick. While he played LB he had 77 tackles, 13 for loss, 1 INT and 1 FF. The kid can play football and is one of the most talented athletes coming out of this draft. There is no way he would be a detriment on defense. He would instantly be the best safety on our team. He has good cover skills, great speed and closing speed, and is a really good tackler. On top of that he has some of the best instincts I have seen in years with great football vision. If all 7 skill players are gone I hope he is who the Bucs decide to pick. He will be great no matter where he goes.
All that from a Buckeye fan. I watched every Wolverine game last year and can say that Peppers is really rather good. I’m just not sold on him at 19. Now, if Licht pulls off some trade to get him after our 19, I say go for it.
This is year that Harbaugh breaks through and whips the Buckeyes. The greatest football game ever.
That’s what every Michigan fan says every year. This will be the year we beat The Ohio State Buckeyes and every year they get disappointed. Good luck
Apparently you’ve been watching different film of Peppers than I (and everyone else) has been.
Thank you, BrianDorry55. I don’t think the Bucs would pass up on Christian McCaffery or John Ross … because I don’t think either makes it to No. 19.
At this point I think there’s a better chance that Cook or Davis will be there. Those are the two skill guys with no momentum this offseason. Either way, history tells us that there’s a much better chance that 7 skill guys will not go in the Top 18 than they’ll all be gone. At this point I think Cook, Davis, McCaffrey, Ross are the most likely to be there in that order. Fournette, Williams, and Howard seem like locks to go in the Top 18.
I would gladly take any of the 7 but they are not without their faults to the point that I think they’ll all go Top 18. Cook has character, work ethic, and ball security questions. Davis has athleticism and level of competition questions (his offseason injury means that he hasn’t had a chance to prove his athleticism). McCaffrey has size, fit, heavy workload questions. Ross has serious injury concerns and a short sample of success. One of those guys will be there for us because of those questions.
“Cook has work ethic questions” Now you’re just making crap up. This is a flat out lie. I really wish fans wouldn’t be so gullible.
I haven’t heard or seen that either RootsCrew. I do think Dalvin Cook is awful at pass protection. He either whiffs or gets ran over. Also, his ball security issues are well documented. He is too small to be an every down back. He’s a 3rd down back. Basically a poor mans Christian McCaffery…lol.
Anybody who is that naturally gifted and BOMBS their combine workout like he did has some work ethic of commitment questions in my book. Did he ever run a three cone drill before he was on the field in Indy? He would have been better off passing on a lot of those drills. Now whether or not that translates to anything on the football field is a question they can answer but it certainly raises an eyebrow.
I guess fournette showing up 15 pounds heavy at the combine means he has work ethic issues? Or maybe McCaffery not doing private workouts for teams leading up to the draft means he has work ethic issues? Or does that only apply to Dalvin?
Scott I read somewhere I think Miller pre draft and Ross is SLIDING Down. If OJH is gone and he will be we should draft Ross hands down. After seeing him play he is going to be a very good WR in the NFL.
He has a lot of momentum but injury concerns could cause him to slide unexpectedly. Tennessee supposedly LOVES him though.
“Sliding down?’ says who? The talking heads on ESPN and NFL Network don’t do the drafting.
And worth mentioning once more than 2000 was the last time 7 skill players (WR, RB, TE) went in the Top 18 picks.
Yup – note also that this year’s draft is very heavy in defensive talent, particularly at DE, DT, S, and CB … plus given that quarterbacks are so strongly needed that they tend to get drafted very high, often higher than the draftniks project. We could see as many as 5 QBs taken in the first round, even though most draftniks think only a couple are worthy of a first round pick.
I think we’ll see at least a couple coveted offensive skill players available at 19. We may or may not take them.
TONS of DB talent. Very deep too though like WR and RB so it will be interesting to see who decides to wait until Day 2 at those positions.
Thanks Scott for the early fab 5. I think most BUC fans like Martin, wish the best for him, and if he is “right” would welcome him back. He should have his contract renegotiated, but that is for Licht & Koetter to decide. When Martin is good he is good, but that is only 50% of the time he plays. He hasn’t been reliable mostly due to injury and now drugs. Drafting a RB is a security blanket if he isn’t “right”, depth, but also a possible replacement to Simms who has been a 1 dimensional player. I’m with man bun Trevor on not spending a round 1 pick on a RB, and in the minority on drafting Mixon in round 2 (if he washes out with Licht). He’s a replacement for Simms, and could develop into a special feature back.
I am against Hard Knocks 100% (whatever that is worth). Put on your poll. Being a diehard BUCS fan since ’76 I love all the BUC info I can get, but this team is young and just starting to come together. They likely aren’t ready and it is a distraction. Do we want the BUCS to bear down & focus on making it to the playoffs or do we want to risk it by being on tv. Make the playoffs.
Alexander did get snubbed but his best years are coming, and he’ll have all the pro bowls he can handle if he keeps playing like he is.
Lastly, the draft. I keep hearing that the fans are clamoring for offensive picks early because they are “sexy”. That has been discussed on PR podcast, and in articles. Let me just say I’m a fan of moving back all the way out of the first round. I think the level of talent becomes blurred at 19-ish, and the depth & quality are great this year in rounds 2-4. That being said the offensive picks in my mind aren’t sexy but a necessity. Yes RB pick in rd 1 would be kinda a luxury, and no OL is required either (again in the minority). Outside of the BUCS 3 starting WR who do we have? Nobody on the roster (remember last year) If Brate gets hurt who do we have to replace him? Nobody on the roster (remember last year) That is the cry, and drafting offensive players you are really counting on to contribute year 1 in rounds 3-7 have diminishing odds. The defense needs a safety, and needs to spend a premium pick there. The rest of the D needs depth at CB, and DE, but they are NOT CRITICAL to 2017’s playoff success. Winston has weapons, but you don’t go into a gun battle with 1 clip!
As always go BUCS, in Licht we trust, and thanks Scott for the fab 5!
Thank you for the kind words, MudManVA. Really appreciate it.
Great Fab 5 Scott!
Re: Hard Knocks. If it’s our time for the bright lights, then so be it!
What about the age old concept of “just having fun”. Of course HBO will want to highlight the dramatic part of it where players are inevitably invited to come to the office and bring your playbook (or maybe they just erase your IPad now). It may be refreshing and just maybe they will have some fun. They certainly have the characters for it! I will watch! Go Bucs!
Thank you, macabee. Hard Knocks would be fun for the fans (and the media) because of the behind-the-scenes element in the meeting rooms, locker room and the GM’s office.
Sapp has got some major ego issues. What was the point in putting down D Jackson and Evans? Yeah, always speaks his mind yada….Always an asshole.
You are a K State Alum.
Indeed I am. #EMAW
F$&* Sapp he is no longer a buc so he can take his foul mouth and keep trying to rip off prostitutes!!!
Yep, and along with Brooks and Selman, the greatest Buc of all time.
Whatever happens with Doug Martin will have zero to do with any notions of “punishment”. He will be on the team, or off, and if on the team, at whatever position in the depth chart that his physical conditioning and attitude merit, end of story. Coach Koetter is a no-BS guy, and cares only about fielding the best possible team. I hope Doug Martin is back to 2012 and 2015 form, and proves to be a helluva asset for the Bucs this season. If not, then he will get cut.
I really don’t give a rat’s patootie about a TV show on a network I don’t subscribe to. If they pick the Bucs, I agree with Sapp they’ll be boring … sorry, you can hate on Sapp, but he’s absolutely right that the characters on our championship teams were vastly more colorful than our current crew. Doesn’t mean our current crew can’t win a championship – of course they can. But colorful they’re not.
They don’t have to be “colorful” for it to be an entertaining show. Last years team was the Rams and it was still enjoyable to watch.
My prediction, Doug will be cut after the draft when we select one, or two R.B.’s in a deep draft class. No team will pick up Doug until after week three, and only if they suffer injury issues at running back. Let’s face facts. He’s only had two good years out of three. He’s coming off his worst year, and drug rehab. He’s never been an explosive game changer ,and every team including the Bucs knows that won’t change with any back starting their sixth NFL season. Stick a fork in him, he’s done. You’re right Scott, should’ve started Fab1 with Kwon, and made a slight mention of Druggie Martin in Fab5’s Buc shots.
Interesting take, surferdudes. Thanks for sharing.
That’s silly. Doug was the second leading rusher in the NFL a year ago. He is entering his prime. Your logic makes little sense, but I guess I will agree with Scott…Interesting take…thanks for sharing.
Naplesfan. good call on the Martin issue.
Surferdues, you should at least listen to Licht if you think he is going to be cut by the Bucs after the draft.
I don’t know why you have such a personal dislike for the guy and if it is because he has gotten injured, you might as well get angry at the sun for rising in the east and setting in the west.
So many ignorant people act like players go out of their way to get injured.
Saying Martin didn’t seem to have the zip or the sleekness this last season might have had a bit more credibility if it was mentioned during last year’s preseason, which it wasn’t.
As far as the Bucs being on HardKnocks this team is way to immature to handle the hot lights of semi’stardom.
Last year the team couldn’t even handle the euphoria of a good opening day win against the Falcons All of a sudden there was national media and Tampa and players were distracted by the sudden attention.
The end result was an ass whipping by a Cardinals team that was pretty irked itself for playing so poorly the week before on national TV.
Good point about the aftermath of the opening day win against DrD, but I suspect the team learned from it.
Another solid Fab 5. When it comes to Doug Martin, I think that he will be cut after the first week f the season. There is no rush to do it now as you can cut him at any time and still not lose any money. Why not keep him as long as you can for insurance purposes. Personally , I think he’s washed up and has always had a lack of explosiveness to him. We’ll draft at least 1 back this year and he’ll get cut. I wish him well as he seems like a nice guy, but when you really think about it, had as the guy on the podcast stated, if Doug martin was the Doug of the year before, we make the playoffs. He let his entire team down.
AS for Hard knocks, I don’t think it would be a huge distraction. You have cameras around you at practice everyday anyways. The bucs could choose which shots to use and which to not use. Now if it was back in teh days with Sapp and the boys, Sapp is right, I would watch that shit twice a day. However Sapp continues to be a prick, no need to call out DeSean and Mike like that.
Kwon is my favorite player on the other side of the ball and I love his energy and enthusiasm. He is going to do some big things this year. Him and Lavonte are in for big years being it’s their second year in the system.
As for all the of Mocks having Cook fall, I believe it’s BS too. Hell I saw a second one today having him fall to the second round. If he’s there at 19 he’s as good as a Buc, unless like what Scott stated, something didn’t jive in the interview.
Heck I saw a six round mock today that had us get Derek Barnette in the first and Budda Baker in the second, and Kareem Hunt in the third which would be nuts and would never happen. It’s just lunacy sometimes with these mocks.
Thanks, cgmaster27. I don’t think Derek Barnett makes it to No. 19, and there’s no way Budda Baker makes it to No. 50. Kareem Hunt in the third I can definitely see.
Pick 19 seems a little high for guys like Adoree Jackson, Budda Baker, and Jordan WIllis… And I don’t really want a defensive end named after Mexican food…
It really isn’t though. The media is generally wrong with a couple of guys that NFL teams have first-round grades, such as Keanu Neal and Karl Joseph last year. Jackson and Willis ARE late-first-rounders. I think Budda Baker could sneak in there, too.
Yeah, I know that we’re kinda dependent on the media draft experts whose ratings aren’t always on the mark. I guess my issue with Jackson, for instance, is that he’s maybe not as well established as a CB as he is a multi-purpose player, which I imagine drops him. But maybe it doesn’t. Maybe he projects as a pro-bowl CB too. Budda Baker, I like. I love his highlights, but due to his size I might be hesitant for him as a safety in round 1. For the Bucs, I also would like a little more size on the backend. We don’t exactly physically intimidate anybody back there. Willis has good looking numbers, but I haven’t watched highlights and he’s only come to my attention in the last few weeks. So that’s why I’m a little iffy on him. All these guys are super talented, and I guess any of them could be first round picks based on that.
I agree that Willis and Baker have the production to warrant a first round selection. I don’t think Adoree Jackson did enough as a cornerback at USC to warrant a first round selection. Koetter did say that you don’t draft a guy in the first mainly off special teams ability. Now there is intriguing potential there if you could turn him into a good cornerback. He’s no worse than Artie Burns who was a late first rounder last year but I don’t think that was a good pick.
I’m sure you guys probably saw this about Jordan Willis, but in case you didn’t…
You had everyone outscooped on Willis weeks ago SR…Nice work! That’s why we all stay tuned!
Great Fab 5, However I find myself with mixed emotions on two subjects. Hard knocks would be fun to watch from a “more Buc’s the better on TV perspective,” but would some of the the commentary (Like Martin) be a distraction. We have a chance for the first time in a long time to go for the Gold ring and I wonder if Cameras and storylines would be an obstacle to that end. I agree it would be fun for me. Hence I have mixed views when considering it.
Doug Martin, IMO, Is not a bum. I realize that many have strong feelings about the PED”s and his durability issues , but I believe that every player that has performed at the level he has, should have a second chance. I know that the draft is loaded with talent and this might be a good time to cut him loose but to a Buc player I have yet to hear anything short of encouragement and respect for the Hammer. I am a fan but my opinion has far less weight than the teammates and coaches that surround Doug. If they want him to have a chance to redeeme himself and he regains his playing attitude and physical skills then I will spend money to cheer him on.
Finally, I didn’t quite get the Alexander piece??
Thanks, martinii. I think I would keep Doug Martin through the preseason to make sure the other RBs are healthy, then consider making a move. As for Kwon Alexander, he’s excited for the season and eager to up his game and make more impact plays for recognition and to help the team.
If Doug Martin is healthy and productive, he stays on the team, along with probably at least one new RB from the draft. The team will renegotiate his money most likely, and he will accept it.
A team can’t have too many quality running backs, because they’re always getting injured.
James Wilder newest member to the Ring Of Honor 2017!
Ronde Barber is well deserving as well as is Hardy Nickerson.
But for years and years we fellow Buccaneer fans had only one start to guide our ship by. That star was James Wilder. In those days we did not have much to cheer about but James Wilder was worth cheering for. He was our team, for me his blood sweat and tears across many seasons have earned him membership into the Buccaneer Ring Of Honor in 2017. Before any other fellow player of our team. James Wilder for the Ring Of Honor 2017
Right on Rusty. Over 2,000 scrimmage yards and that was when every other team knew what was coming.
Wilder up the middle.
And he still broke it off in other teams defense.
Greatest season by any BUC, bar none.
Draft – Adoree Jackson or Gareon Conley in round 1 sounds great to me. Maybe even Njoku if he’s there. I hope the Bucs pass on any RB in the first round not named Christian McCaffery. Come back in the second round and get a safety.
Ring of Honor – Hardware and Ronde would be great additions!
Hard Knocks – Selfishly I would love the access. Koetter would be great and would carry the team. Players like Winston, Brate, Kwon, Baker, and Ayers would be entertaining to watch and listen to.
Kwon – That hit he put on Josh McCown in the preseason is one of my favorite tackles of all time. Love watching the guy hunt! Hard Knocks might give him the exposure and respect he’s looking for.
I don’t have a personal dislike for Martin. I don’t love, or hate any Buc player. I root for the team, that’s why none of my Buc gear has a number, or name on it. Players, coaches come, and go, the team is the one constant. I see Doug as a washed up player, nothing personal about it. Some day Winston, Kwon, McCoy will be in the same boat, it’ll be time to move on. If I’m still alive when that day comes, I’ll still be a Buc fan period. Someone posted if the Bucs draft Mixon they’re through rooting for the Bucs, to me that’s not a true fan. I don’t know any of these players personally, therefore have no emotional attachment to any of them. If they’re cut, traded, quit so be it.
Fab 1 – In Licht we trust, right?
Last year JL resigned Doug Martin to an extension after lots of local pressure not to let him get away. Fast forward just one year and Doug didn’t have as good a year(Sims either) and then got suspended on top of it to end the season. I, for one, am not willing to concede that Doug is washed up. I agree that his injury history is cause for concern, but that is the case for most NFL RB’s. Recent leading rushers who had injuries the following year : AP, Demarco Murray, Todd Gurley, Lesean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Danny Woodhead, Arian Foster, and Lamar Miller are just a few examples of top shelf RB’s who have missed time.
This team and especially the offensive line rallies around Doug Martin. They love getting him into the end zone and dancing with him when he gets there. Martin is family to those guys and they play hard for him. I think Martin is an asset and I really like the fact that the Bucs are using this as a smoke screen. Regardless of cap implications, Martin is loved and respected by his team mates and that matters. The Bucs might grab a RB in this draft, but it will be to replace Sims. who has been even more injury prone and less effective than Martin.
Good Fab 5 Scott. I would have to say no to Hard Knocks though. What a big head ache for anyone to have your life documented like that. Do the BUCS get any compensation for doing it? I know it’s the American way to get our citizens to part with their money, but who benefits monetary wise. Is the money just going into HBO’s or the NFL’s pocket? Do the players make some extra bread to be under a microscope? Do the Glazers get paid? Are they going to open up camp and make it readily available to fans? Can you even say no to being on the program.
To much distraction and not enough benefits. Just my take.
I am not going to bash Martin, He f*****d up, who hasn’t. You’ll notice I did not cuss on your site, unlike Sapp. Doug Martin has to make the team, that’s all there is to it. Best players play. Koetter has said that many times. I personally like Martin, I’ve never seen him do or say any thing bad or controversial about anybody or any thing the team has done. It seems he always tries hard and is a good team mate.
In my magical dream world Dalvin Cook gets drafted at 19. The BUCS keep Martin, Quizz and Peyton Barber. Throw in Cook that’s your backfield. That would be bad for Simms though. I just think Peyton Barber is better than Simms, as matter of fact he could be a break out player if they would play him more, Barber that is.
I hope Kwon does not get any recognition, he seems to play better when he’s p*****d off. Look I did it again, no bad words. Who ever is not respecting Alexander will pay!!! LOVE that attitude.
Thank you, chetthevette. No, the Bucs don’t get compensated for doing Hard Knocks, but the exposure a small market team like Tampa Bay can get nationally helps build the Bucs’ brand. It also helps drive interest locally in Tampa Bay and will likely generate some ticket sales.
Martin will be a financial decision; nothing less, nothing more. Based on that thought, I believe he will be let go after his suspension, unless he agrees to take a pay cut with incentives and little guaranteed money for 2017 or 2018. Go Bucs!
Scott, Another WINNER! Loved this Fab Five for many reasons.
Kwon’s take on Doug Martin coming back from a suspension rings true. I really don’t know if DM will be on the team in week four but until he’s not, he is still at the very least good insurance for the the position.
Hard Knocks. As a fan until this season I thought like Sapp and Dotson. But now I not only think they could handle it but that it will be good for the Buccaneers to get used to the national spotlight. I like the way Kwon thinks here…. again. And besides, players like Kwon and Jameis Winston DO make this team interesting. It is, in my opinion, going to happen, Get your HBO subscription NOW!!
Kwon Alexander may not be known to the owrld for the player he is but the fans here who have watched him do. He’s our modern day Hardy Nickerson, had Hardy been drafted here. To high a compliment? I really don’t think so. Kwon has the skill and even more importantly the desire to be great. Watch for more of his jerseys in the stands for sure!
Hardy in the Ring of Honor? HELL yes! We all know how important a player he was here. How he made teammates accountable, how players like Sapp, Brooks and Lynch learned from him. It goes without typing that Ronde Barber makes it and it just seems to me that Hardy Nickerson should never be forgotten.
Scott, thanks and a hat tip for some damn good work. Looking forward to the Chuck Berry take on the podcast. Maybe our own Uncle Stan took his grand kids to see him play in 1956? 😉
Great read! Really takes me back to the good old days. Hard to say what happens with Martin. I personally like the guy and hope he gets it together. He’s been very injury prone. Some players are, some aren’t. Luck of the draw at times too.
Does anyone know what Doug actually was taking? What performance enhancing drug do you have to go to rehab for? Don’t really understand that.
Love Kwon and his attitude.
Hope we don’t have to do “hard knocks” I agree this team is too young to handle it well.
I think it was Adderall. It’s a club drug, but it falls under “performance enhancing” category in the NFL.
I swear I read somewhere that it was Molly that he was taking. I am looking for articles to back up my hunch, but it could be adderall.
I have to say I enjoyed reading all of your comments. Well done!
I understand where you are coming from surferdude,
I still feel like Martin can be an asset to this team and like BucWilde02, he seems to have garnered a lot of respect from his team mates.
Do you remember Winston going after the Cowboy last year when he thought Dougie was getting roughed up. How many QB’s do you see do that for a RB.
The Bucs surged ahead last year when Winston promoted the family concept of the team.
Martin is definitely a part of that family.
When you have a family member have trouble with drugs, you don’t kick him out because of his mistake, you provide him with support to get help which Martin did.
I think it’s also ironic that Alexander is being lauded here and rightfully so, but he was also suspended for four games for using a PED in 2015 and the defense suffered from the loss or has everyone forgotten that.
Of course Alexander makes a lot less money than Doug, a situation I think the Bucs should address, but the money factor shouldn’t be a concern of any fan.
As I say time and time again, the Bucs have plenty of money, make a huge profit each year so quit worrying about it, it’s not your money.
I’m also sick and tired of the Bucs blowing former No, 1 picks out of town who then go on to have more solid years for behavior that many players in the NFL have indulged in. See the jackass Aqib Talib.
One last thing. I also don’t blame Martin’s poor rushing stats last year entirely on him alone. The offensive line wasn’t as good as it was the year before due to the loss of Logan Mankins. I challenge anyone to say otherwise.
I just hope the Bucs don’t give up on Doug Martin. They gave up on Talib and Blount and those two went to other teams and did well and had no problems. You can’t build a team if you keep cutting ties with good players and don’t get anything in return for them.
Adderall is basically speed. It’s used to treat ADD as well. My some was on it when he was in teens. Some players take it so they can party all night and still function….Talib, Eric Wright,etc. You can become addicted to amphetamines.
Molly is not a “performance enhancing drug” so that couldn’t be what he was taking. He could be addicted to Apmhetamine (Adderall) but mostly likely he’s more addicted to drinking and whatever else and using the Adderall to still have energy to train and play.
I remember Doug M first year here, and remember thinking coach S running Doug WAY TO MUCH!
I think bucs should resign him for 2 yr. contract if he looks good and bucs have chance to trade him do it, don’t just cut him! The bucs have cut to many players they maybe could have gotten something for.
Martin signed a 5 year, $35 million contract last year. He has 4 years remaining, but because of a clause associated with conduct and failed drug tests, the Bucs can cut him without having to pick up the remainder of the contract. He is under agreement until he isn’t.
Another great Fab-5 and so many good comments to follow. I usually read the Fab-5 on Saturday mornings and make any remarks then (not that anyone cares), but I was a little too busy yesterday.
I think if the Bucs were leaning toward cutting Doug Martin they would have done it already. To me there is absolutely no reason to do anything until they have to make that decision this coming September/October. Who knows if another team loses its’ star RB and is desperate for a player with the credentials of #22 and we can make a trade.
I think it would be interesting to see our Bucs on Hard Knocks. Most of us have met but a handful of the players and really have no idea about their personalities outside of a short interview clip. I’d be watching more to see the behind the scenes football related activities than some sort of Real Housewives episode. I only want the players to be themselves and not play some fake role.
Two weeks from now the 2017 Draft will be over. The most used three little words will become “woulda, coulda, shoulda”. Players who have yet to play a down will, in some folks lightning quick judgment, become a star, a reach or a bust. We’ll then turn our attention to the undrafted free agent crop and either tout or poo poo players about whom we know nothing beyond height and weight.
Out of the 32 first round draftees, my guess is none of the endless Mock Drafts will have predicted more than 10 to the correct team. I laugh when the prognosticators comment about a player’s “stock moving up or stock moving down.” According to who? Certainly no team is offering a peek at their Draft Board. We too often take these “experts” opinions, that are rarely original thought, as facts. If they were so smart they would know Ryan Leaf and Tony Mandrich would define the term “bust”, Yet no one predicted it at the time. There will be late rounders and undrafted free agents become stars, but doubtful anyone makes such a bold prediction.
Good job Scubog; well said.
Scott, just showing us the record performances of teams on Hard Knocks doesn’t tell us anything. That’s useless information without context. See below for a more useful approach. I’ve listed the Hard Knocks teams, followed by their records the year of Hard Knocks AND for the teams with losing records that year, I’ve provided their records in the season before that one, along with a bit of team context.
2001 – Baltimore Ravens – 10-6
2002 – Dallas Cowboys – 5-11, 5-11 (their third straight 5-11 seasons, led by QB Quincy Carter)
2003 – Kansas City Chiefs – 4-12, 9-7 (their first season without Trent Green at QB, they used Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle intermittently throughout the year)
2008 – Dallas Cowboys – 9-7
2009 – Cincinnati Bengals – 10-6
2010 – New York Jets – 11-5
2012 – Miami Dolphins – 7-9, 6-10 (their fourth straight season with 7 or fewer wins, first year with HC Joe Philbin and rookie QB Ryan Tannehill)
2013 – Cincinnati Bengals – 11-5
2014 – Atlanta Falcons – 6-10, 4-12 (the middle year of a bad three year stretch that led to firing of HC Mike Smith
2015 – Houston Texans – 9-7
2016 – Los Angeles Rams – 4-12, 7-9 (the Rams have sucked for years, and they regressed to even lower lows with the terrible use of draft capital on raw, struggling rookie Jared Goff. Also the first year in a new city)
The point is this – just looking at the records and playoff situations of Hard Knocks teams is lazy and pointless. It doesn’t tell us anything by itself. Every single HK team was bad the year they did HK was also bad the year before, and in most cases several years before, with the exception of the Chiefs, who went into a clear rebuilding period with terrible QB play. To assign any blame for these things to HK doesn’t make any sense. They were just bad football teams. So yea, they stunk. But it wasn’t HK’s fault.
Even if this approach Scott used did make sense, one could argue that it indicates that Hard Knocks HELPS teams make the playoffs, if anything. With 32 teams in the league and only 12 playoff teams per season, only 38% of teams make the playoffs every year. But so far, HK teams have made the playoffs at a rate of 45%. So maybe teams should be sprinting to HK since it apparently raises their odds of making the playoffs by 7%.
Of course, any analyst worth his salt recognizes that that’s not how statistics work. Like, at all. So they wouldn’t even attempt to draw conclusions with this methodology.
The Bucs should be humane and cut Martin so he can try and negotiate a new deal (it could even be with the Bucs).
If they do not cut him to get out of that ridiculous (really stupid) contract, then we should question Licht’s judgement.
Kwon took a big leap forward last year. Whether he realizes it or not, his tackling his rookie year WAS really bad. He doesn’t seem to understand that it wasn’t about his tackle total that season, but amount the incredible number of missed tackles he accrued. A missed tackle is often a big play for the opposing offense. Between that and his consistently poor positioning in pass defense, he was overall a player that didn’t help his team much as a rookie, even though he looked incredibly promising.
I came into this most recent season cautiously optimistic about his future. He had clearly shown every physical tool he’d need to succeed, but he had to show better awareness play to play, and he had to clean up the huge finishing problems from his first year. Neither of those were givens. Thankfully, he took huge leaps forward in both areas. His process was much more sound. The stat line is nice, but it also isn’t really the point. He was consistently good in plays that don’t show up there. If he takes another moderate step forward this year, he will truly be among the best in the game at what he does, no doubt.
magoobee, you are one of those individuals I wrote about earlier who seems to be preoccupied with how much money Martin is making this year.
I didn’t hear one peep out of anybody clamoring for the Bucs to renegotiate the contract of the FA from Seattle, JR Sweezy, who went out for the year before the season even started. Although the Bucs did that, I don’t remember anybody encouraging them to do so.
So why they hysteria over Martin’s pay?
Do you worry about how much they are paying the Glazer boys and their sister for the silly jobs they do.
Again, it’s not your money so get over it.
Martin made more money last year than you and I combined will for the entire spectrum of our working careers.
If I can live with that, why can’t you.
Remember, envy is one of the seven deadly sins.
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