Several are questioning if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are running second-year running back Doug Martin into the ground this season with the exceptional work load. Obviously, Martin has been featured frequently in the team’s first four games due to the recent quarterback controversy. The good news is Martin has put all doubters to rest as he his thrilled about his involvement in the offense.
“He is [being utilized heavily], and we’re aware of that and I think again he’ll probably be the first person to say, ‘I want more, I want more’” offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said, according to Buccaneers.com. “But that’s our job, kind of taking a bigger view of things and looking at what we want to do with as far as down the road, some of our longer term goals.”
“As long as I feel fine, then I have no worries,” Martin reiterated what Sullivan said.
The 24-year-old already has recorded approximately one-third of his total carries from last year in just a quarter of a season this year. It is certainly a hot topic anytime a very talented player is pushed to the limit early in his career. Considering running backs do not have long NFL life expectancies to begin with, it makes the topic even more controversial. With that being said, Martin enjoys getting the carries that Tampa Bay gives him because he understands that it is the best shot the team has at winning.
At this point, the Buccaneers should not be worried about his work load, but rather, how they can utilize him further.
“Any time we can get him into open space where he has the ball in his hands and the closest defenders are [yards away], as opposed to him having to hit a tight crease, that’s advantage us and advantage him,” Sullivan told Buccaneers.com. “We’re definitely looking at that and that’s not something we’ve made a conscious decision to get away from, it’s just a matter of trying to implement that along with some of the other things we try to do to find our balance, get our identity, get ourselves playing some consistent football that we can all be satisfied with.”
Martin has rushed for 342 yards and one touchdown on 100 carries this season.