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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' Tedford plans to alternate running backs

Running back Doug Martin can expect a considerably lighter workload this season.


Running back Doug Martin can expect a considerably lighter workload this season.

Two years ago, when he led all rookie rushers and was voted to the Pro Bowl, running back Doug Martin had 368 touches on offense. But Martin can expect a considerably lighter workload than that this season.

Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford said he believes in alternating running backs and the Bucs have no shortage of ballcarriers. In addition to Martin, Mike James and Bobby Rainey also rushed for more than 500 yards last season. And Tampa Bay used a third round draft pick on West Virginia running back Charles Sims.

“I think you have to alternate,'' Tedford said Tuesday. "Even when we had two, 1,000-yard rushers (at California), J.J. Arrington was a 2,000-yard rusher and and we had a couple times guys had a thousand yards apiece. But I don’t believe that one back can carry the load. It’s just too physical. I think you probably need to have two to three guys to bring different things to the table. But I think you at least need to have two to be able to spell them here and there and keep them healthy and tat type of thing.

"That's the goal to try and create some depth right there where there's not a dropoff when one guy comes in and another guy goes out. There's no dropoff. We just keep going.''

Martin played in only six games last season before suffering a shoulder injury against Atlanta that eventually landed him on injured reserve. James and Rainey were both productive as replacement backs. Sims, at 6-foot, 214-pounds, is a bigger back who caught more than 200 passes in college.


[Last modified: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 4:35pm]


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