Doug Martin won't press after subpar (for him) performance
Bucs running back Doug Martin has reached benchmarks in the past several weeks that have resulted in his name being mentioned in the same breath as greats such as Walter Payton.
So, when he rushed for 50 yards and averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on Sunday against the Falcons, you had to wonder how he might view his performance.
Predictably, the record-breaking rookie from Boise State has the proper perspective.
“If I try to do more than I can, that’s when something bad can happen,” Martin said. “So, I just try to go out and keep in mind that I have to just to my job and let things play out. I’ll just let it come to me.”
It wasn’t as if Martin didn’t produce. He scored two touchdowns in the loss. But there weren’t many did-you-see-that sort of highlights, and his longest run went for just 10 yards. That’s underwhelming for a guy who has an NFL-high four runs of 40 yards or longer this season.
The offensive line’s performance had something to do with it. Corrections have been made and players have taken responsibility heading into Sunday’s game at Denver.
Martin doesn’t seem concerned.
“I have a lot of confidence in the front line,” he said. “With all the changes that have been (made), I still have confidence in them. They’ve done a good job in practice and the numbers say it.”
A small feat of Martin’s that likely went unnoticed against the Falcons was his ability to turn almost certain losses into runs for no gain or even positive yardage. It’s something coach Greg Schiano said helped the Bucs even have a chance to win the game, and it’s something Martin takes great pride in.
“I do think people take that for granted,” he said. “They don’t understand how having a tackle for loss or no gain is really bad for the offensive series. You really want to get at least three to four yards on that first run to get you in a better position for second and third down. It’s crucial not to lose yards on first down.”