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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Doug Martin talks on SiriusXM: Bucs still 'we'

4

February

Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin is in the San Francisco area leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl, and he took a few minutes to talk with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, addressing everything from his pending free agency to Dirk Koetter's promotion to head coach and his pick for Sunday's game.

Martin continues to speak very positively about the potential for him returning to the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent, just as the Bucs have reiterated publicly that the team would like to keep Martin in town with a new deal.

"Right now I'm just enjoying the process," said Martin, who won't be able to talk to any other teams until five weeks from now. "It's all business. My agents are talking to them right now and negotiations are going on. My agent will let me know. ... I love Tampa. I've got a house there. I love to play with them. I love Tampa and Tampa loves me. ... I like what Tampa did last year. We have a lot of potential to be great. That's all that sells me on it."

Asked if there are other teams he's interested in, Martin said "it's Tampa right now. The focus is on Tampa." Throughout the interview, talking about next year's Bucs, Martin repeatedly said "we" in reference to the Bucs, which bodes well for his expectations of returning.

-- On what else needs to be addressed for the Bucs to improve in 2016: "Last year we had a lot of penalties, a lot of unnecessary penalties. That's something we have to get better at. We had a few turnovers, myself and some other people had some turnovers, so we definitely need to do a better job protecting the ball. And defense, definitely defense. I think we'll do a good job in this offseason taking care of those. I think we'll be very successful this year."

-- On the decision to fire Lovie Smith and promote Koetter: "The firing was a surprise to everybody. The defense didn't take a liking to it. Having Dirk being promoted is a good thing for us because we don't have to learn a whole new offensive scheme. I think Dirk's going to do a good job. I think he knows what he's doing and I can't wait to play for him."

-- On his success in Koetter's offense last season and it suiting his strengths: "Look what happened last year. I had 1,400 yards. ... I just have to stay healthy. The past (two) years I was dealing with injuries. You can see what I can do when I'm healthy. My success also had to do with my o-linemen. We had two rookies, the line being led by Logan Mankins, the old dog."

-- On Jameis Winston as a leader: "Jameis is a guy with a lot of energy. He's definitely that spark that we needed. His will to win is so contagious when he's on the field, and also his energy is contagious. He's definitely somebody we need on this team to lead."

-- On his pick for Sunday -- keep in mind that he has two former Boise State teammates in Denver center Mike Paradis and injured Broncos tackle Ryan Clady: "I should pick the Panthers because that would make our division stronger, but I'm going to have to go with Denver. I expect nothing but greatness from Peyton Manning and I believe he's going to do an awesome job. He's getting up there. I think he's going to do awesome in this game."

[Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 4:48pm]

    

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