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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

RB Martin ready for defenses focusing more on him



TAMPA -- Bucs running back Doug Martin understands opposing defenses will focus more on stopping him as a first priority with rookie Mike Glennon now at quarterback, but he said he wants better results than in Sunday's 13-10 loss to Arizona.

"We just got outplayed by the D," Martin said in his first comments since Sunday's game, which saw him held to 45 yards on 27 carries. "They had about 7-8-9 in the box throughout the whole game, and we tried some play action. It worked sometimes, sometimes it didn't."

Martin's success as a rookie was balanced against quarterback Josh Freeman throwing for more than 4,000 yards, and until the Bucs can establish that same downfield passing threat, he'll face more defenders at the line of scrimmage, but he said he accepts that challenge.

"I just have to face reality -- that's what defenses seems to do, stack the box and stop the run and force the quarterback to throw the ball," he said. "You still have to run the ball, keep a consistent run game as well as the pass game and work off each other like that."

Martin's 342 rushing yards rank fourth in the NFL, though his average of 3.4 yards per carry is the lowest among the league's top 12 rushers. He said he'll take whatever role the coaches give him, whether it be 10 carries or 30.

Martin caught three passes for 16 yards Sunday, this after catching a total of four for 19 in the first three games, and he likes getting back to a pass-catching role after getting 49 receptions as a rookie in 2012.

"Mike does a good job of finding his checkdowns and being able to get the ball out to the back if his other reads aren't there," Martin said. "You definitely saw that this past Sunday, and a lot of running backs were able to catch the ball out of the backfield and make some plays."

Martin said the Bucs' 0-4 start is difficult on players and fans, but he stressed the importance of staying positive as Tampa Bay works its way out of a poor opening to the season.

"Having a negative outlook on everything is just going to hold us back," he said. "We have to keep pushing forward and go on with the season."

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 4:23pm]


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