TAMPA — Last year, as Bucs RB Doug Martin was on his way to finishing second in the NFL in rushing, then-offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said some of his motivation had to be that Martin was in a contract year, knowing a big season could help him land a big contract in free agency.
But after signing a five-year, $35.8 million contract to stay with the Bucs, Martin said he has plenty of other motivations, not the least of which is getting Tampa Bay to the playoffs for the first time in his career.
"What's missing? Super Bowl. Going to the playoffs," Martin said Wednesday during the second week of Bucs' offseason conditioning. "I want to win games, get to the playoffs, get to the Super Bowl and win it. … I came back because I love this team. We have great potential."
Martin said others may have thought he was motivated by a contract last year, but he said other factors were more involved in his success, especially his health after missing parts of the two previous seasons.
"There were a lot of things that happened to me. We got Dirk in. We got the two rookies (Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet) on the offensive line. The whole line got better. We got Jameis (Winston)," Martin said. "All those intangibles helped me to my success."
Martin made it to the Pro Bowl, finishing behind the Vikings' Adrian Peterson for the rushing title, but he said it's easy to find ways he can improve this year.
"I would like to have more yards than I had last year, than my rookie year," Martin said. "More touchdowns. Being able to finish more. I'd get caught at the 5, so I can get more touchdowns."
ALWAYS WITH HIM: LB Lavonte David has had a difficult offseason, losing a cousin in the spring and his mother, Lynette, last month. He said his mother continues to be a driving force in his life, on and off the field.
"Always. She's my pride and joy," David said, speaking to reporters for the first time since her death at age 56 on March 29. "Anybody that knows me knows she's my pride and joy. She's going to be with me like she's always been.
"I talk to her every day. She's going to guide me through the rest of my life. I'm glad I could make her proud before she went away, but I'm going to continue to keep trying to make her proud."
Lynette David was at One Buc Place last year when the Bucs announced a contract extension for her son, and he credited her with helping him stay focused and find success from his earliest levels of football to the sport's highest levels with Tampa Bay.
His close friend and teammate, fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander, had a brother shot to death in a fight during the season last year, so they have helped each other cope with their losses. David said he is grateful to have friends and family to help him during a difficult time.
"I have a good support system. They kept me going, kept me up, kept my spirits high," David said. "They reach out to me every day, see how I'm doing. So far, I'm doing good."
. fast facts
When/where: April 28-30, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago
Times: Round 1, April 28, 8 p.m. (ESPN, NFL Network); Rounds 2-3, April 29, 7 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network); Rounds 4-7, April 30, noon (ESPN, NFL Network).
Draft order: 1. Rams (from Titans); 2. Eagles (from Browns); 3. Chargers, 4. Cowboys; 5. Jaguars, 6. Ravens; 7. 49ers; 8. Browns (from Dolphins via Eagles); 9. Bucs; 10. Giants; 11. Bears; 12. Saints; 13. Dolphins (from Eagles); 14. Raiders; 15. Titans (from Rams); 16. Lions; 17. Falcons; 18. Colts; 19. Bills; 20. Jets; 21. Redskins; 22. Texans; 23. Vikings; 24. Bengals; 25. Steelers; 26. Seahawks; 27. Packers; 28. Chiefs; 29. Cardinals; 30. Panthers; 31. Broncos.
Bucs draft picks: First round, ninth overall; second round, 39th overall; third round, 74th overall; fourth round, 108th overall; fifth round, 148th overall; sixth round, 183rd overall; sixth round, 197th overall, from Redskins.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer