Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin apparently wins Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running back competition over LeGarrette Blount

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA

At 5 feet 9, Boise State rookie RB Doug Martin disappears behind his blockers. But his ability to play three downs also has stood out to Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who compares him to the Ravens' Ray Rice, his former workhorse at Rutgers.

Martin moved into the starting lineup Friday against the Patriots, and he won't be replaced any time soon.

With starters expected to rest in Wednesday's preseason finale at Washington, it appears Martin has won the tailback job over incumbent LeGarrette Blount.

Friday, Martin ran 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 12 yards. Blount ran seven times for 22 yards and didn't catch a pass.

"That's why he moved in and started the game; because he has shown me that much," Schiano said.

"And I don't think he did anything (Friday) night that would say, 'Oh, that wasn't a good move.' I thought he ran the ball well and did some things well. So right now, he's got to continue on that course. He's learning every day. And he's a very open-minded guy. He wants to learn."

One other running back who might earn more carries is Michael Smith, the seventh-round pick from Utah State. In addition to looking explosive while handling all the kickoff return duties, Smith had six carries for 38 yards Friday and caught two passes for 16 yards.

Cooling OFF: QB Josh Freeman began Friday 5-of-6 for 61 yards, and the lone miss was a drop. From there, he went 5-of-13 for 41 yards.

Why the inconsistency? Freeman has to own some of it. He was late getting the ball out of his hands a few times and was off the mark on more than a couple of other occasions. But Schiano said receivers not running precise routes also are to blame.

"I think we got a little out of rhythm, and it wasn't all Josh," Schiano said. "The way our passing game is so detailed and the timing, if a receiver comes and breaks flat rather than breaking on a 45-degree angle, the ball is going to appear to be short. Well, it wasn't short. We just weren't where we were supposed to be.

"So we have some work to do still to get all the timing and precision."

TIGHT END ISSUES: Dallas Clark, 33, can help the Bucs as a pass catcher if he remains healthy. Luke Stocker, in his second season, is a better blocker but has had trouble staying out of the trainer's room. Danny Noble, an undrafted rookie out of Toledo, has done just enough catching and blocking to catch the Bucs' eyes.

Therefore, Schiano said, the Bucs will use a committee approach at tight end.

"When I say that by committee, what I mean there are certain guys that do different things well; better than the next guy," Schiano said. "So we'll try to play to their strengths."

BUCS BITS: DT Gerald McCoy (leg) and DE Adrian Clayborn (arm) are sore from sustaining injuries that forced them to leave Friday's game, but they will be ready for the season opener Sept. 9 against Carolina. Neither is slated to play Wednesday. … MLB Adam Hayward had a good showing Friday in place of Mason Foster, who has a slight hamstring strain. But Schiano said Foster has done a good job as well and Hayward likely will provide depth at all three linebacker spots.

Comments
Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

TAMPA — The Bucs are sticking with Ryan Two and Oh Fitzpatrick at quarterback for Sunday’s game in Atlanta. But this isn’t a case of just riding the guy who has the cool head and hot hand. Doctors would not clear starter Jameis Wi...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

TAMPA — RB Doug Martin had just 38 yards on 19 carries in Sunday’s win against the Dolphins, but coach Dirk Koetter said his team’s struggles running the ball shouldn’t go squarely on his running back."In my opinion, he is not the reason we’re not mo...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

ST. PETERSBURG — It isn’t easy avoiding The Jameis Winston mess.But it’s worth a try. If only to see some thin shafts of light.It’s worth considering that the 2017 Bucs, their death certificate already signed, have shown signs of life. Okay, near lif...
Updated: 10 hours ago
WR Bernard Reedy, cut by Bucs, signing to Patriots’ practice squad

WR Bernard Reedy, cut by Bucs, signing to Patriots’ practice squad

Former Lakewood star Bernard Reedy, waived by the Bucs on Friday, cleared waivers on Monday and will be signing on Tuesday to join the New England Patriots' practice squad.Reedy, 25, handled all the Bucs' punt and kickoff returns in the first nine ga...
Published: 11/20/17
Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Doctors would not clear Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to begin throwing after an evaluation of his shoulder injury Monday and he could miss one or two more weeks.The Bucs have gone 2-0 under backup Ryan Fitzpatrick since Winston was shut down to gi...
Published: 11/20/17
Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

On Sunday, the Buccaneers and Dolphins played one of those football games that gets only an obligatory mention at the end of highlight shows. In that spirit, this week’s Turning Point will focus mostly on the final three minutes of Tampa Bay’s 30-20 ...
Published: 11/20/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman looks back on Tampa Bay’s wild 30-20 win over the Dolphins, their second straight win and first on the road this season, the good and bad of that, plus a major off-field story now surrounding QB Jameis Winston. List...
Published: 11/20/17
Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

The topic for the Times' set-up package  for Bucs-Dolphins in Sunday's editions was Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Admittedly, it's not James Winston vs. Marcus Mariota, but the two defensive linemen were taken back to back in the 2010 NFL Draft...
Published: 11/20/17
Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s

Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s

President Donald Trump on Monday added Marshawn Lynch to the list of sports figures he has criticized on Twitter.Lynch has been regularly sitting during the national anthem this season and did so again when his Oakland Raiders played the New England ...
Published: 11/20/17
Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Bucs win again behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a defense that creates five turnovers against the Dolphins. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the game, including the calm that Fitzpatrick has brought and ...
Published: 11/20/17