Bucs RB Doug Martin - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
It’s starting to feel like Tampa Bay Bucs fans can’t make it 24 hours without getting another little shot of bad news.
Tuesday it was wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s torn ACL. Wednesday it’s word of a recovery setback to already-injured running back Doug Martin.
“Doug, unfortunately, did suffer a setback a week ago Sunday,” head coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday. “We’ll just have to see when he can make it back. There’s no timetable on that right now. Again, that’s not my department. There will be an injury report, but Doug did suffer a little setback.”
Martin’s been out since injuring his hamstring during Tampa Bay’s Week 2 loss in Arizona. Koetter did not offer any specifics, but aggravating his injury two Sundays ago means it occurred day before the team’s Monday night win in Charlotte.
With or without Martin, Tampa Bay’s running game has struggled to get itself going this season. The Bucs enter Sunday’s contest in San Francisco with the league’s 27th ranked ground attack, averaging just 88.6 yards per game. Newcomer Jacquizz Rodgers added a spark to the backfield and stepped up by rushing for 101 yards on 30 carries against Carolina, but now he and the team need to show they can recreate that productivity week after week.
“Your run game gets better if you run it more,” Koetter said about establishing the run. “‘All right, coach, well run it more.’ Well, you’ve got to make yards, you’ve got to have efficient runs and you’ve got to be moving the chains. If you’re doing that and you’re running it more and you’re repeating runs, your line and your backs both have a tendency to get stronger as you go. But if you’re going three-and-out … and then you fall behind on the scoreboard, it’s hard to keep running it. That’s just a reality.”
Compounding the Bucs’ issue at running back was the injury to Charles Sims III Week 4 against Denver. Rookie Peyton Barber received his first career rushing attempts in Carolina, going for six yards on three attempts, and Tampa Bay signed seventh-year veteran Antone Smith this week.
Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said Wednesday that he and his staff “anticipate giving [Smith] opportunities” this week. Smith, who played his college ball at Florida State, began his pro career with the Atlanta Falcons and ran in an offense led by Koetter from 2012-14. When asked about Barber, the Bucs first-year coordinator said he’s developing but still needs some work to see significant time.
“I think Peyton’s going to be a good football player; he is a good football player,” Monken said. “He just needs more seasoning in terms of protections. It’s hard when you get a young player in. What they need is reps and the least thing you can get him is reps, if that makes sense. You get young, developmental players and they come in and before you know it the season gets here and it’s over. You’ve got to go with guys that understand the system and that are ready to function. So do I think he’s going to continue to develop? Yes, because he has a good skill set, he’s competitive and I think he’s going to be a good football player. It’s just a matter of time and just continuing to play. And when his opportunities come, taking advantage of them.”
OK, he’s missed 25% of the season already, for a hamstring. I wonder if he’d play through the pain if this was another contract year?
He will be out at least another 4 weeks. He only plays 50% of the time.
I remember catching a lot of flak for saying he wasn’t worth the money for this very reason. Go ahead and add RB to our draft needs. Fortunately this is deep class at that position. I mean seriously what is up with these injuries. We are getting destroyed with these.
I remember catching a lot of flack for saying we shouldn’t resign him but rather draft RB Elliot because he was going to be a beast. I remember hearing that Elliot didn’t run out of the tradition back system but rather the option and he wouldn’t be good in the NFL. Now look who is leading the league in rushing and is on pace to break the rookie record.
No doubting Elliots talent, but it helps when you play behind the best offensive line in football. Most of his runs have holes you could drive a mac truck through.
Enough of this doom and gloom… This is the NFL. The Bucs should man up and head west and pick up the victory. I’m calling Hargreaves first pick of the season Sunday! 3-3 is within reach and would get the Bucs back to about where many of us thought they would be. Bring it home for us, Jameis!
SF is a winnable game, but history says our Bucs tend to get killed in those west coast trips. Having a strong rushing attack and a strong defense is the best way to quiet hostile road crowds and win on the road. And vice versa. This is going to be a huge challenge for young Jameis to manage the offense this Sunday and not revert to his heroical tendencies that in the NFL produce game-killing offensive turnovers.
You’re absolutely right… I remember that last time seeing the Bucs in a hotel somewhere when they got stomped in SF when they were suppose to win it, but I think the difference these days is that we have a legit QB who can get us over those hurdles?
Agree is a need but not in draft. Two high draft picks on OL helps RB QB WR and D. Get Martin and Sims (who while maybe not a bust increasingly looks like he was a reach by two rounds) healthy and keep Rogers next year……
That’ll do for what will be another year in the rebuild. Get a WR sandwiched between the OL and then draft for defense from 4th down. In 2018 you’ll still need another OL but will have more room for things like RB.
Are we feeling snake bit yet? You betcha.
It’s like an old clunker car, fix the water pump and the starter takes a crap. Unfortunately there isn’t a Pep Boys down the street.
It’s Copher U Pull It for us.
Just being a smart aleck, if we can beat the Panthers with Jaquizz we can trounce the Niners. Have I mentioned that the Niners suck.
Martin, VJ, McCoy, Ayer, Hawley, Sims…
Tough, we just don’t have the depth yet….
We are at the point now where needs in the upcoming 2017 draft are so great and we haven’t even played 6 games. This is depressing. I just hope the news on the defensive side of the game is not as bad. But how would we know since they tell us so little about the status of players ?
This is a much bigger hit to the offense than losing Vincent Jackson. We’ll survive without Doug Martin in the backfield, but we could thrive if he were there. A great running back with a competent run-blocking line is the greatest friend a quarterback can have … just ask Dak Prescott about that!
This sucks. Drafting RBs doesn’t really make sense to me. They are easy to get and have short life spans typically. Address O line and other things first.
Martin seems like he’s going to be healthy about every other year. Sucks but I was ok gambling on him. We had the money and healthy he’s a beast. Injuries suck but part of NFL. No team can lost 4-5 of best players and be great but Bucs depth is worse than average I think.
We really need the defense to get going. Need McCoy,Ayers,and McDonald back on D line.
If defense plays good and finally starts to adjust to Smiths system and Winston quits turning it over run game will be good enough I think.
This year has been a real bummer after I had such high hopes.
They looked good in ore season then we come out and beat Atlanta and now look where we are…oh well is what it is. I quit letting a game bother me to point I get upset all week over Sunday loss.
Come on guys, you sound like were in week 14 with a 2-11 record. Look at who we’ve played so far this year. We have played 3 of the top 4 teams left in the playoffs last year, with 2 of them going on to play in the Superbowl. It hasn’t been an easy schedule so far, most teams in the league would be happy to be where we are coming out of the bye after those first 5 games with a 2-3 record. And that’s with a second year QB, and a revamped defense!
Every player in this league is a professional, even the backups. There is a reason why they made the team. Trust that the coaches understand our situation, our talent, and when choosing players for the team, they more than likely ran through this exact scenario, or one similar to it. Unlike our more recent past coaches, they will have a plan that puts this team, and it’s current line up, in the best possible situation to win.
Think about this, what an opportunity as a fan we have here to actually see how good this coaching staff really is. No doubt, with all of these injuries, their work is cut out for them. But if they made the right choices back during the preseason we will be just fine.
Now that the schedule lightens up, we have some ‘unknown’ players who have an opportunity to go out and make a name for themselves. How many of you thought we would beat Carolina on MNF, at Carolina, with a DL missing most of it’s starters, and no Doug Martin, or Charles Sims? I know I did.
So have a little faith. It’s not over, it’s only just begun, and now this team is going to start going out there and having some fun, and I believe, win a few games that many have already counted us out for. Man I’m telling you, “The future is so bright around here I have to wear shades.”
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