Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano gained a lot of notice this season by bucking NFL conventions and having his defense charge the line when the Giants were kneeling down on the last play of a 41-34 win.
Seeing as how Schiano didn’t let that circumstance stop him from having his players go full speed, it’s no surprise that he isn’t using playoff elimination as an excuse to start resting members of his team for the final two weeks. Schiano was asked if running back Doug Martin’s workload would shrink as a result of the Buccaneers’ spot in the standings and the answer was an emphatic no.
“One of the things we talked about when we arrived here was establishing a new culture. Although we’ve made strides, we’re not anywhere close to where we need to be. And I think Doug Martin is part of establishing that new culture,” Schiano said, via Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. “I think it would be not a good time in our program’s development to say, ‘Hey, Doug, why don’t you go cool off here. I don’t think that’s where we are as a program. If it was a different set of circumstances, that might be very true. If he was on a veteran-laden team that, for whatever reason, didn’t make it to the playoffs this year and had been in it for the last five or six years, we might want to rest him. But that’s not the case.”
Martin is on pace for 312 carries this season, which would be good for the fourth-most in the history of the franchise. While it would be understandable if the Bucs chose to scale things back, Martin’s got plenty of time before the start of next season and it’s not like there’s someone younger or less experienced than the 2012 first-round pick that the team wants to take a look at for next season.
If Schiano really wants to create that culture, he can’t do it halfway. Playing Martin and everyone else until the final whistle of the final game is the only way to do that.