Doug Martin acknowledges issues in Tampa, but downplays them

Getty Images

The Buccaneers have become one of the top stories of the 2013 NFL season, but not for the reasons that a team would prefer to become one of the top stories of any NFL season.

Amid reports and denials and accounts of meetings aimed at clearing the air of smoke that supposedly isn’t there, the specifics remain unclear — but the general vibe isn’t positive.

Running back Doug Martin has shed a little light on the situation in an interview that will air tomorrow on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk.

“We’re a family,” Martin tells Erik Kuselias, “and anybody who has a brother or two brothers, whoever has a family which is everybody, there will be some disagreements and some disputes and,we’re going to keep it in the family walls and we’ll sit down and talk about it like men.  We’re going to handle it within the organization, and we’re going to move forward from it and leave what’s in the past.”

So what will be left in the past?  That’s where Martin clams up.

“Everyone’s fine with each other and it’s just, we all got to hold each other accountable and do better and just picking each other up and keeping anything negative out of the family,” Martin said.  “We’re fine now, we’re fine.”

Martin acknowledges that a players-only meeting was held before Week One, for the purposes of funneling any player issues to the coaching staff.

“That was mainly about the players coming together and if anybody had any questions or concerns then present them to anybody that was in that meeting and then take them upstairs to [coach Greg] Schiano and present it to him and it was just a time to, if anybody had like a. . . .  We have four captains and we can’t have all 53 guys go upstairs.  The players’ meeting is to get everybody’s ideas and concerns to the four captains so they can take it upstairs.”

The answer strongly implies that the players had (and still may have) concerns.  We reported that one of the concerns was the legitimacy of the vote to determine the team captains.  (Whether the vote was legitimate — and it apparently was — is a question separate and distinct from whether the players had concerns about the legitimacy of the vote.)  Apparently, there were other concerns.

It makes sense for the players not to air dirty laundry in public.  But just enough of the stink has been creeping out of the building to create the unmistakable impression that there are multiple problems in One Buc Place.

A win over the Patriots would go a long way toward solving some of those problems, but Martin opted not to pull a Victor Cruz.

“I wouldn’t say ‘must-win’ game but we want to win,” Martin said.  “But we don’t want to put any extra emphasis on it than any other games.  We want to win the game.”

If they do, those questions and concerns the players have won’t feel quite as important, at least for a little while.

28 responses to “Doug Martin acknowledges issues in Tampa, but downplays them

  1. The problem is Josh Freeman isn’t a franchise QB. The truth is he is a soft spoken head case who stares down his receivers. Schiano has done a great job turning this defense around, but isn’t getting any help from the QB or offensive coordinator. The idiotic Tampa fans that want him fired are probably the same ones that ran Gruden and Dungy out of town.

  2. scoops1 says:
    Sep 18, 2013 9:30 AM
    what a waste of a 1st round pick this guy was for FF

    Yeah because being a player with over 1900 yards or receiving and rushing as a rookie is a first round waste.

    Ask the Giants who they wanted as their 1st rb.

    You idiot, go back to playing madden.

  3. Martin has 206 rushing this season while Morris has 156.

    Martin finished last season with over 400 yards more receiving than Morris and only 125 less rushing yards. Finished only 100 yards short of an all time all purpose yards for a rookie.

    Martin was and is better than Morris.

  4. logicalvoicesays says:
    Sep 18, 2013 9:21 AM
    I remember when Bucs fans declared this guy was better than Alfred Morris. #Whoslaughingnow


    I remember when you declared that RGIII was a lock for the HOF. #Whoslaughingnow

  5. Why do you people continue to respond to this logicalvoice cartoon? He doesn’t take himself serious and by you all continuing to respond to his o-2 Redskins comments, your just stroking his little ego. Enough already.

  6. Ah your not handling it within the org if you and Revis and others are blabbing to the media about closed meetings and people getting into each others faces.
    Keeping it in the family means shutting the ____ up and playing football.

    Football players are the biggest loudmouths and cry babies in sports now and your one of them.

  7. Lol i would chose martin over morris anyday . And by the way if your not a fan dont. Dont follow the stories that they write about the team. Or any player in any case. And by the way running qbs dont last in this league as anyone can see.

  8. Gee lets see the coach benches someone for sucking and the team has to have a meeting and hissy fit about it. Freeman had one good year and has been only so so for the past few seasons. So what’s the problemo when the coach thinks the guy needs more coaching.

    If Freeman was winning he would still be a captain.

  9. Sep 18, 2013 10:42 AM
    Ah your not handling it within the org if you and Revis and others are blabbing to the media about closed meetings and people getting into each others faces.
    Keeping it in the family means shutting the ____ up and playing football.

    Football players are the biggest loudmouths and cry babies in sports now and your one of them.
    It was Schiano who came publicly, telling the media about supposed multiple tardiness of Freeman. He should have kept that in house, instead of throwing Freeman under the bus. That’s precisely the kind of thing that happens in every franchise and is not aired in the public, unless you wanna embarrass and alienate your starting QB.

    The players and the coach are on different pages. How can you trust a guy like that.

  10. Definitely than Morris last and already off to a good start of being better than him this year. Look at the rushing leaders through 2 weeks, Doug is second and by a small margin you idiot.

  11. when your franchise QB shows up late for the team photo and his play on the field reflects the rumors that his off field work is lacking then it is easy to see what the problem is. Schiano may be a diciplinarian but if your “leaders” don’t lead by example you are gonna have discord. If they don’t turn it around before the trade deadline then I say see what you can get for Freeman and start over at the position.

  12. This team is so dysfunctional. Revis probably wants a new contract already and is pouting, Schiano still thinks that screaming at adults is acceptable because it worked for 18 year old kids, and Freeman is a lousy leader.

  13. As a pure runner, I would take Morris over Martin for the reason that he can push a pile much better than Martin. If I want an every down back who can run and catch the ball and make plays, I would take Martin hands down. I’m a Redskins’ diehard but I also know football, and in the NFL, a lot of teams are having much more success with every down backs than they are with pure runners, because pure runners are a 1-trick usually. That’s why a lot of teams have like 4+ backs on the team for different roles. Doug Martin only needs to be pulled out when he’s tired or has an injury that will hinder his ability to block, catch, or cut. I wish Alfred Morris was like Doug. Best of luck to the Bucs getting that first W. I wish Freeman would be a bit more consistent with his throws. A lot of them are just horrible passes that even defenders are sitting there trying to ponder how could anyone throw worse than a lineman. Schiano kinda cost them last week with calling for the FG from that far with a kicker who’s accuracy was horrible from that distance. He should have had either punted or gone for the dive with Freeman on 4th down. Lorig needs to get healthy fast, too. My brother is a Bucs fan, so yes, I do know the importance of a FB in Tampa, and he may never be the next Alstott, but I really don’t see but maybe 1 or 2 other FB’s in the league who are better blockers than Lorig. HTTR and get that NFC South, Bucs. You guys could easily dominate that division, even without Barth making those game-winning FG’s

  14. @ westampa
    In our 2 losses, when Freeman left the field, we were winning. It was your so called “Schiano improved defense” that cost us the game. How much more turmoil will need to spew from the locker-room before your Schiano man crush subsides? He is well on his way to losing this team & out of the league.

  15. lol… if our defense was so bad… we wouldn’t have even been in the position to blow the game…. we would have been BLOWN OUT by both the Jets and the Saints….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!