Lovie Smith will reduce Doug Martin’s workload to keep him healthy

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Doug Martin got the ball 495 times in his first 21 NFL games. And in his 22nd game, Martin suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

Now the new Bucs coaching staff is saying that in order to preserve Martin’s health, he’ll get a smaller workload than the old coaching staff gave him. Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has previously said that the Bucs will have a division of labor in the backfield, and head coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday that he wants to keep Martin from overdoing it.

“What I’ve said is I like Doug a lot. Doug’s a good football player,” Smith said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Everywhere I’ve ever been, if you look at my history, our history, we’ve played more than one running back. We had a great running back in Thomas Jones, and we drafted Cedric Benson and played them both. One running back just can’t make it through the season.”

The backup running backs in Tampa include Bobby Rainey, who led the team in rushing after Martin went down last year; Mike James, who showed some promise averaging 4.9 yards a carry as a rookie in 2013; and Charles Sims, this year’s third-round pick. Smith will give all of them a chance to earn carries, but he made clear that Martin knows the coaching staff is committed to him.

“Don’t pay any attention to that. Doug’s a good football player. He knows that. You don’t see Doug complaining. He knows what our plans are for him,” Smith said.

Smith’s primary plan is to keep Martin healthy.

20 responses to “Lovie Smith will reduce Doug Martin’s workload to keep him healthy

  1. My two fantasy fb running backs last year were Doug Martin and Lamar Miller. I should be banned for life.

  2. Mike James was awesome. He temporarily saved my fantasy season also in a few leagues, putting a solid RB2 or Flex with McCoy. All until I decided to attend the MNF game vs the Phins. I was sitting front row in the endzone right there where he broke his leg, after James gained pretty much every yard of the opening drive to get there.

    They carted him off from my endzone to the opposite side and he faded away. And that’s my story.

  3. Reggie Bush was overworked by the Lions coaching staff too. He wasn’t the same player in the second half of the season that he was in the first half.

  4. be afraid buc fans be very afraid! he mentions Thomas Jones and benson and look how that worked out for the bears. he took Jones out of the super bowl after he had run for a 60 yard td on the previous series and put in benson. how did that work out for the bears? oh yeah benson got hit, lost the ball and the momentum the bears had and cost them the super bowl! do not say you were not warned by bears fans who heard the same story about the offense for 10 years. at the end of the day it will be a get off the bus running offense he has always ran.

  5. I’m pretty sure the Bears didn’t lose the Super Bowl due to Cedric Benson’s fumble…Think about it: Rex Grossman.

  6. They got to the Super Bowl, that is better than circling the toilet bowl the way the Bucs have played the last few years.

  7. Martin is the “muscle hamster”, right? He should be able to handle the workload.

    Still remember him just devastating the Vikings a couple years ago.

  8. Lovie and the Bears front office spectacularly mismanaged their RB situation when they benched Thomas Jones for Cedric Benson. Benson fumbling in the Superbowl wasn’t Lovie’s fault but the choice to have him in there, was.

  9. Last time I checked; the Bears were 8-8 last year and 10-6 in Lovie’s last year. So he must’ve been doing something right. Did you stop to think that maybe Jones needed a blow after going for 60yds?

  10. Good decision from Lovie.

    Schiano was happy to run Martin 400 times per season if he could.

    It’s almost a good thing that he suffered a season ending injury when he did.

  11. What that means is we will split your workload so we never have to pay you like a franchise rb just like every other team out there!

  12. “What that means is we will split your workload so we never have to pay you like a franchise rb just like every other team out there!”


  13. There are at least three, and maybe four, count ’em FOUR running backs on the Bucs roster this year that can easily be feature backs. But watch out, because they have installed a up-tempo offense that will require an explosive and fresh running back on every play–it makes perfect sense. Add to that Charles Sims can line up in the slot or tear off an inside route from split back or I. Big TE and two towering, bruising wideouts on the sidelines. Watch out. And we haven’t even discussed the D yet. The RayJay will bleed Red and Pewter in 2014.

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