Aug 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway (52) during the first quarter in a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Martin shows some nice vision and explosiveness
The Buccaneers’ first series was a weird one. With everyone eagerly anticipating Winston’s first throw, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter kept feeding Doug Martin the ball. In his first three carries, the Muscle Hamster rushed the ball for five, eight and seven yards, respectively.
That second carry was especially impressive.
After making the wrong initial read at the line of scrimmage, Martin was able to cut back to the left side of the field, make another jump cut past a lunging defensive lineman before bursting past the Vikings’ first line of defense for a seven-yard gain.
For weeks, we have been told that Martin is in “the best shape of his life.” It’s an overused statement in mini-camp, but the Muscle Hamster showed the positive effects of a lighter frame early in Saturday’s contest. The fourth-year running back was able to navigate his way around the field and explode to the next level with ease.
Martin’s final stat line of 19 yards on five carries doesn’t tell the entire story. Doug was effective early before Koetter decided to dip in the well a little too much. I can’t wait to see what he can do in the team’s first home preseason game against a middle-of-the-pack rushing defense. Who knows if can sustain this level of play for the remainder of the preseason, but so far, Martin is looking like the Week 1 starter in the backfield.