With the final appearance by a Buccaneer on the NFL’s Top 100,Doug Martin
lands at number 33.
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From rookie phenom to potential bust to a top 40 finish on the NFL Network’s top 100 list voted on by players, it’s safe to say Doug Martin has reemerged as one of the top ball carriers in the NFL. It’s hard to argue his placing after his breakout season in 2015 where he rushed for the second most yards in the league with 1,402, only trailing Adrian Peterson.
"“Doug Martin. I love the way he plays the game. Powerful young back.”-Adrian Peterson"
Martin earned some high praise from teammates and peers alike. Lavonte David weighed in on his thoughts of Martin moving forward,
"“He’s come back to natural form. Now he’s healthy, probably the healthiest he’s been since his rookie year. It’s showing what he can do when healthy. The way he jump cuts. The way he fights for extra yardage."
Fellow NFC South rival Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers is a big fan of Martin,
"“When a lot of people tried to write him off, he just came back stronger. He’s a true competitor. He’s a guy who goes out and works his butt off and you can tell. When he’s on the field, he’s the guy who’s runnin’ hard whether it’s the first quarter or the last play of the game."
Doug Martin led the NFL in 20-plus yard plays last season. Although he broke off big run after big run, he never could seem to finish those off with touchdowns. He’s always a big play waiting to happen, but doesn’t possess the breakaway speed to outrun every defender. But, you know, that’s okay. His big plays consistently put the Buccaneers in position to score touchdowns and Martin is a constant threat to defenses.
"“It’s so hard to find him. He’s so low to the ground, all of a sudden he squirts out of the middle and he’s gone for forty to fifty yards.”–Jacquies Smith"
Jameis Winston loves having Doug in the backfield, but he’s never one to shy away from a little joke,
"“He gets defenses off set because they don’t know what’s comin’. Any time we give him the ball, we think we’re gonna get a big play.It’s like, his cheeks get bigger. Inside his helmet, his cheeks are massive. As the game goes on, his cheeks get all sweaty and (blows air repeatedly) bigger. And he starts breathing real hard (blows air again). You can just see his cheeks get bigger and he starts runnin hard.”"
Buccaneers’ fans were thrilled when Martin signed his five year, $35.75 million dollar deal to stay in Tampa, because they knew what Martin brought to the table in 2015 and what he can bring to the table for years to come. The key is Doug remaining healthy and in the same shape he was in last season.
Doug Martin, or “The Douggernaut” as he prefers to be called, is a man of many names. One of which, as we all know, he’s not a fan of. Colts’ punter Pat McAfee doesn’t quite understand why,
"“If my name is the ‘Muscle Hamster’, if muscle is associated with me at all, I’m excited. Douggie Fresh is a good one. A lot of people call him a rolling ball of Butcher’s knives, too. If you don’t like muscle hamster…I think we better not talk about it."
At the end of the day, Pat McAfee may have said the most honest thing about Martin, if Doug Martin can rattle off more seasons like the one he just had,
"“He just has to get through this ‘Muscle Hamster’ phase until he can get to his next phase, which is: Legend."