Buccaneers running back Doug Martin describes himself as a “stronger person” after drug rehab.
We have talked at length about the Buccaneers running back situation. As good as the passing offense is setting up to be, Dirk Koetter wants to be a run-first team. The running game has to be better than it was last year. When the leading rusher hasn’t reached 600 yards, the attack simply isn’t good enough.
Doug Martin has also been a popular topic of conversation this off-season. We all know why. He didn’t perform well last year, fell to injury (again), and ended the year with a drug suspension. Martin will miss the first three games of the 2017 season due to said suspension. Many thought he would be off the roster by now. Instead, he is here, prepping for the 2017 season. How will things go?
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Recently, Martin talked about his stint in rehab and what type of person he has become (per Jenna Laine of ESPN):
"“It was a journey of self-development,” Martin said. “It was definitely hard being away from my friends and family. I found strength in the people I was with around the time. It was definitely worth it. I definitely turned a negative into a positive and I’m out here and I’m definitely a stronger person because of it.”"
On the personal side of things, this is just great news. We all have watched Doug Martin for his entire career to date and feel affection for him. Nobody wants to see his recovery more than Bucs fans. Team aside, Martin is a human being and his health is the most important element here.
On the field, Martin has to prove it. He will hang onto his roster spot if he looks like the old Martin. If they don’t think they are going to get the good Martin, he will be gone. Coach Koetter understands that expectations have to be tempered so early:
"“We have a ways to go,” Koetter said. “We’ve got to get through preseason games, Doug’s got to stay healthy. There’s more things that have to happen. Time is on our side. I know everyone is anxious. … There’s just nothing to know right now.”"
One thing is for sure, Martin will have every opportunity to succeed.
How will things turn out with Doug Martin? Let us know.