Buccaneers: Doug Martin praise could be ploy to attract other teams
Could there be a calculated reason for all of the praise the Buccaneers staff is hoisting on Doug Martin?
There is a famous quote from Shakespeare that goes like this, “Methinks thou dost protest too much”. It means that if you say something often enough, it stops being sincere because it simply isn’t true. Well, this guy believes that the Buccaneers may be applying this principle when they speak so highly about Doug Martin.
The praise has been coming from everywhere. Jason Licht said that Martin looks as good as he ever has. Here is what Dirk Koetter had to say about him (via Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders):
"“Well, it’s hard for a running back to not look good when you’re going in shorts and nobody’s playing blocks, nobody’s on the ground,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. “But Doug, he’s definitely in fantastic shape.“He does look quick. As we’ve said all along, the main thing with Doug is him being healthy and having his issues behind him. Running backs, linemen on both sides of the ball, their time to shine is coming in training camp."
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Doug has received the love and support of his teammates as well. A fairly recent member of the team had some kind words:
"“We’ve got Doug, who I think is going to be a monster,” defensive end Robert Ayers said. “People have been talking junk about him, like he didn’t just run for, what, 1,500-1,600 yards two years ago, second-leading rusher (in the NFL) … People said we’re going to draft a running back and I was like ‘Crazy.'”"
It may all be true. Martin may be back to his old self and he may be a fantasy football steal, as our guy Michael Horan writes. The Bucs may believe they have the old Doug Martin back, ready to give them 1,500 rushing yards or more in 2017. Imagine how good this offense will be if that were the case. They would be virtually unstoppable.
But what if there were another reason for all of this praise? I mean, we have talked for a long time now about the chances that Martin might not be on the roster in 2017. Mike Garafolo from NFL Network noted that the Bucs are still being “cautious” with Martin, not getting to excited at this early juncture (per Joe Bucs Fan). That tells us that Martin still could be gone before taking the field in week four.
Let’s be honest. Even the most ardent Doug Martin support has to be able to admit that this is a lot of praise. They haven’t even put on pads yet for practice and all of a sudden we are sure we have 2015 Doug Martin? He’s running fast? That’s nice. A lot of guys run fast during minicamp. The list of guys that look like Pro Bowl players during minicamp is endless. More often than not, it doesn’t pan out.
Whether or not it’s a bluff or an exaggeration is not for us to say. We don’t have access to the workouts. It’s safe to call it premature. In an event, the Bucs may be trying to drum up support for him from other teams. They could be trying to court interested teams into offering a trade for Martin. Or, out of respect for him as a person, they could be trying to help him sign elsewhere once they release him. If bad press got out there he would never get a job. The Bucs could be acting in an altruistic manner here.
Or it may simply all be true and Martin is back. I will lean towards my theory, however.
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Again, this is a lot of praise for not a lot of football. There might very well be a reason for it.