The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed into a new era under a new head coach in Lovie Smith. One of the changes that can be expected is a decline in carries for running back Doug Martin, who only played in six games during the 2013 season but had a big rookie year in 2012.
From the Tampa Tribune:
Smith already has stated on several occasions that 2012 Pro Bowler Doug Martin will be his starter. Much like former Bucs coach Greg Schiano, he’s also referred to Martin as his “bell cow.’’ But Smith doesn’t plan to use Martin to the extent Schiano did. Martin will see fewer touches under Smith, so the Bucs must decide on a backup, but that doesn’t figure to be an easy task.
This could also be a move because Martin is coming off an injury and the Buccaneers want to use him sparingly to keep him healthy. The Tampa Tribune suggests that Mike James and Bobby Rainey would be candidates to complement Martin in 2014 after the seasons they produced in 2013 when Martin missed 10 games.
Martin had been averaging 23 touches per game, and will still be the starter going forward and getting most of the carries.