Doug Martin leads Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB derby


In ATL's positional breakdown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running backs, I surmised LeGarrette Blount would win his training camp battle against rookie Doug Martin.

I based my prediction on the idea that new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano seems determined to put Blount on the right track. As it turns out, I might have surmised incorrectly.

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The Tampa Bay Times reported Sunday that Martin has taken a large majority of the first-team reps in the first three days of practice. Martin also got more reps when the Bucs conducted a pass-protection period in Sunday morning's practice. This is especially notable since pass-protection blocking is one area of Blount's game where he needs all the practice he can get.

Schiano cautioned not to read too much into the situation until the Buccaneers are in a live situation. The team wore pads for the first time on Sunday, but there's yet to be any tackling.

Said Schiano: "You look at them in protection and carrying the ball, but until they have to break a tackle, make someone miss in a game when they're getting tackled live, it's awfully hard to evaluate."

So no, let's not call this one just yet. But early returns are excellent on Martin, whose speed and quickness brings a new dimension to the backfield. Blount might still have a role in the offense, but this might be Martin's show.