Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is committed to making running back Doug Martin the primary option on ground for the Bucs in the coming NFL season.
"Definitely a key for us," Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. "We talked about being able to establish the run. Doug will be the lead guy doing that, so it's very important that we open up some holes and let him do his thing."
After a promising rookie season in 2012 when he ran for 1,454 rushing yards on 319 carries with 11 touchdowns, Martin registered just a combined 950 rushing yards and three touchdowns the last two seasons.
Smith added that Martin has had a great off-season program so far and commits to giving the 26-year-old running back the opportunities to perform better than the last two years in the coming season.
"I've got to grind, just play. I've worked my butt off in the off-season and I can't wait to get back on the field. … I just want to get back out there and show the world that I can be the Doug Martin that I was in 2012,” Martin promised in the same article. "I'm just going to do my thing. I'm going to go out and play my hardest and try to be as consistent as I can. And, hopefully, turn the doubters into believers."
The Bucs are off a trying season when they tied for a league-worst record of two wins against 14 losses. They earned the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and selected quarterback Jameis Winston.