These times haven't been kind to a Tampa Bay fan. The Buccaneers dropped two close ones to start the season; one to the offensively challenged New York Jets and the latter by two to the New Orleans Saints. The 0-2 start comes after a two-season stretch where the franchise went 11-21. Plus, the rumored riff between Josh Freeman, Darrelle Revis, and head coach Greg Schiano isn't a great sign. There's one bright spot though, and his name is Doug Martin.
Martin's performance last season has been slept on thanks in part to Adrian Peterson's improbable 2,097-yard comeback season. But a look on Martin's numbers during his rookie season show that he just may be the real deal. The Pro Bowler's 1,440 rushing yards is the most in Buccaneer history and his additional 472 receiving yards is the second most in franchise history. Martin's 144-yard performance against the Saints implies that season wasn't a fluke, and as Complex spoke to him on the phone, he sounded 1,000 percent positive that wasn't going to be the case.
Interview by Brian Josephs (@Bklyn_Rock)
First off, I have to ask: You lost two very close ones in the beginning of the season. What’s the overall mood in Tampa Bay?
The two losses were pretty tough. One of them came down to a last second and a field goal. It’s still early in the season so there’s time; there’s no need to panic. Nobody’s worried and we’re also confident in each other. We just got to push out the negative noise and move on with the season.
You had a big game in your last match too and it’s not like you’re a stranger to those. Last season you ran for over 1,400 yards, which was fifth in the league. What was it like have all these individual accomplishments as a rookie but as a team you’re teetering to success but not quite there yet?
Last season was last season. I just got to move on to this season and just improve where I need to make my game better. The start isn’t what we all wanted. I just got to keep improving in practice and continue on what we strive to be.
How many yards do you think you’ll total for the next 14 weeks?
I personally don’t set my own goals about how many yards I’m going to rush for. I practice hard, I train hard and everything else will fall into place. If I know that I’ve trained my hardest and put everything on the field whether if it’s 1,800 yards, 2,000 yards or 2,500 yards.
You’re up there when it comes to top running backs in the league. Do you look at other
Last season was last season. I just got to move on to this season and just improve where I need to make my game better.
running backs more as competition or perhaps a little more inspiration?
As both actually. Coming into the league everybody looks like an inspiration. Now at this time I look at them as competition.
Where do you think you rank as a running back in the league?
I’m not even sure. I couldn’t tell you.
Just doing your thing?
I’m just playing my game and just trying to win games.
There’s been some rumors about strife between some players and head coach Greg Schiano. I was wondering if there was any truth to them.
I’m not going to comment on it, because I wasn’t even aware of the rumors or what was going on. We’re going to figure everything out. We’re a family, and we’re going to keep it in the family wall.
Now to switch over to Gillette, could you tell me a little about what you’re doing with the company?
I’m part of Gillette’s new ProGlide campaign and precision is just as important as when I’m making my plays: Just following the [blockers] and making cuts down field. Precision is needed in shaving especially when you have sensitive skin. The Fusion ProGlide is the best option for it.
I’ve also read that three out of four African-American women prefer clean shaven men. So I gotta ask, have you ever had any women—or personally heard of a woman shutting someone down because of bad facial hair hygiene?
[laughs] I don’t believe I've been in that situation or experienced that.
What would you do if you did find yourself in that situation? If a woman were to turn you down because of bad facial hair, how would you respond?
I tell her that Gillette Fusion ProGlide is the best razor out there, and she should definitely give it a try and let me know how it is.