Martin Beat Out a Crowded Field

On Thursday, the league named Buccaneers RB Doug Martin its NFL Offensive Player of the Month for October.  In relaying that news, Buccaneers.com conjectured that some of Martin’s top competition for the award came from Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Trent Richardson.  The field of candidates was actually much deeper than that.

The NFL considered 11 nominees for the October award, as submitted by NFL teams.  That group included the first three players drafted in April – Luck, Griffin and Richardson.  Martin went hours later on the first day of that draft, after the Bucs traded up to #31 overall to grab him before the opening round was over.  The former Boise State star admits that he is keeping an eye on what his high-profile draft-mates are doing…but only just a little bit.

“I wouldn’t say it was a goal [to outdo his fellow 2012 draftees],” said Martin after learning about his Rookie of the Month honors.  “I just wanted to come into this thing and be successful, just doing whatever I can for the team.  If I just go into it like that every game, it will play out very well.

“Sometimes I do see how they’re doing  – Trent, RG3 and all of them – but I mostly just focus on myself.”

For the record, here were the other 10 nominees that Martin had to overcome, with their key statistics from the month of October included:

Detroit WR Ryan Broyles (second round, 54th overall): two touchdowns and six receptions for 88 yards.

  • St. Louis WR Chris Givens (fourth round, 96th overall): 10 catches for 272 yards (27.2 average) and two touchdowns.
  • Cleveland WR Josh Gordon (supplemental draft): 10 catches for 286 yards (28.6 average) with four touchdowns.
  • Washington QB Robert Griffin III (first round, 2nd overall): 708 passing yards, four touchdowns and a 90 passer rating, 242 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
  • Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck (first round, 1st overall): 1,125 passing yards with three touchdowns.
  • Washington RB Alfred Morris (sixth round, 173rd overall): 341 rushing yards and a touchdown.
  • Miami QB Ryan Tannehill (first round, 8th overall): 426 passing yards with two touchdowns and a 98.3 passer rating.
  • Minnesota K Blair Walsh (sixth round, 175th overall): 32 points scored, 8-8 on field-goal attempts.
  • Seattle QB Russell Wilson (third round, 75th overall): 872 passing yards, six touchdowns and a 90.4 passer rating.
  • Tennessee WR Kendall Wright (first round, 20th overall): 22 receptions for 203 yards and one touchdown.

Martin carried the day with the weight of his league-leading 155.7 yards from scrimmage per game in the month.  If it was close, he likely put it away with his 64-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in Minnesota last Thursday.

“Doug, he’s explosive, he has great hands,” said QB Josh Freeman.  “You get the ball in his hands with a little bit of space and he does a tremendous job. You saw it in the Vikings game – he’ll make the first guy miss and if he gets a little crease he’s extremely explosive. He knows how to find the end zone.”

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