The Bucs offense didn't have an ideal day in their season opener against the Titans, but a handful of players started their season on a high note. Among them was running back Doug Martin. Martin's stat line might not jump off the page; he carried the ball 11 times for 52 yards. But he had a few impressive runs, particularly back-to-back 14-yard carries in the second quarter.
"Doug has had an excellent offseason," Head Coach Lovie Smith said. "First off, last year … you have to get your health back. He's been healthy throughout the offseason, through training camp. We've seen the old Doug throughout. He's put himself in position to have an excellent season. He's run that way throughout.
"He is a hard runner and he can make you miss in the open field, (he) can catch the ball out of the backfield. So early on, of course when you're in a situation where you can run it, it looked good at times."
Pro Football Focus agreed with Coach Smith's analysis. The website, which provides high-level statistics and analysis on all 32 NFL teams, rated Martin as the Bucs' top offensive player from Sunday. His "run" rating was the sixth-best among the 51 running backs who took the field during Week 1. Carlos Hyde, DeAngelo Williams, Alfred Morris, Jeremy Hill and Marshawn Lynch made up the top five.
Martin will likely be called upon often in the Bucs' second regular season game against the Saints. New Orleans gave up 120 rushing yards in their opener against the Cardinals and were ranked No. 20th against the run.