Tampa Bay has a starting running back, at least for now. Coach Greg Schiano indicated rookie Doug Martin has overtaken LeGarrette Blount for the job.
Martin started Friday night’s win over New England and again impressed, running 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown and adding another 12 yards on three receptions. Blount finished with 22 yards on seven carries.
The job is now likely Martin’s to lose for the long run, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, who said Schiano has been rightly impressed by the Boise State alumnus.
“That’s why he moved in and started the game; because he has shown me that much,” Schiano said. “And I don’t think he did anything (Friday) night that would say, ‘Oh, that wasn’t a good move.’ I thought he ran the ball well and did some things well. So right now, he’s got to continue on that course. He’s learning every day. And he’s a very open-minded guy. He wants to learn.”
- Fears realized as Joseph’s season is over: Players and coaches thought right guard Davin Joseph’s injury against the Patriots appeared serious, and it turned out they were right. After an evaluation on Friday, Joseph’s season is officially over. The team announced the two-time Pro Bowler is set to undergo surgery Monday to repair his right patellar tendon. Schiano told Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune that Joseph will be placed on injured reserve. “It’s a big loss but that’s part of what we do,” Schiano said. “You mourn and you move on. And that’s what Davin wants us to do.”
- Isaac alters Bucs’ schedule: Tropical Storm Isaac is threatening much of the Gulf coast, and the Buccaneers canceled their Monday practice at One Buc Place as a result of the storm, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. The team will still hold meetings indoors, but actual on-field work will not occur. The Bucs depart Tuesday for their final preseason game against Washington, to be played at the Redskins’ FedEx Field on Wednesday.
- Bucs scheme calls for more blitzes: It may sound a bit dramatic, but the change of defensive schemes that came with Tampa Bay’s new coaching staff is “redefining what it means to be a Bucs linebacker” Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times wrote. Blitzing from the linebacker spot was not in vogue under the previous system, dating back to the Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin “Tampa 2” era. The new aggressive mindset was on display against the Patriots, as players pressured Tom Brady from multiple angles. “We think it’s awesome,” said linebacker Adam Hayward, a veteran of the old scheme.
- Schiano’s reach extends to locker room: During the Raheem Morris era, Tampa Bay’s locker room had a “clubhouse-like atmosphere” Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune said. When Schiano arrived for his first year as an NFL head coach, he quickly set about changing things, mixing up where players’ lockers were located to build team unity (not clumping players together by position). More importantly, he brought a sense of urgency to the locker room with a simple addition -- a large digital clock that rapidly counts down toward kickoff of the regular-season opener against Carolina. “The one real enemy we have is time,” Schiano said. “We are constantly fighting to use it most efficiently. That’s why the clock is there and why it is ticking all the time. The numbers are moving, and you feel that.”
For more from Tampa Bay Bucs blogger Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsNFLTB on Twitter.