TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The wait is finally over for the return of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, Doug Martin, who will make his season debut Thursday when the Bucs host the New England Patriots.
Martin served three games of his four game NFL suspension to begin the season. Now, the Bucs must figure out the most effective way to insert Martin into the lineup, maximizing his ability to help the team.
The problem? No one knows exactly how effective Martin can be in game one.
Not even Bucs Head Coach Dirk Koetter, who sat down with News Channel 8’s Dan Lucas in his weekly “Koetter’s Korner” interview.
“Until he walked through the door Monday morning, we couldn’t have any contact with him,” Koetter said. “With all the circumstances, we just have to realize that Doug has been playing football since he was a little kid and didn’t forget how.”
The NFL mandates that each team play at least one Thursday night game during the regular season. Teams navigate the early portion of the short week, then enjoy the benefit of the longer rest that follows the game. The Bucs began preparations for the Patriots almost immediately after Sunday’s 25-23 win over the New York Giants.
Koetter spent much of Sunday night reviewing the Giants game film before initiating the accelerated “install” portion of meetings and practices for New England.
“We had already done some previous work on the Patriots game plan, but we had some things we needed to touch up,” Koetter said.
“Koetter’s Korner” aired on News Channel 8 on Tuesday, due to the short game week. The segment normally airs on Mondays on News Channel 8 at 6 p.m. during the regular season.