Two Shall Rise For Bucs In 2013
By Dave Ford
To set sail on the voyage to the postseason, each NFL team must have at least two anchors – one offensive threat and one defensive stopper. In 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense ranked No. 1 in rushing yards allowed with 82.5 per game. A guy by the name of Gerald McCoy was a big reason for that success on the front line.
Entering his fourth season for the Bucs, the 6-4, 300-pound defensive tackle out of Oklahoma will be depended upon to expound upon his success from the 2012 season, which he finished with five solo sacks, one forced fumble and 30 combined tackles. Without a doubt, second-year head coach Greg Schiano will expect McCoy to help lead the Bucs defense and become the rising star many across the league have expected him to be since he was chosen third overall by Tampa Bay in the 2010 NFL Draft.
After exploding onto the NFL scene as a rookie last season, RB Doug Martin, otherwise known as the “Muscle Hamster,” will be expected to set the tone for success for Tampa Bay on the offensive side of the ball. The compact yet speedy bruiser out of Boise State finished the 2012 season with 1,454 yards on 319 carries and 11 trips to the end zone. Used not only as a between-the-tackles runner, but also a home run hitter, Martin busted a 70-yard gallop for a touchdown and proved time and time again that he is a threat to take it to the house on any given play.
In order for Tampa Bay to reach its first postseason since 2007, both McCoy and Martin must continue to rise to the occasion each time they step between the white lines. Otherwise, the Bucs could continue to be a team labeled as a talented underachiever.