Greg Schiano has a big problem folks.
His team simply cannot run the football.
Today we present, as our primary evidence, the diminishing production of Doug Martin, the young man who is supposed to be Schiano's "bell cow" back.
Martin went for 95 yards in the opening game against Carolina. He carried the rock 24 times and added another 23 yards by catching four passes. Nice afternoon.
Life was good—real good—albeit for a week.
Week 2 saw him get 66 yards against the Giants. He carried the ball 20 times, scored a touchdown and didn't catch any passes.
Week 3 continued the downward trend with a mere 53 yards on 19 carries. He also caught two passes for 21 yards.
Against Washington in Week 4, the bottom fell out: eight carries, 33 yards, two catches for nine yards.
Do you see the line on his production chart that dives 45 degrees downward?
As for LeGarrette Blount, well, that's a point of contention as well. He got three carries in the opener, and gained eight yards. He didn't do anything in Week 2, had four carries against the Cowboys for 19 yards and six carries last week against the Redskins for 17 yards. The retired Cadillac Williams could probably get that for us.
So what's up with this downward running funk?
This was supposed to be the identity of this football team.
What we have is a team with no identity.
The only thing this team is known for after four weeks are those controversial game-ending crashes by our defensive line into kneeling quarterbacks. That's what the Bucs are known for; that is their identity.
Schiano knows this. Heck, everyone knows it, so he surely does.
The big question remains: What's he going to do to fix it?
You have a really good side of the offensive line, the left side with Donald Penn and Carl Nicks. Then you have the right side of the line, which is really the wrong side of the line—the side the team cannot run to with Ted Larsen and Demar Dotson.
They are a pair of "Jags" is probably the way Bill Parcells would describe them. Jag? Just another guy.
There's a problem when you are a right-handed football team that cannot run to the right side.
So while we lament about this first quarter of the season dilemma, back there in the bowels of One Buccaneer Place, Schiano is huddling with his offensive staff to figure this out.
Let's see what they come up with.