Why the Buccaneers Should Build Team Around Doug Martin, Not Josh Freeman

Brandon Alisoglu@@BrandonAlisogluCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 25:  Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers outruns Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings for a gain at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on October 25, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently making a statement against the surprising Minnesota Vikings.

Doug Martin is a big reason for that.

Through halftime of the Thursday night game, Martin had toted the rock 16 times for 111 yards. Then he added nine more yards on the ground and, just for fun, caught a 64-yard touchdown pass. 

Martin is something special. The Bucs would do well to mold the team to fit his skill set, not the quarterback's.

The Defense is Horrendous Against the Pass

The Bucs are easily one of the worst defenses against the pass. Especially when the pass-rushers keep getting hurt and the cornerbacks are getting suspended for Adderall. 

But seriously, this defense is atrocious. Tampa Bay gives up an astonishing 323 yards per game. You would think it plays Drew Brees every week.

The best recipe to keeping that colander of a defense from giving away wins will be to hold onto the ball as much as possible.

And we all know how to do that. Right? Please tell me you know what's coming next.

You give the ball to a running back who can move the chains. The more first downs you get by running the ball (and thus the clock), the less time the opposing offense has to violate your secondary.

Martin can get your first downs.

Josh Freeman is Good, Not Great

Freeman has had an up-and-down career. He followed up his solid 2010 (25 touchdowns, 11 turnovers) with a horrendous 2011. 

Last year was so bad that his stat line reads like a story perfect for Halloween: 6.52 yards/attempt, 16 touchdowns, 22 interceptions and five fumbles. 

Pretty scary.

While he does have 14 touchdown passes already this year (as of the third quarter of the Vikings game), he also has thrown five picks and put the ball on the carpet four times. 

Thus putting the burden on Martin, who has yet to fumble this season, seems like a smart idea.