Buccaneers still have faith in Doug Martin

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running game may be struggling. But don't put the blame on tailback Doug Martin.

At least that's the message from quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo, who is working as the play-caller with offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford on a leave of absence. Arroyo said Wednesday he's happy with how Martin has played.

"I like how hard he works," Arroyo said. "I like how hard he runs. I like that he's trying to find ways to get it done. He has zero flinch. He's a team guy. I like those things."

But the fact is Martin is averaging just 2.5 yards per carry. He averaged only 3.2 yards per carry Sunday as the Bucs were unable to protect an 11-point fourth-quarter lead against New Orleans.

The Tampa Bay running game was supposed to be a strength coming into the season. It hasn't worked out that way. The Bucs rank 24th in the league in rushing and the rank would be much worse if Bobby Rainey hadn't put up 144 yards against St. Louis in place of an injured Martin.

Arroyo said he has no qualms about giving Rainey some carries, but Martin still is the Bucs' top running back.

"I like the things Doug has done," Arroyo said. "Our run game has to improve, obviously, overall. We believe that as a staff that starts with us. I think wholeheartedly we need to continue to find out what exactly it takes to get us back on track in the run game. There's going to be some finer points, detail and those things execution-wise.

"At the end of the day, it's going to be about executing the scheme. One guy doing his job and the other 10 following suit. That's why this game's so hard. It's 11 guys doing the same thing against another 11. We need to continue to find ways to run the ball and we're all in it together."