Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 10/28/14
On paper, the Buccaneers had one of the best drafts in team history this past April. After a couple of rookie accolades for Doug Martin and Lavonte David, this Bucs rookie class has the potential to be the best in team history.  The team has seen players like Derrick Brooks, Mike Alstott ,and Doug Williams. Even Vinny Testaverde and the late, great Lee Roy Selmon. But the great Bucs of the past were never apart of the same draft class. The 2012 draft class features rookie of the week and month winners in Martin and David. Doug Martin was the week nine NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his 251 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Oakland. He was also named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October. His stats for that month are as follows: Martin led all NFL players averaging 155.7 scrimmage yards per game during October, 26.2 yards more than Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (129.5), who ranked second. In the Buccaneers’ three October contests, the first-round pick out of Boise State rushed for 296 yards with two touchdowns and caught eight passes for 171 yards and a score. He finished the month with 467 scrimmage yards and three total touchdowns. Martin played a major role in Tampa Bay’s success as the Buccaneers posted a 2-1 record and led the NFL averaging 34 points per game and 464 total net yards per game. He recorded at least 120 scrimmage yards in all three October contests. In the team’s Week 8 win at Minnesota, Martin became the first rookie in the past 25 seasons to rush for at least 135 yards (135) and have 75+ receiving yards (79). He also had a one-yard rushing touchdown and a 64-yard receiving TD in that contest. Rookie linebacker Lavonte David, who is not only the Bucs signal caller on defense but the team’s leading tackler, received the NFL Defensive Rookie Player of the Month honors for November. David led the NFL with 47 tackles during November, including a league-best 40 solo tackles. Five of his tackles were for a loss. He started all four games during the month as the Buccaneers won three of their four games. David anchored a Tampa Bay defense that led the NFL allowing just 75.3 rushing yards per game in November. The Buccaneers also ranked first in the league during the month by allowing just 3.17 rushing yards per carry. He recorded at least eight tackles in all four games, including a career-high 16 (14 solo tackles) in Week 9 and 14 (13 solo tackles) in Week 10. Nineteen of David’s tackles were within three yards of the line of scrimmage or behind, including five for a loss and four for no gain. By Martin and David winning player of the month honors for Tampa Bay, it marked just the fourth time that a team has had rookie monthly award winners on both offense and defense in the same season. It also marks the first time a Buccaneer was named NFL Defensive rookie of the Month. Doug Martin has rushed for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns on 218 carries. On the other side of the ball, Lavonte David leads the team with a 98 combined tackles and 14 tackles for loss. Another rookie who is playing well is rookie safety Mark Barron. He currently is tied for fourth in the NFL for safeties with eight passes defensed. Barron has recorded 50 solo tackles, ranking him 11th in the league. Undrafted rookie corner Leonard Johnson has had his fair share of good play on the football field. He recorded an interception in three consecutive weeks (weeks 8-10), including an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown week 10 against San Diego. There is no question the Bucs, lead by a rookie head coach in Greg Schiano, have already made some noise this season. But while this year’s rookie class has many years ahead of them, they have already proved their worth as they are playing above and beyond expectations. (Photo credits: Getty Images) The post Bucs’ rookies making names for themselves appeared first on The Bay Cave.
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