Gerald McCoy had a season in which he constantly fought through injuries. In the end, he did it well enough to make his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl.
Doug Martin had a season of rediscovery, one where he finally overcame the injuries that had slowed him in previous seasons. He, too, made the Pro Bowl.
Those were the two Bucs who played well enough to reach Hawaii. Teammates Lavonte David and Logan Mankins were named as alternates.
A first-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft (31st overall), Martin has rushed 256 times for 1,305 yards (5.1 avg.) and five touchdowns, with 25 catches for 205 yards and one touchdown. Martin’s 1,305 rushing yards are the second-most in the NFL this season and the third-most in a single season in team history. He ranks fourth in the league in scrimmage yards with 1,510 – the sixth-highest single-season mark in franchise history. His 5.1 yards per carry are the most by any player with at least 150 carries this season and would stand as the highest mark in a single season in franchise history.
This is Martin’s second career Pro Bowl selection, after being chosen as a rookie in 2012. He joins Warrick Dunn (1997, 2000) as the only Buccaneers running backs to ever be selected to the Pro Bowl in multiple seasons.
“I can’t think of a more deserving player to be named to the Pro Bowl than Doug Martin,” said Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith. “So much of our success on offense is directly related to Doug’s achievements this season. With two games still to be played, he is in the mix for the rushing title and that is a very special achievement in our league. It is exciting for our entire team to see him receive this type of much-deserved recognition.”
With this selection, McCoy becomes the first Buccaneers player to earn Pro Bowl honors in four consecutive seasons since Derrick Brooks (10 seasons, 1997-2006). The former third overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, McCoy leads the Buccaneers this season with 7.5 sacks, the fourth-most by a defensive tackle in the NFL this year. Since his first Pro Bowl selection in 2012, McCoy is second in the league in sacks by a defensive tackle (30.5) and third in tackles for loss (44) among defensive tackles. He has helped anchor Tampa Bay’s run defense, which ranks second in the NFL in opponent rushing average (3.34) and ninth in the league in rushing yards per game allowed (94.4).
McCoy is one of only nine players in franchise history to be voted to four Pro Bowls, joining fullback Mike Alstott (1997-2002), defensive back Ronde Barber (2001, 2004-06, 2008), linebacker Derrick Brooks (1997-2006, 2008), tight end Jimmie Giles (1980-82, 1985), safety John Lynch (1997, 1999-2002), linebacker Hardy Nickerson (1993, 1996-99), defensive tackle Warren Sapp (1997-2003) and defensive end Lee Roy Selmon (1979-84).
“I am excited for Gerald’s fourth Pro Bowl selection,” said Smith. “This selection is a testament to Gerald’s tireless work ethic and the professional pride he displays here every day as one of our team captains. This season, despite battling through injuries, Gerald has anchored our run defense while still leading our team in sacks. He’s the best interior defensive lineman in the league and I’m proud of his achievement.”
The Bucs play Sunday agains the Chicago Bears at Raymond James at 1 p.m.