Bucs players recognized for stellar seasons

Although the 2015 season was filled with disappointment, several players were recognized for their play by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Buccaneers running back Doug Martin earned both All-NFL and All-NFC designation. In 2015, Martin started all 16 games for Tampa Bay this past season, recording 288 carries for 1,402 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with 33 catches for 271 yards and one touchdown. Martin’s 1,402 rushing yards were the second-most in the NFL and the third most in a single season in franchise history. His 1,673 yards from scrimmage were the fourth-most in the league and are the third-most in a single season in team history. Martin averaged 4.87 yards per carry, the highest mark in the NFL by any running back with at least 250 carries since 2013 (LeSean McCoy, 5.12 on 314 carries) and is the most in team history among running backs with at least 250 carries in a season.

Linebacker Lavonte David also received All-NFC honors. David ranked third in the NFL in tackles (147), while leading all linebackers in passes defensed (13) and tying for the second-most interceptions by linebackers (three). Since entering the league as a second-round pick (58th overall), David ranks first in the league in solo tackles (404), second in total tackles (576), second in tackles for loss (67), second in interceptions by a linebacker (nine) and third in passes defensed by a linebacker (31). This is David’s second career All-NFC selection, following 2013, when he was named to both the All-NFL and All-NFC teams.

Bucs rookies were also recognized for their play in just their first year: Quarterback Jameis Winston, guard Ali Marpet, tackle Donovan Smith and linebacker Kwon Alexander each earned a spot on the All-Rookie roster.

Winston started all 16 games for Tampa Bay, throwing for 4,042 yards and 22 touchdown passes, with six rushing touchdowns. His 4,042 passing yards are the third-most by a rookie in NFL history and tied for the fourth-most in a single season by a Buccaneers quarterback. His combined 28 touchdowns (22 passing, six rushing) are the most by a quarterback in Buccaneers history and tie for the third-most by a rookie in NFL history.

Marpet (14 starts) and Smith (16 starts) were key members of the Buccaneers offensive line that blocked for the NFL’s second-leading rusher (Doug Martin – 1,402 yards) and tied for the fourth-fewest sacks allowed in the league, after ranking 29th in rushing and 29th in sacks allowed in the previous season.

Alexander started 12 games, totaling 93 tackles, six tackles for loss, nine passes defensed, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. His 93 tackles ranked second on the team and were the third-most by a rookie this season, while his nine passes defensed were tied for the third-most by a linebacker in the NFL. He was one of three players in the league to post at least 90 tackles, five passes defensed, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery (also Lavonte David & Thomas Davis).

Parts of this report come courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.

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