Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their third Pro Bowler for the 2013 season: rookie running back Doug Martin will be named to the Pro Bowl, as Frank Gore is headed to the Super Bowl. Martin was named the first alternate running back for the NFC squad, and will hence be called up now that Frank Gore will instead spend his days preparing for an NFL championship.
Doug Martin certainly earned his Pro Bowl berth. He was third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, racking up 1,926 yards, trailing only Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson. He was the backbone of the Buccaneers offense for much of the season, and looks like a real workhorse back for the future. The fact that Martin was initially left off the Pro Bowl roster was somewhat of a travesty, but it has at least been corrected just a little.
Martin will join Vincent Jackson and Gerald McCoy, who were both named to the Pro Bowl earlier this season. McCoy was among the initial selections, while Jackson made it in as an alternate when Calvin Johnson declined to attend due to injury issues. In addition, Ronde Barber is a step closer to joining the Pro Bowl roster. He was named an alternate, though not a first alternate, at free safety. Starter Dashon Goldson is not going, and if either Earl Thomas or whoever replaces Goldson bows out, Barber should be in.