MIAMI, Florida -- On a rainy and muggy night in Miami Gardens, a group of rookies shone through for the Buccaneers.
While eyes were focused on first-time NFL head coach Greg Schiano, it was draft picks Doug Martin and Lavonte David that stole the show.
Martin has been a spark plug since training camp opened, and he was running on all cylinders when he got into the game on the second drive with the second string. He rushed for a mere 21 yards on seven carries, but it was the tackle eluding cuts he made that garnered so much attention. Martin concluded his night with touchdown.
Martin, just like his head coach, got a little preoccupied with all the excitement in the game -- Schiano with his first win and Martin with his first touchdown -- and both kind of forgot something.
When Schiano referred to the second drive, he summarized, "Good, solid drive, Mike. Not Mike. Um...um...Doug Martin. Thanks. It's good when you forget your first round pick's name right?" said Schiano.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get to keep the ball. I forgot I can keep it. You know, it's just awesome," said Martin.
One thing second round pick Lavonte David didn't forget is where he came from, putting on a show in his hometown with an interception. David has the inside track on a starting linebacker spot, yet he also came up big on special teams.
"I had the vets, the vets kept me calm and stayed in my ear. When you're on punt team, you have to cover a punt and that's what I did," said David.
Schiano has been impressed by the linebacker out of Nebraska since he got into training camp.
"He's done a real good job since we started, and he continued to do that tonight. And, you know, Lavonte's interception was the answer to a sudden change, and when you can do that, that is critical," said Schiano. "He did, he flew around out there and looked comfortable."
Not to be outdone, seventh round selection Michael Smith showed off his speed on special teams, as well taking a kick return 74 yards, setting up a field goal.
The Bucs top pick, Mark Barron, didn't see the field in the opener, but he did tell 10 News he expects to be back in action in the home preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans next Friday.