Curtis Martin spent 11 years in the NFL as a running back. He started with the New England Patriots and then went to the New York Jets. In 10 of those seasons he gained 1,000 rushing yards or better. His total yards rushing were 14,101. He averaged 4.0 yards per attempt.
In addition, Martin had 484 receptions for a total of 3,329 yards. He averaged 6.9 yards per catch. He had 90 rushing TDs and 10 receiving TDs. It was a heck of a career that saw Martin make some outstanding plays.
Martin at Pitt
Martin was fairly unremarkable at the University of Pittsburgh. He was injured a lot in his college career, which hampered his productivity. He was considered to be an underachiever and entered the NFL Draft despite the fact that he could have gone back to Pitt for another season after being red shirted. It was thought that he could have gone first round if he had stayed for another year at Pittsburgh and gone through a season uninjured. As a junior, he had a fine season, rushing for over 1,000 yards but he was injured near the end of the season and missed the last two games.
Martin and Parcells
Martin was drafted by the Pats in the third round. He was the 74th overall pick. He had speed but his penchant for injury worried many. Plus, he was not a motivated player. He did not love football. But coach Bill Parcells got into Martin’s head when he was a rookie with the Pats and the rest is history. It’s a rich history that led the guy to the NFL Hall of Fame.
Martin had three very productive seasons with the Patriots, and then after Parcells left for the Jets, he put in seven more stellar years with New York. In his best rushing season, Martin ran for over 1,600 yards.
Football Saved Martin
Curtis Martin readily admits that football, the game he never really loved, saved him from a life that would have been filled with activities that were anti-social and most likely illegal. It’s interesting because football gave a lot to Curtis Martin but Curtis Martin also gave a lot back to football, the fans and his teammates. The final stop in his journey along the gridiron will be when Martin is enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.