Entering his third NFL season, defensive tackle Mike Martin is not just battling for playing time but a job.
The third round pick out of Michigan in 2012 saw the team bring in defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill and Antonio Johnson last year in free agency and then Al Woods this year along with Daquan Jones in the NFL Draft.
The Titans simply have more bodies than they have spots on the defensive line and they likely will not all stay.
Martin though is off to a fast start at Training Camp. He looked explosive and disruptive the first two days and then Monday when the pads went on he showed more of the same catching the eye of new head coach Ken Whisenhunt who called him out by name after practice.
Martin also got the attention of his former Michigan teammate Taylor Lewan.
“Mike Martin is always going to be physical. I played with him in college, so I knew what I was getting when he came. He goes just as hard with pads as he does without. Mike’s a good guy, he’s as strong as an ox, he’s like a mini hulk,” Lewan said.
A fast start is nice, but Martin knows this battle won’t end soon.
“I always try to remember that it’s easy to give up on yourself and maybe take a day off, but I try to think about people that count on me and you know just make sure I’m on point and that my teammates can count on me every day,” he said.
Martin has played 29 of 32 games the last two seasons and has four sacks for his career.