For many NFL running backs, 1,094 rushing yards last season would be something to savor. For the New York Jets’ Curtis Martin, that production was the lowest of his eight-year career and left him hungering for more.
“That was the most pain, the most hurt, the most problems I had, and I got close to 1,100 yards,” Martin says. “There’s no way I’ll feel that bad this season. I definitely feel I’ll have my type of numbers.”
When Martin mentions “my type of numbers,” always start with 1,000 and work up quickly. He and Barry Sanders are the only backs in league history to open their careers with eight successive 1,000-yard efforts. The retired Sanders chalked up 10 in a row.
Martin averaged 1,324 yards before last season. He piled up a career-high 1,513 rushing yards two years ago and thinks it’s “very realistic” that he can attain such heights again.
—Tom Pedulla, USA Today “Martin says he’ll deliver big numbers”
Martin rebounded with 1,308 yards in 2003 and 1,697 yards, a career high, in 2004. He retired after the 2005 season.