Ship Righted On Special TeamsAugust 26th, 2013
One could say preseason is meaningless, but it’s not. Final scores are meaningless, but the performances of individuals and units are worth evaluating.
The Bucs’ special teams were downright awful against the Ravens, but the special-teams ship was righted against the Patriots and looked downright strong against the Dolphins outside missed tackles on one punt coverage. That’s progress worth noting. Coach Dave Wannstedt deserves a pat on the back.
The Bucs’ coverage teams forced — not lucked out and recovered — two turnovers in Miami on Saturday. Michael Adams wouldn’t quit and drove his blocker into the Dolphins’ punt returner calling a fair catch. Tom Crabtree stripped the ball on another return (see photo above). Bucs 21-year-old wide receiver Eric Page looks like a very legitimate returner and clearly has won the job. And the overall kicking and punting game was very strong.
Overall, the Bucs special teams were below average last season and there’s a lot of room to improve.
Special teams captain Adam Hayward told Joe about the differences in special teams this season and why he expected improvement. It appears to be happening.