Hat Tip To The Bottom Of The RosterDecember 7th, 2013
The Bucs may be struggling to win games and convert field goals, but they’re thriving in many other areas of special teams.
There’s plenty of credit to spread around.
The easy target is new special teams coach Dave Wannstedt. But given how impressive the Bucs are performing, kudos also must go to rockstar general manager Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano for signing — and retaining — the right special teamers. Consider these numbers, via the Buffalo News.
The Buccaneers are sixth in kickoff-return average, at 25.6 yards, and seventh in punt-return average at 11.3 yards. The Bucs’ kickoff coverage unit is allowing just 20.3 yards per return, which is tied for the best number in the NFL.
Throw in the Bucs’ league lead in blocked punts and a successful onside kick, and the New Schiano Order has a special teams unit Bucs fans can take pride in.
(Fun fact: Eric Page is one of 10 NFL men this season to have five punt returns of 20 yards or more.)
Buffalo has multiple special teams units at the bottom of the NFL rankings.
It’s an area where the Bucs can capitalize Sunday. Winning the field position battle is a great recipe for limiting the effectiveness of a shaky rookie quarterback like EJ Manuel.