E = mc2June 5th, 2014
Joe isn’t about to try to talk physics. First, you actually think Joe took physics in college? Closest Joe got was getting a “B” in anatomy.
Besides, it’s beyond boring. And for some odd reason when Joe thinks physics, he thinks of Kaley Cuoco. But perhaps Joe should starting thinking football instead?
It seems Bucs special teams coach Kevin O’Dea believes getting touchdowns off of returns is as simple (?) as physics, types Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
You think it’s been a long while since the Bucs have made the playoffs? Well, it’s almost been as long since the Bucs returned a kickoff or a punt for six (2010).
“Really, what we’re teaching is geometry and physics, but it’s in phys ed,” O’Dea said Tuesday. “They have to understand their angles, they have to understand their pad level, how we want it done, where the hands have to go and where they can’t go. We don’t want a good return brought back. We’ve got to get this thing rolling.”
O’Dea wouldn’t name any specific returners who have stood out in two weeks of practices — last year’s primary returner, Eric Page, has fielded punts, as has WR Skye Dawson and rookie Solomon Patton, among others. He said the noncontact nature of drills thus far has limited the insights coaches can get about which players are ready to handle the collisions that come with returns.
“Right now, all I can tell is they’re catching the ball, moving forward, they have good hands and they’re being consistent,” O’Dea said. “As far as the toughness part of it, as far as making people miss, I can’t tell about that. … Until we get in pads, we really don’t know those things.”
Joe isn’t so sure banking on Page will produce much. For nearly every decent return he had last year, he had a mind-numbing, facepalm of a mistake. And when your special teams makes head-up-your-arse mistakes, it puts the team as a whole in a pinch.
Look, the Bucs are a long, long, long way from deciding who returns kicks. There may be other candidates, as well. Bucs coach Lovie Smith seems to have a crush on track star Jeff Dempsm and then there is super speedy rookie receiver Robert Herron. As former Bucs commander Greg Schiano once told Joe, speed doesn’t mean you can return. Fielding punts is an art itself.
Just judging by the tough time Demps is having holding on to the ball, Joe is almost scared to think of him fielding a punt.
As for kickoffs, the way the NFL — in the name of safety — is trying to eliminate kick returns, solving the riddle of a Bucs kickoff return for a touchdown may be a much tougher task for O’Dea.