Parker Says He Wasn’t Rattled By Screwups

August 19th, 2012

Two fair catches were part of Preston Parker’s quiet night Friday.

And while that doesn’t seem like a big deal, those two fair catches were key bounce-back steps for Parker, who had fumbled away a punt in the preseason opener and committed a senseless personal foul.

“You can’t dwell on it other than to correct it,” Parker said. “We’ve been working on my technique. It was just something that happened in Miami. Stuff happens and you have to go and correct it the next time you get a chance. I was going out there to make sure I caught the ball securely [against Tennessee]. I had the fair catches, so I just made sure I caught them.”

Parker’s an interesting study. The guy was a stellar third-down receiver last season, one of the very best in the NFL, but he’s less-aggressive and much less sure-handed as a returner.

Though Joe’s unsure why, it seems the Bucs are set on Parker being their No. 1 returner. 

In 2011, Parker finished ranked 35th in the NFL in yards per kick return (10 or more attempts). Sammie Stroughter was 14th.

Parker also was one of the worst punt returners in the NFL in 2011. He led the league in fumbles on punt returns with six, and Parker ranked 23rd in yards per return among those with 10 or more opportunities. And Parker only had three punt returns of 20 yards or more and never “broke” one.

It feels to Joe like the Bucs are forcing the issue with Parker in the return game. This leads Joe to conclude that the prospects for Stroughter making the team aren’t strong.

10 Responses to “Parker Says He Wasn’t Rattled By Screwups”

  1. Chas Says:

    What if they just want to give Parker as many practice and game reps as possible to improve his confident and shaky hands on returns. They might use him a grand total of 10 times during the year in the return game, but I would rather have him have more confidence in those ten times with more experience under his belt.

  2. Kyle Says:

    I don’t get why they didn’t move on from Parker in the return game. He doesn’t have the makeup. They risk f’ing with his head on offense. Not a good idea.

  3. Brad Says:

    I look at it another way. Parker is only making the team if he can be a return man. With the addition of Jackson and Benn likely the 3rd string, Parker is not going to make the club unless he can contribute on special teams and he’s blowing it. They know Staughter can make special teams and if Smith shows something, Parker is likely the odd man out.

  4. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    It’s amazing to me how he has been terrific all camp long until he muffs one punt then all the sudden he’s not making the team.

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Preston is the ideal slot reciever. He is quick, tough, fearless, and strong for his small size.

    He is NOT and ideal returner. He is not a sprinter. He has short strides.

    Michael Smith makes it to the 20 yard line in 2 seconds! He sprints well!

    Why cant the coaching staff see that!?

    I love Preston in the slot. Hate him asa punt/kick off returner.

  6. OB Says:

    Joe, I think the Bucs know that Michael Smith is going to be their kick returner of any kind, but they need a backup and this is the way to get Preston the reps he needs to prove he is going to be the backup or someone else is going to be. I agree with you that Sammie may not make the team, so don’t be suprised if a fast DB is the other possible returner.

  7. aj Says:

    Parker is nowhere near the bubble, guys running with the first team are not getting cut. He is an excellent receiver, technically sound, has good hands, and more importantly he was the guy Freeman looked to during the 2nd half of last season.

    He is not going anywhere.

  8. Jwayne Says:

    Hang on to that football like ur job depends on it…oh wait

  9. Oahubuc Says:

    Very mysterious, two seperate regimes insisting this guy return kicks. I don’t get it. It’s kind of annoying, actually.

  10. Lion Says:

    Preston Parker returning punts/kicks in preseason is bad news for Stroughter.