Michael Smith Will Struggle To Make 2013 Roster

March 7th, 2013

michael smith 0813Joe wasn’t moved to write about this subject until Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Stephen Holder typed up a bunch of theories on the Bucs backfield. Joe was a bit surprised by some.

One bizarre take goes to this one on Michael Smith, captain of the inactive list.

Smith didn’t play last season, a frustrating experience for the 2012 seventh-round draft choice, but don’t make assumptions about him based on that. I always got the sense the Bucs never intended to play Smith last season. Public and private statements from Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik suggest he very much is a part of the Bucs’ future plans.

For Joe, that makes no sense. First off, Smith did play last season. He was the Bucs’ opening day kickoff returner. He was No. 1 on the depth chart and returned three kickoffs, but the New Schiano Order saw something it didn’t like, whether that was on the field or in practice, where Joe was told Smith had ball security issues early in the 2012 campaign. Despite the need, the Bucs gave up on Smith as a return man, an area where they were desperate by NFL standards.

Also, it’s impossible to say Smith is part of the Bucs’ future, especially under a coaching staff that wants a bell-cow back system. Yes, Joe’s heard the loving comments about Smith from the Bucs’ brass, but like Derrick Brooks, Joe is not inhaling.

Smith turns 25 in August, and the Bucs shut him down after one game. Keeping it real, it’s going to be tough for Smith to make the 2013 roster. Not every team keeps four running backs.

Smith could be a practice squad target for the Bucs, but the problem is he’s unlikely to stay there. Smith is a west coast guy, who went to college in in Utah, and the Bucs have a dominant running back who is younger than him (Doug Martin). That’s a recipe for Smith to jump at an offer to join another team’s practice squad for a better opportunity closer to home.

16 Responses to “Michael Smith Will Struggle To Make 2013 Roster”

  1. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    Theory: After Benn choked at slot WR (and/or couldn’t learn the new playbook), The Rock Star influenced Coach to put Benn @ Kick Returner b/c he’s a high 2nd Rd Pick. After Benn got hurt again, Bucs put Tiquan @ K.R. b/c Tiquan was hot for a while at Slot WR. But then Tiquan Wet-The-Bed and needed to get Roscoe Parrish or anyone who wouldn’t fumble the ball. By that time, they didn’t trust the rookie Michael Smith to secure the ball b/c he had not played all season basically and was rusty and confidence was down.

  2. Keith Says:

    Nice try, but you forgot LeQuan Lewis returned kicks for a while and they went again to the street for Jordan Shipley. I agree with Joe, there’s no reason to think they like Smith.

  3. Vic Says:

    The fact they didn’t reward Smith by activating him in the meaningless game against Atlanta tells you all you need to know.

  4. Jarret Says:

    The Bucs turn down a 6th rounder for a 7th round pick immediately after the draft and give up on him after one week? That doesn’t add up.

  5. Macabee Says:


    I don’t understand what is going on with Michael Smith, but there are rules regarding players on practice squads. If the Bucs place Smith on the PS, the only way he can leave is for another team to offer him a roster spot. No team can pick one player from a PS and place him on their PS, it must be a roster spot and must be there for a specific period of time. And as you know, all players are under contract, so Smith cannot leave if he does not want to be there. The Bucs must release him first before he can go elsewhere.

    Before anybody recalls the Dominik/Briscoe/Bengals theft, that was not what happened. Briscoe was stolen before he was placed on the Bengals PS and was lured away to sign with the Bucs offer of more money.

  6. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    I think at some point between now and the time the final roster is in place after preseason either Blount or Ware will be gone. I expect Smith to have improved enough to make the team.

  7. Mike J Says:

    Joe, are you assuming that the Bucs will keep Blount?? I am not so sure.

  8. Macabee Says:

    Mike J,

    A good barometer to judge how the Bucs feel about Blount is to see what kind of tender is placed on him. It will have to be done before the 12th.

  9. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    7th Round Pick…..is he supposed to play???? They need to get 2nd Round picks right FIRST….and 4th, 5th, 6th Rd

  10. Joe Says:

    @Macabee – To get on a practice squad, you have to be cut first. So that would open up an opportunity for Smith to go to a better personal opportunity for himself.

  11. Macabee Says:


    I evidently took the expression “but he is unlikely to stay there” to mean the practice squad. You were referring to the team itself. Understandable!

  12. Heath Says:

    Not sure why he is considered a kick returner. He wasn’t even a primary kick returner in college.

  13. Vic66 Says:

    My feeling is that Smith and Blunt are gone. Player beware of coaches saying they have plans to use you, just ask Tebo.

  14. SirustheVirus Says:

    I think he stays for another year. Ware was just a RB to come in because he knew Mike Sullivan’s system. We don’t know if were keeping Blount,so it would seem to me Michael Smith would be good to have seeing as he’ll be in his 2nd year.

  15. tidalguy Says:

    Michael Smith got in someones dog house last year and has’nt found a way out yet. What is up with that?

  16. Pete 422 Says:

    Steven Jackson becomes a FA on the 12th.