Jeff Demps And The Bucs

July 22nd, 2013

jeff demps

The Bucs have been desperate for a consistent, threatening kick return game ever since “Run Micheal run” Spurlock returned kickoffs for touchdowns for the pewter and red. Almost like during decades before Spurlock finally broke the barrier and returned a kick for a TD, the Bucs seem to be in dire straights at that position again.

In the past couple of years the Bucs have had a revolving door at kick return, enough to make a doorman dizzy, and to no avail.

Josh Katzowitz of believes the Bucs may have found their answer in track star Jeff Demps.

Assuming he will run, that means Demps couldn’t return to the Buccaneers until they’re well into their training camp and preseason schedule. But Demps and his agent, Daniel Rose, reportedly believe the team has the understanding he will finish the professional track season before he returns to football.

“Jeff is the kind of guy who sees things through to the end,” Rose told the paper. “And right now, he’s running track. But we’ll see what happens. He’s in great shape. He works out five hours a day. He’s being brought in for his speed, and we know he can run.”

The Buccaneers, in fact, have wanted Demps since his Florida days. They were outbid by the Patriots in 2012, and they traded Blount to get him this offseason. The team probably would prefer to see Demps in camp when it opens, but reportedly, they’re OK with this arrangement for now.

Demps is scheduled to run in the world track & field championships next month in Moscow, and then he may arrive to the New Schiano Order in late August.

Color Joe skeptical about Demps. First, track stars and NFL stars are two totally different elements. Just because one can run on a track doesn’t mean he can be a good football player. Demps sure as hell won’t be in football shape if he reports in mid-August.

Second, does anyone really believe Bucs coach Greg Schiano is a part-time football guy? Demps’ focus clearly is track and the Olympics and that’s great. Joe just doesn’t see Schiano as the kind of guy that just welcomes a dude off the street halfway through the preseason and gives him a roster spot.

Look, if Demps was so talented as a return man, would Bill Belicheat throw in Demps in a trade just because the Bucs asked for his rights? Belicheat isn’t a coach who allows people to be part-time players, except when they are suspended, or being tried for murder.

If Belicheat thought he could persuade Demps to be a football-first gjuy, he would have kept Demps’ rights. Personally, Joe wishes the Bucs would focus more on getting the captain of the inactive list, Michael Smith, more reps at kick return than pinning their hopes on a guy whose focus is clearly not on the NFL.

34 Responses to “Jeff Demps And The Bucs”

  1. YourMom Says:

    There were several solid options this year, including undrafted running back Dennis Johnson….who was the best return man in college football and a helluva running back to boot.

    Instead we have nothing and are pinning our hopes on a track star that has chosen track over football several times now. Awesome!

  2. Biff Barker Says:

    Low risk high reward with Demps. Schiano will take what he can get because if Michael Smith could return kicks, he wouldn’t have been inactive last year.

  3. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Joe wishes the Bucs would focus more on getting the captain of the inactive list, Michael Smith, more reps at kick return than pinning their hopes on a guy whose focus is clearly not on the NFL.

    Exactly! The guys that are in camp now, should get consideration before Demps. …and like Joe said, not all fast track athletes necessarily make good NFL players or that two sport athletes are truly committed to football.

  4. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Probably a stretch now that E Wright is in Cali getting any drug his heart would desire, but Johnthan Banks was a pretty dangerous return man at Miss State

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Nothing ventured…nothing gained. We have absolutely nothing to lose with Demps….and to some degree with the possibility of Depms coming on board you have options.
    At least we know he is in good shape and probably drug-free.
    If noone else works out, perhaps we can give Myron a shot at it.

  6. robert Says:

    can he hold onto a football?

  7. delson Says:

    Michael smith should be our #2. Demps collegecareer was a fluke. I have no faith in him even returning kicks. Smith is almost as tough as martin kinda like a david wilson with power and speed.

  8. dmatt Says:

    J.D. is a Florida man. His heart was never in New England. It’s every players dream to play in the NFL right in their own backyard. Home is where the heart is for JD. Its a win-win solution for both parties. Jeff liked New England, but he loves Florida. Sometime u have to make exceptions n this competitive league. Schiano know that he’s a burner n playmaker. His staff will draw up n design plays for JD that will open up the offense. With physical body VJ and MW at wide out, DMartin in the backfield, u put JD in the slot n it’s a nitemare for defenses. Last year was a freshman year for Bucs players n coaches, n the offense prospered. Everyone returns a year later wit experience, u add a caliber specialty like JD to an offense already clicking, OMG!!. Bellichick will find better use for LG vs JD. He could have used JD as a West Walker but JD put track before football which wouldn’t work for Bellichick. However, Schiano will work wit JD n his commitment to represent his country in Moscow, then return to his country to represent the Bucs. Part time or not…it’s one PATRIOTIC person making exceptions n understanding another PATRIOTIC person. Why…because it’s the right thing to do.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe says
    “Look, if Demps was so talented as a return man, would Bill Belicheat throw in Demps in a trade just because the Bucs asked for his rights?”

    Yes, if he felt playing time would be an issue. Keep in mind, when Demps finally got to show up in NE he got a season ending injury. I have no idea if the kid will be good in the NFL, but your reasoning is a little off there.

    YourMom Says:
    “Instead we have nothing and are pinning our hopes on a track star that has chosen track over football several times now. Awesome!”

    Actually, no we are not. We have 3-4 kick returners on the team already, not counting Demps. Eric Page returned something like 4 kicks for TDs in his latest season. That’s better than good ole. Michael Spurlock ever did.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Sorry, page returned 5 kicks for TDs.

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Eric Page will likely be the answer at KR.

  12. BucFanForever Says:

    All this fuss over a guy who will kneel down for the one kickoff per game.

    It is a new day for the Tampa D. They can just put up seats in the endzone, the other team isn’t going to touch it.

    Punt returns on the other hand…

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    There has never, in any NFL game, been only one kickoff for a team. Just not realistic, buddy. But I love your enthusiasm!

  14. Captain Stagger Says:

    For Schiano I think allot of it is work ethic. And he seems like the kinda guy that would understand Demos desire for Olympic glory. It’s not like JD is sitting out camp and not working. He might be working harder in fact. His speed is a weapon, find a way to use it, and welcome him when he arrives with open arms. No need to be stubborn here and try to prove points.

  15. Biff Barker Says:

    @ delson
    So Demps, a proven SEC player is a fluke, and “tough as nails” Michael Smith should be our #2?
    Let me break it to you Chief, but Smith couldn’t even start for his college team.

  16. Macabee Says:

    I think tampabaybucfan has it right. At this point, Demps is not costing the Bucs anything to wait and see if he is the answer. The 53 man roster cut down isn’t until August 31st.

    Jeff will be in shape as Schiano uses wind sprints himself to determine fitness. There have been other NFL players that have dabbled in other sports like Dieon Sanders and Bo Jackson. There’s not a lot of money in pro track until you make the internationally-recognized top tier. Jeff needs to find out what his probable worth is before he makes a definite career choice.

    If Demps works out as a KR/PR, with his speed he can potentially be labeled OW (offensive Weapon), because he can do so many things in the offense. He could be the first man to officially make the Benn Around work. LOL. The very sight of him lined up as 3rd down back has to give any defense the jitters.

    Doesn’t hurt for the Bucs to hold on to this guy at least through the pre-season! I personally hope he works out! I’d like to see the little guy shot out of a cannon!

  17. Biff Barker Says:

    Macabee, yeah, TBF pretty much hit it. Demps will be competing for the return job with someone already on the roster.
    The Bucs will welcome him with open arms (read Dom) because its not likely we have a better KR on board.
    Not mentioned yet is the wow factor. An elite athlete can help put fans in the seats too.
    Dom held out for him on the LGB trade with the Pats for a reason.

  18. Dooleymite Says:

    Demps’ time as a gator proves more than anything track & football shape are pretty darn close, I mean, the old football adage of a player having the speed of turning 3 yards of space into a cloud of dust & 6 points really holds true with Demps. Pretty sure Dom & Schiano knew what they were getting trading for Demps and that is a world-class athlete on a schedule different from that of the usual NFL player. Demps would probably set records in Schiano’s consigning test if he intended to report to camp on time, but wether it’s now or the end of august, he’s still got to come in and start Fom square one. For the time being I think Michael Smith needs another shot returning the football

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Talk about “Toes on the line”……Demps has that covered.
    Also….I’d love to see him in Tampa doing those 110 yard sprints… yard shy of the necessary yardage for the longest kickoff return.

  20. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    My question about Demps is how committed will he be to football after the Olympics? Will he continue to stay in track after that? If so, how concerned would he be about sustaining a major injury and ruining his track career. Will he be 100% committed or will he shy away from contact? Will he always be sidelined with little injuries?

    If I’m Dominik and Schiano, this is the criteria of concerns I would have before I gave him someone elses spot on the roster. There’s nothing worse than giving a specialist a valuable spot and then they seem to find a way not to get on the field. Like some have suggested, it doesn’t cost to wait, but if he ever does show up, he’d have a lot to prove to me, other than the fact he can run fast. I want to know where his heart is?

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Buc n Junkie

    I agree he may be too much of a gamble. But it will depend on his contributions to special teams & the offense. If opposing defenses have to design plays to stop him then it may be worth it.
    As to where his heart is…..he runs so fast that his heart is probably in his a-hole!!!

  22. Couch Fan Says:

    I been banging the drum for this guy ever since we got traded for him. I only wish he would let track go and work full time on being a football player. He isn’t just fast, this guy can make people miss… being a gator Fan I’ve always liked him and thought he was much more of a play maker than Rainey.

  23. Bb Says:

    Demps is afoot ball player who does track not the other way! He would be great on screen passes and as decoy on third down plays, we should wait for him and cut somebody when he is ready.

  24. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^^^ If that’s the case O’wise one! Why is Demps not here? If football is his first passion, then where the heck is he? Oh, he’s doing track, his second favorite sport while football takes a back seat. Don’t feed us garbage use known facts.

  25. Mean D Says:

    It doesn’t take a whole training camp to learn how to return kickoffs. Demps will be fine.

  26. Joeisadummy Says:

    I like how Joe totally ignores Demp’s college football career in this article. While I question the intelligence of picking track and field over professional football you can’t fault a man for pursuing his true passion and still attempting to keep his options open.

    Whatever team this guy ends up with is going have something no one else has. Olympic speed with football skills. He might not even end up playing this year or next, but who cares as long as the Bucs own the rights to him. Eventually he will come calling for that NFL money, and they will have their guy.

  27. Dave Says:

    Demps was faster than Rainey, had more power than people thought, had awesome vision, and great balance. The problem is I have heard him speak. He loves track, not football. If it costs about nothing to keep his rights as long as they can just to have a look in case no one else shows them anything… fine. But it seems like it is going to end up as a waste of time

  28. robert Says:

    I call BS!!!

    A we have heard is around this time frame or that time frame. he may be here.

    talking out of both side of his mouth. WTF

    I’ll believe it when I hear HE WILL REPORT ON XX/XX/2013

    Everything else is BS. non committal BS @ that. don’t get me wrong, I respect him for pursuing his dreams, but it’s sill BS.

    People don’t forget that, coaches don’t. Who the hell wants to hear “I might marry you, let me see how this other thing works out”

    F em till he shows up.

  29. Matthew Says:

    Whether Demps is ready to be a full time NFL player is open for debate; however Joe’s question/point as to whether a track athlete can translate onto the football field is downright silly with regards to Demps. In this case it must be Joe’s known Anti-SEC bias that’s clouding his thoughts on Demps ability on the football field. Demps showed he could play at the highest levels of DI CFB; absolutely torching oppossing defenses on both special teams and as a situational RB. This doesn’t mean he’ll excel in the NFL but it definitely quells Joe’s question as to whether or not Jeff Demps can play. Demps has far more tape against real oppossition on then Smith; and more upside so it’s why he’ll continue to get looks. Jeff Demps > Michael Inactive Smith; they both might be walking the street come opening day but to discredit Demps potential to make an impact if he comes ready to play football is short sighted.

  30. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^^^Demps was recruited, and went to college on a football scholarship, not track and field. Had he been there on a TaF scholarship, he probably wouldn’t have elected to play football.

  31. Bucslegends Says:


  32. Kevin Says:

    Michael Smith fumbled one return and lost his shot. I agree he should be given the chance to be our return guy this season.

  33. Pete 422 Says:

    As long as he is there for the regular season, fine. He’s just returning kicks!

  34. scubog Says:

    I admire Demps for forgoing what could have been a lucrative football career to pursue what is his first love. As I recall, in the pre-season game with New England last year, Demps stepped on the field after being in camp a week and the mighty Bucs couldn’t contain him. We all should remember his football prowess with the Gators that was more than simply returning kicks. He could run and catch. At some point he knows he will have to give up his track career soon. Why not change professions with the Bucs?