Wary Of “Dangerous” And “Careless” Page

November 26th, 2013

The Bucs rank in the top-10 in the NFL in punt returns and kick returns, based on average yards per return. Much of that has to do with 22-year-old return man Eric Page.

He’s talented. He’ll take sound risks. He’s got the burst. But he’s made some bonehead mistakes and he’s put the ball on the ground a couple of times this season. 

Greg Schiano expressed frustration with those errors last night while speaking on WDAE-AM 620.

“[Sunday,] we made another one in the punt return game. We fielded one on the 3 yard line. And [Page and I] had a similar [teaching] conversation on the sideline. So those teachable moments hopefully get the point across. But you can’t have too many of them, not in this league,” Schiano said. “You have too many of them you’ll be teaching somebody else. So we gotta make sure we stop doing, you know, careless things with our punt return. Because I can tell you this, he is a dangerous punt returner for the other team when he does things right. Eric Page is in the top-10 in returning and this guy’s doing a heck of a job. We just gotta make sure we don’t get careless at all. Because those are big change of possession play. You’re talking about valuable yardage when you make a mistake in that area.”

Schiano went on to emphasize that he’s very focused on teaching young players and he shared his philosophy.

“While they’re learning they keep their confidence up. So that’s really my big thing,” Schiano said. “‘Look, this is why it happened, but now that you know that you’ll be able to make that play next time’. I think that’s what young players need to do. They need to feel like, ‘Ok, I understand why something bad happened and I can keep that from happening again.'”

Joe hopes Schiano digs extra deep to show patience with Page. Again, he just turned 22, and he missed his rookie season with a torn ACL. The Bucs could have a great returner in their lap, but he’ll need a little more developing to reach that level. But that can’t happen if he’s on the bench.

5 Responses to “Wary Of “Dangerous” And “Careless” Page”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I like Page & think we should use him in our passing game in the slot…..Page has good hands and plenty of speed.
    He is very green as a rookie but the upside is huge. I am very excited about some of our undrafterd free agents….Page, Wright, Underwood, Rainey, Gorrer, LJ, Melvin, Owusu….With the cap, a team has to have younger players that perform well.

  2. stanglassman Says:

    I would like to mention one thing about the old adage of not catching the ball inside your own 10 yard line. I hear mostly older commentators saying that but they aren’t taking into account the punting has changed significantly over the past ten years. Most punter don’t kick the back of the ball and spiral it out as they once did now it’s more of a rugby front spring hit that can be controlled to come back or roll forward according to what is desired.

  3. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Page is going to break one for a TD soon.

  4. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    stanglassman makes a great point.

    I’m proud to say I predicted Page would be a great returner since his first day in camp. I was begging for him to win the job.

    It took a few games for Schiano to decide to go with him.

  5. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    So how much more coaching does our place kicker get before someone else is being coached?