Dancing On The Bubble

July 21st, 2014
Bucs RB Jeff Demps as the speed to make coaches drool and the lack of ball security to make coaches vomit on themselves.

Jeff Demps has the speed to make coaches drool and poor ball security (in OTAs) to make coaches want to vomit on themselves.

OK, Bucs fans. Joe can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He is sure you can as well.

After way too much chatter about the draft for months (May draft stinks) and the annual NFL summer siesta, football is in reach. Bucs training camp is but four days away. Joe can smell the sweat of cheerleaders from here. (It’s a fruity scent.)

Everybody and their brother will or has typed up their training camp preview. Joe thinks he’s been doing that all summer.

Andrew Astleford, of Fox Sports Florida, is among the chorus previewing Bucs training camp. In a recent story, he looked at four alleged bubble players. One that drew Joe’s attention was a breakdown of running back Jeff Demps.

Demps has made a renewed commitment to football, and the Bucs will be better for it if the track star becomes an X-factor either on offense or special teams (or both). He teased at times in his rare appearances with Tampa Bay last season — he had one carry for 14 yards, three catches for 21 yards and four kickoff returns for 93 yards. But he has the potential to do much more, and it will be interesting to see how he fits into the Bucs’ vision.

Speed is one thing. Speed as part of maximizing the greatest possible outcome that Demps can provide is another. He will benefit best from a nuanced approach to mold his gifts. Coach Lovie Smith is eager about using Demps, so expect the 24-year-old Florida product to be placed in situations to create fireworks if the opportunity presents itself.

There is no question Bucs coach Lovie Smith is enamored with Demps’ speed, and that’s understandable. The dude was an Olympian for Chucky’s sake! That is world class speed. You can’t teach that.

And, yes, Demps is committed to football full-time. For now. Just by watching underwear football, Demps has a nasty habit of putting the ball on the ground whether it is playing hot potato with passes or simply dropping the ball running through an open hole, again, in underwear football.

If a guy is that turnover prone when there is no contact, it scares the hell out of Joe to think of Demps’ ball security when he’s allowed to be blasted by linebackers and safeties.

Unless Demps is able to show he can hold on to the football, with as deep of a stable of running backs the Bucs have, Demps is on the outside looking in for a roster spot.

14 Responses to “Dancing On The Bubble”

  1. Buccfan37 Says:

    I agree, it’s not for certain Demps will make the final roster. I think he can produce some positive plays and be responsible for some turnovers also. I say keep him, great speed for as long as he may last. Or maybe he is a luxury and a big question mark and the Bucs need that roster spot for a player with a better chance to make an impact.

  2. Tom Edrington Says:

    Speed without the abililty to hold on to the ball?……sounds like a great candidate to play soccer……no hands necessary.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Demps makes a great decoy…..put him in….defenses will have to focus on him…but don’t give him the ball unless we are ahead by 21 with 4 minutes left.

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    Please, you folks want to “give” him a roster spot because he can run fast in a straight line…..

    With the Lovie regime….guys will have to work hard, perform and EARN a roster spot…..decoy? Please, who ever gave a roster spot to a decoy??


  5. chickster Says:

    he will be on this roster don’t listen to this jerry springer comments getting sick of this dude

  6. Danati74 Says:

    noone is safe.

  7. Mort Says:

    Danati74: that’s a nice bumper sticker.but it’s never reality. You mean GMC isn’t safe? Vincent? No, the bubble guys aren’t safe, but starters very much are set at most positions and you can even pick some backups too.

  8. Tom Says:

    I dont think it’s a guarantee he makes the roster.

    As you begin to do the math on the roster, they don’t have a lot of room for this guy. I think it’s becoming more clear that in order for Demps to make the team, he will need to make an impact on special teams as well as offense

  9. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Could Jeff Demps be a Devin Hester type return man? Could not be any worse that Parrish of last year. It seems there is a pretty full stable or RB’s already.

  10. Captain Morgan Says:

    Joe– we had this debate last year. Everyone says Demps is “just a track star trying to play football.” He was quite productive for the Gators for 4 years and could catch and run without fumbling then…

  11. tiny tim Says:

    This is the only site that continues to say Demps has security issues. Yes, he dropped a potential TD pass in OTAs, but that does not mean he has fumbling or ball security issues. I love the fact that Joe can make many readers just go with what he says/writes without doing research on their own. Other sites predict that Demps will make the roster. Obviously we have to wait and see. But if he doesn’t, I doubt it will be because of ball security.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    Here we go again, the most popular 4th string RB in the history of the NFL. Gator fans take your allegiance out of it and ask yourself ONE question: What has Jeff Demps done in the NFL?
    So he has speed, when he’s healthy. Again fantastic!
    He needs to prove he belongs before we sing his speedy praises. This is not college anymore!

  13. scubog Says:

    I don’t recall Demps being a fumbler as a Gator. Perhaps a Gator fan can weigh in. There have been a lot of fumblers in the league who worked on ball security and found success. Didn’t a certain # 40 have a little trouble early in his illustrious career? Demps can be taught to hold the ball properly; but you can’t coach a player to have his level of speed…….and not just in a straight line.

  14. BoJim Says: