Patton Is “Good For The Mental Stability”

September 9th, 2014

The Bucs’ special teams coach explains why rookie Solomon Patton is the man in the punt return game

Returner Solomon Patton getting called up from the practice squad to return punts against the Panthers wasn’t just a one-time thing.

The Bucs are extraordinarily high on him and believe Patton is already raising the play of those around him.

Bucs special teams coach Kevin O’Dea was on the WDAE-AM 620 airwaves last night, on Total Access, and explained that Patton has the makeup — and now the skills.

“If somebody’s near him, he’s probably still going to take a shot at it. And that’s what really excites me about him is that he’s all in on every play. And so that’ll build the front-line guys up as we go,” O’Dea said. “The blocking will become more and more and more intense. Because they know, ‘Hey, this guy’s got the juice to do it. We gotta do our part.’ They’ll feed off each other, and you can already see it starting to happen.”

O’Dea explained that he and Lovie Smith saw months ago that Patton had the right approach, claiming he dropped a lot during his spring development but was never down.

“He’s the same guy as if he caught it and took off with it. That’s really good for the mental stability of everyone involved,” O’Dea said. “He came in here and he didn’t field punts real well. He worked at it diligently. He’s made himself what he is now … a good punt catcher.”

Special teams ace Jonathan Casillas told he’s been a fan of Patton for many weeks and it was an uplifting surprise to the have him activated at the last minute for the Panthers game. Casillas concurred that Patton’s talent energizes the blockers in front of him.

For those wondering whether punter Michael Koenen is on firm ground given his big salary, O’Dea, who is close to Lovie and was his assistant linebackers coach with the Bucs in 1990s, says Koenen is the most diverse and dedicated punter/kickoff specialist he’s every seen.

O’Dea explained that Koenen can hit all kinds of punts and kickoffs, and said his precision as a holder is uncanny. Being with his third kicker in three years isn’t easy, O’Dea said, and Koenen’s work ethic has made the transition to Patrick Murray flawless.

O’Dea says Koenen works so had at everything that he had to be shut down in training camp.

“The next guy that gives him another football is going to be running. No more,” O’Dea said he told his special teams members. “Take the footballs and get them away from him. But that’s the type of pro he is.”

10 Responses to “Patton Is “Good For The Mental Stability””

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    Did O’Dea explain why Lovie punted from the Carolina 36?

  2. Tom Edrington Says:

    After watching the opener, I’d say the punt return game is the LEAST of the Buccaneer concerns.

    Must win Sunday against a third-string QB because you have three straight road games against Falcons, Steelers and Saints, and right now that looks very, very difficult for this football team.

  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    Well good. At least we can hope for 2 wins this season since our special teams is good. According to the coach anyway.

  4. Chef Paul Says:

    @lightning about the 53 yard fg.

    Yes the announcers did say something and you are going to hate it!! I think you better sit down for this.

    They said his max range was around 53 yards. But they chose him instead of the 50+ yard master.

  5. meh Says:

    Patton did great. I still don’t understand why we put him on the practice squad for even 20 seconds.

  6. Dom Says:

    Hopefully they get on him about holding the ball closer to his body. It was just waiting to be stripped

  7. lightningbuc Says:


    Thanks, you’re right – I hate it. Guess he didn’t want his first kick to be a long one – but geez!

  8. RastaMon Says:

    If they were/are so high on him…why did they release him….I consider this a credibility gap….

  9. geno714 Says:

    Did anyone ask why they released him days earlier if he was so great? Sounds like a terrible idea. Why didn’t he make the original 53 man roster? Was there a disagreement between Licht and his coaches?

  10. Willie D Says:

    Lovie fired quicker than Schiano. Please give a coach 3 years before firing so we are not in constant rebuilding mode.