Special Education

December 7th, 2014
Kevin O'Dea's special teams must make a positive difference today

Kevin O’Dea’s special teams must make a positive difference today

Raise your hand if you remember Logan Mankins getting leapfrogged, which led to a blocked Bucs field goal?

That was Joe’s favorite special teams blunder of 2014. It’s been a very rough year for Tampa Bay special teams.

Just about everything about them has gone wrong at some point, including the opening choice for return man, Solomon Patton, who was cut in October but returns today in Detroit.

If the Bucs are going to make this a game against the Lions, their special teams likely will have to make a play or two more than the Lions’ special teams.

The Detroit Free-Press took a peek at the matchup.

Special teams

Sam Martin probably deserves more Pro Bowl recognition than he’s getting. Martin has been one of the NFL’s top punters and kickoff

specialists this year, and he’s the main reason why the Lions have been so steady defending returns. Matt Prater has made 13 of his past 15 field-goal attempts, stabilizing a once-rotten kicking game.

The Buccaneers have been dreadful on special teams at times. They’ve allowed one punt return touchdown, had another punt and two field goals blocked, and punter Michael Koenen ranks 31st among qualified punters in net average. One bright spot: Besides the blocks, kicker Patrick Murray has been solid with four field goals of at least 50 yards.

Edge: Lions.

The Bucs have cleaned up their special teams quite a bit.

Michael Koenen snapped out of his funk somewhat. The brutal penalties have subsided, though not the bad call on William Gholston, and the breakdowns have gone dissipated, but the Bucs aren’t really making big special teams plays, either.

A game-changer early would be damn nice.


14 Responses to “Special Education”

  1. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    Who ranks 32nd in punting net average? Kind of hard to average less then Mr Hang Time!

  2. The Buc Realist Says:

    Fire that Rick Scott look-a-like!!!

  3. biff barker Says:

    I remember reading about how intense O’Dea was in the JBF camp reports.

    Too bad the intensity hasn’t made it’s way to the field.

  4. Fort Myers Dave Says:

    I remember seeing Mankins getting schooled in Cleveland, also saw Luke Stocker whiff on a block vs the Rams that resulted in a blocked FG that basically cost the Bucs a W (though one can point to several F-ups in that game but the Stocker whiff almost looked comical). The fans in my section were particularly impressed with the Stocker whiff, one guy called for a Vegas inquiry over that one Joe…..

    Buc Realist: I think our esteemed special teams coach looks like the lead singer to Midnight Oil than our Governor from Naples, I think the dude is now a Green Party politician in Australia; maybe O’Dea can seek employment in one of their semi-pro leagues “Down Under” after the Glazers /L&L hand him his pink slip in a few weeks….

  5. Paul Says:

    ST has been so consistently bad that a good day today could be written off as a fluke

  6. mac Says:

    Im not going to blame O’Dea for Michael Koenen’s sorry ass… That is Mark Dominik’s shit pie that we are all still eating… But, remember the Atlanta game? Watching Devin Hester run around like an untouchable ghost… What was the plan for that game O’Dea? Just horrible… You should have given back your paycheck from that game…

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    O’Dea has not done a great job at all.

    But I don’t think he is at fault for the punting or return game. You can only accomplish what the talent level is capable of.

    The musical returner position has led to complete instability…although I understand why Lovie is searching so hard. If he succeeds in finding the right guy, it will make a huge difference.

    No player is perfect, but I like Mankins. Everyone else on the line can be replaced. Put better players around Mankins.

    Coaches to replace:
    QB Coach
    OL Coach
    ST Coach
    DC (replace with Rod)

  8. FowlBall Says:

    If it’s of interest to anyone, here’s O’Dea’s CV for the last 10 years:

    1994-95 SD: Defensive/ST Assistant

    1996/2001 TB*: Offensive/Defensive Assistant

    2001-03 Det: ST Assistant

    2004-05 Ariz: STC

    2006-07 Chi*: Assistant STC (see Hester, Devin)

    2008-09 NYJ: Assistant STC

    2010 Hartford Colonials (UFL): STC

    2011-12 Chi*: Assistant STC

    2013 KC: Assistant STC (see McCluster, Dexter)


  9. k1ngadroc Says:

    As John McKay would say…. Special Teams….. I’m all for it!

  10. OB Says:

    Our return man experience is one out of Comedy Central. Every time we punt or kick a field goal you just know it is going to be blocked and the punt distance is, well, putrid, because you can punt it out of bounds and do better than the hang time distance.

    Our coverage of kickoffs and punt returns has improved.

    This again come back to the Head Coach, he is the one telling the OC, DC, and Special Teams coaches what he wants and how he wants it.

    ASnother reason to change the HC

  11. NewTampaChris Says:

    Did you call this post “Special Education” because our ST coach must be retarded?

  12. J Moné Says:

    More like gtfo Koenen we don’t need your lame duck kicks. Just get some OC that will really use Mariota to the best of his abilities. #DucktoBucs

  13. Gt40bear Says:

    The Bucs Special Teams are special all right. Short bus special!

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I really fail to see how we have improved on Eric Page…….but, I wasn’t in camp evaluating his performance, so I have no idea what they saw…..