Lack Of Return Game

March 30th, 2015
The return game, like most of the team was a mess for the Bucs last season.

The return game, like most of the team, was messy last season.

True, it is hard to find solid position groups when a team finishes 2-14. Special teams for the Bucs was a big reason why. Specifically, the return game.

Yet again, the Bucs went dumpster diving for return guys, and got the expected results. It was a turnstile of ineffective return men.

In a look-ahead to the 2015 season, the folks there don’t expect much of an improvement in the Tampa Bay return game this fall.

A carousel of kick returners have made their way through Tampa Bay [last] season without much success. The team started out using undrafted rookie Solomon Patton, then cut him to go through brief stints with Trindon Holliday and Marcus Thigpen, only to circle back and re-sign Patton for a second go-around. There’s no guarantee that whoever runs back kicks in 2015 will be a superstar, but they’re bound to be an upgrade over waiver wire fodder that the Bucs have turned to this season.

Joe is not going to pin this one the Lovie Smith administration. Finding a good return man has been a years-long malady, almost as bad as finding a defensive end with a pulse (and when they do find one, letting him walk for no good reason).

It seems the Bucs haven’t had a dangerous return man since “Run Micheal Run” Spurlock was scoring touchdowns, which is nearly as rare as Halley’s Comet, given franchise history.

Joe sure wishes the Bucs would have signed Ted Ginn when they had the chance a few weeks ago. He is a solid if not strong return guy who is also a decent No. 3 receiver. Oh, well.

10 Responses to “Lack Of Return Game”

  1. The Real Malloy Says:

    Maybe McCoy can return kicks…

  2. bucs4lyfe Says:

    this is one of those situations you go and find an undrafted free agent and let him have at it, no one goes after return men in the draft anymore unless you happen to have a guy that can be a slot/returner. I don’t think even desean Jackson runs back kicks anymore, I think i’d want to slam my head into a wall if we used the draft to address special teams

  3. Jolly Bucs fan Says:

    Return game is low on the list of needs at this point, awesome if you can get good field position, but then a holding call, a sack and a false start will kill any drive. And I saw way too many situations like that last year

  4. David Says:

    “Just win baby!” Al Davis’ words are immortal and really sums up my Bucs right now. Winning cures all.

  5. JMan Says:






  6. DallasBuc Says:

    So you can’t blame incompetent Lovie Smith for not filling a position of need because Schiano and Morris also failed at it? Give me a break. Enough with the excuses. Wasn’t Lovie Smith supposed to bring professional competence and stability to this team? Why do we keep giving him a pass for not doing his job well?

  7. P'cola Buc Says:

    Getting lucky with a late round draft pick might be worth it if a candidate might be there. A skilled punt returner at times could easily influence a close game.

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I was beginning to get excited about Breshad Perriman from UCF. Dude just posted a 4.2 40 and one scout clocked him just beneath 4.2. That is breathtaking speed period!!! Give it to a guy who is 6-2 212 and it’s just freakish.

    And so UCF guys who watched the Knights can he return kicks.

    Alas since he was a relative unknown I thought we might have a shot. But after that 4.2 a Ravens site actually says they are looking at him as a late 1st round pick.

    Given our many needs if we did trade back into the late first it wont be for a WR.

    Anybody got any longshot speedsters from some tiny Bumfck U.?

  9. bucco brice Says:

    I would settle for someone who’s smart in the returns. just catch the damn ball and don’t make any mistakes…

  10. pick6 Says:

    highly drafted receivers who are small and lightning fast are great investments high in the draft. Sincerely, Tavon Austin, percy harvin, and THAT dexter jackson.

    i don’t want to be the latest sucker in the tiny guy\low 40 time draft crapshoot. small with track star straight line speed is more likely to mean “fragile” than “great returner”. it’s frustrating to watch us cycle through guys but the guys churning at the bottom of the roster are just as likely to be capable in the return game and they are way more expendable. unless a proven player like devin hester comes around you just try to find the next flash in the pan. speaking of which, good thing we didn’t give that guy the multi year deal he wanted. that 3ish million would be a backbreaker

    returners are like relief pitchers in baseball. up and down year to year, coming out of nowhere, with the exception of a couple guys around the league.