Kaelin Clay’s Gig To Lose

May 10th, 2015
Bucs WR Kaelin Clay skies Saturday to catch a pass. However, Clay will likely have more of an impact on the return game.

Bucs WR Kaelin Clay skies Saturday to catch a pass. However, Clay will likely have more of an impact on the return game. Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com.

When the Bucs drafted wide receiver Kaelin Clay on the third day of the draft, yeah, he was a wide receiver. But the Bucs, desperate to find a quality return man ever since “Run Micheal Run” Spurlock left the club, had something other than receiver in mind when Clay’s name was called.

That’s because Clay is a talented return man. And that’s all good, Clay said after the second rookie minicamp practice Saturday.

In fact, just the vibe you get from the Bucs, Clay will have to play lousy in training camp and preseason not to be returning kicks and/or punts this fall.

“It says a lot, that they have a lot of confidence in me, but nothing is given,” Clay said. “I still have to work for it. My approach to that is I’m going to come out here and work every day. I want to learn from the veterans, see what they do. Also, I want them to tell me what I do wrong, so I can contribute to the team and just help the team become a playoff contender and hopefully we are in California at the end of the season.

“It means a lot [that the Bucs are emphasizing his return skils], especially for me. I consider myself a special teams’ guy. I love special teams. I think it is one of the most, if not the most important part of the game – the way you can flip the field and get closer to the end zone, the offense has a greater chance of scoring. For me, it’s more so just coming in and just helping the team. I love special teams. That’s what I’m here for. Also to play receiver, but in order for me to get on the field I’m going to play special teams. I know it’s a need that we need, so I’m just trying to get better every day.”

You can tell by Clay’s attitude and passion he must have really impressed Bucs brass when they interviewed him. The guy oozes confidence and passion. What more would you want from a football player?

Two positions have been woefully inadequate in team history. One is return man; the other is quarterback.

Perhaps those historic sinkholes have been filled this spring?

22 Responses to “Kaelin Clay’s Gig To Lose”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Man, I hope so

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We will see…..sometimes, you need to be patient with a player like this and he will eventually develop…hopefully, we don’t have a quick trigger. Looks like an uphill climb for Herron.

  3. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    Very well chosen and spoken words…..for a 3 rd guy that never had the benefit of a PR coach that the high round picks have…hope he stays injury free thru camp and preseason

  4. rayjay1122 Says:

    Ah….Tis the season of hope, where all teams are 0-0 and have a chance to be winners. Well that is unless you are the Jaguars. What a blow! I could not imagine that happening to our top dog draft pick. I am not even going to mention the name to avoid jinxes. Here’s to hoping that all of our key players have a healthy and major injury free season!

  5. DayOnePaul Says:

    He shouldn’t have dissed the Bucs.

  6. Tom Edrington Says:

    The league and strong kickers have basically nixed kickoff returns so it is the punt return game that is most crucial, can flip field position in an instant and change the outcome of games…..

  7. JSmalls Says:

    TBBF, what returners develope? In the NFL don’t return specialist just burst onto the scene? Very few have longevity like sproles, Hester and Mitchell. Actually, if my memory serves correct, most of the impactful returners have a short shelf like. I believe we’ll know right away what we have in this rookie.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I think all of our returners were “in development” for about 31 years until Spurlock scored…..watched every single return.

    Actually, I think we pulled the plug early on Eric Page…..must have been something there with Lovie that we didn’t see…

  9. Architek Says:

    Just don’t give up on him too fast – if he has some growing pains. Then cut him and he goes to another team and shines…..

    Be patient Bucs brass

  10. Harry Says:

    “…Two positions have been woefully inadequate in team history. One is return man; the other is quarterback.”

    Is there any other position more inadequate than either of these? With the investments and effort (FA $ & high draft picks) the Bucs have used on DEs it’s tempting to point to that. But at least we had a Simeon Rice. Fixing these two positions, especially QB, would be so huge!

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    You don’t know what you’ve truly got in a returner until you see him in actual games. It is so hard to emulate game conditions for returns in practice. Hopefully this young man has what it takes and can help improve field position and maybe even get a couple of TDs this year.

    I love what he said above – showing great respect for the position he is in and expressing a strong willingness to work hard to be the best contributor for this team that he can be.

    Getting significant contributions in year 1 from a 6th rounder is hard to do in the NFL.
    If Clay wins the starting returner job and continues to play well enough to keep it – then he would be the 4th rookie starter to come out of this draft – and Kenny Bell might just become the 5th rookie starter from this 2015 class.
    How good would Licht and his scouts look if 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 5th and 6th round picks were all able to play significant roles in a turn around year?

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    “and hopefully we are in California at the end of the season”

    Looks like Lovie’s “California Dreamin” theme is already taking hold. How sweet would worst to 1st be? How incredible? And how unbelieveable that Winston could have called his shot prior to ever even being drafted in saying he wanted to take the Bucs to the Super Bowl this year if they were somehow able to accomplish what Lovie is already telling them is possible.

    You have to believe before you can achieve – and the belief in that possibility of playing in a Super Bowl this year – even if remote – is what will drive this team to be as good as they can be – individually and as a team.

    Its a great time of year for Bucs fans as hope springs eternal every year after the draft – LOL.

    But something feels different this year. The “hope” feels legit. That has an awful lot to do with Jameis Winston and I think the whole team feels that they are on the verge of a HUGE turnaround in fortunes for this franchise.
    Anything is possible. Why not us? Why not now? California dreamin’…

    Its a good message. Kudos Lovie.

  13. tmaxcon Says:


    i have been extremely critical of lovie more so because I don’t think he can change. whether he learned his lesson after the 2-14 season or the glazers clipped lovies wings a bit, this was a much better draft. the cause really does not matter but after the draft I am much more content. Not sold on lovie still but I said before the draft anything less than 3 starters is a failure and given the special teams abilities of Kwon Alexander and Clay I think they will have 4 solid contributors from this draft minimal.

  14. tval Says:

    This kid reminds me of a quicker jason avant

  15. BuccaneEric Says:

    Every time I see Spurlocks name I remember the tears I had in my eyes watching that return!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it actually happened!!!!

  16. BuccaneEric Says:

    And the 62 yard field goal against the Eagles!! I came down the stairs screaming so loud my wife thought something was wrong!!!!!!

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    This guy has drop issues, so he may just lose the job if he doesn’t overcome them.

  18. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If Bell can return punts then Clay could be a numbers cut if he doesn’t impress as a WR.

  19. nucifyouBUC Says:

    We have a better returner and reciever we picked up undrafted… Ranell Hall

  20. C Youngblood Says:

    I Agree, Flowers formerly of the Gators, now with the Jville Jags.
    Why Dis our Bucs. Karma is real. Somebody should of told him to
    watch his Words. Wish You Well. One thing he did get correct, Bucs were drafting a QB. Yes, indeed we did. Rookie of the Year, #3 Winston.
    Let’s Go Bucs….

  21. C Youngblood Says:

    My bad, last name is Fowler. See you next year. Good luck Jags.

  22. Owlykat Says:

    ROM’s last year Spurlock had developed into a competent backup receiver and has always been a DURABLE return man, but when the losses were mounting ROM just left him on the bench and Idiot Schiano didn’t have the sense to keep him and we lost him to free agency. We have been going through one shrimp receiver ever since trying to replace him. They either fumble the ball or aren’t durable enough. The one exception, Soloman, can take a licking and very rarely fumbles but Lovie is trying to find another Hester.