“Right Now, He’s Going To Get The Opportunity To Be Our Combo Returner”

May 3rd, 2015

Kaelin ClayBucs general manager Jason Licht was quite forthright after the NFL Draft. He wasn’t just talking in generalities about the new Tampa Bay picks.

Hopes are pinned on these guys coming in and playing major roles.

Licht chatted with Buccaneers.com multimedia guru Scott Smith and came close to declaring sixth-round pick Kaelin Clay the lead dog in the race for a new Bucs return man.

“Kaelin Clay right now, he’s going to get the opportunity to be our combo returner, return punts and kicks, fast guy,” Licht said of the University of Utah senior.

Licht went on to explain that Clay was an elite high school sprinter in California but is primarily a heck of a football player.

The GM referenced Clay’s three returns for touchdowns last year and said “we got an explosive returner.”

That’s “an element we didn’t have on this football team,” Licht said.

Yes, Lovie Smith is searching for his next Devin Hester, and Bucs fans would like to see the next Clifton “Peanut” Smith, the last Bucs return man in the Pro Bowl.

15 Responses to ““Right Now, He’s Going To Get The Opportunity To Be Our Combo Returner””

  1. WS99 Says:

    Rannell Hall WR UCF UDFA

    Looks like a decent returner and is pretty fast too. Looks like the slot and return game got some much needed attention.

  2. Kalind Says:

    My main man, Herron must have stones for hands. How can you not catch a kickoff???? Seriously. I think my sister can catch a kickoff. That dude better bring it this camp or he’s gunna be a Publix Stock clerk by the end of the summer…(so was I for a time, so that’s no slight on Publix folk. I miss you all up here in VA!)

  3. Owlykat Says:

    The question is can he be durable! You will remember Peanut got creamed after just one Pro Bowl and was never the same again. I wouldn’t cut Our Gator returner too quick. He lives in the weight room and proved he can take a huge hit and survive it, and we were eighth in the league on run back returns with Patton. Patton can run routes and has decent hands so he needs to be given a chance to compete with Gray and this cat for the slot job, but Murphy should be the starter there with 31 catches last year! The big problem with Gray is he is of slight build and can be easily diverted off his route or jammed at the line of scrimmage on third downs. I don’t see this guy being any tougher but the proof is in the pudding. The other thing I don’t like about Licht is promoting anyone to any position before they compete and earn it. Dom did that promoting a lazy DE to first string starter and letting Bennett go off to Seattle without any offer–you would think Licht would have learned from that major blunder that hastened DOM out the door!!!

  4. Big Marlon B Says:

    @ Owlykat

    Nobody said anything was handed to him. The direct quote from Light says that Clay is “going to get the opportunity to be our combo returner.” Maybe we interpret that differently, but seems to me that it means he will have an opportunity to compete for that role.

  5. jim Says:

    4th round….?

  6. Andrew 1 Says:

    Well, Like him or not we’ve finally settled on a guy to be our pr/kr. Wanted to see him in action, so I want back and and watched the Utah vs Colorado bowl game. But there was only one problem… Colorado refused to kick it to him!l lol. That’s always a good sign when it comes to a kick returner, but after 3 or 4 times of them sailing the ball out of bounds, I turned the game off. I’ll try to find some other games where a team actually kicks the ball to him.

  7. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Joe, like you said, this year they went and drafted players that could make a difference AND filled holes. I do think Herron’s days are numbered. And yes hands of stone, and it’s not Roberto Duran.

  8. mac Says:

    Hey Joe this dude was a sixth round pick not a fourth…

    Just like Josh Freeman, you need to be more accurate… Lol

  9. salish_seamonster Says:

    Doesn’t need to be a Pro Bowler. Just catch the ball and offer the threat of a big return on a consistent basis.

  10. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    All this kid does is take kicks the distance. Been doing it since high school,check those utube videos. Not saying he’s in Hestor’s class but he appears to be a natural in the return game. All I heard a few short months ago was how Lovie needs to go but it seems like to me this man is pay attention to all phases of this squad.

  11. Yungry Says:


    Where is the other 5th round pick?

  12. Ray Rice Says:

    Peanut! Man I remember him getting lit up in that Carolina game.

  13. Marquistador Says:

    Rannell “Speedy” Hall is not really a return man. As a UCF alumn I can tell you that he can return kicks but was a much better offensive player. Very good with the ball in his hands. At times he was the featured receiver at UCF, even outshining would-be first-rounder, Breshad Perriman. Regardless of 40 time, Rannell was and is undeniably the more electric player. Surprised he was not drafted, ecstatic he is now a Buccaneer.

    Check him out and be grateful.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Kalind Says
    “My main man, Herron must have stones for hands. How can you not catch a kickoff????”

    Expect the same issue with Clay. One had stones for hands, one has clay for hands.

    It’s going to take time to fill that role. It’s musical returners until it is filled.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Yungry Says

    Where is the other 5th round pick?”

    George Johnson.