Bucs’ Special Teams Rank

January 25th, 2018

Sting still felt.

At one point in the season, that headline was a declarative phrase.

Early in the season, the kicking game was a complete and total trainwreck. Just a nightmare. It ended when Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht put Nick Folk on injured reserve.

The kicking game got better but the special teams did not. Rich Gosselin, a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter (just like Ira) made a name for himself, in part, for ranking NFL special teams when he covered the Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News.

(Gosselin was also uncanny at predicting the draft, perhaps the best walking the face of the earth.)

So this year in his annual special teams rankings, he has the Bucs in the bottom third of the league at No. 21.

Joe is going to guess this is weighted down because of the horrible kicking the first few weeks of the season. Aside from short kickoffs later in the season by Patrick Murray, which led to touchdown returns, the Bucs special teams wasn’t that awful once the Bucs got the kicker thing settled down. But last year, Gosselin ranked the Tampa Bay special teams at No. 12 overall, so things are getting worse.

12 Responses to “Bucs’ Special Teams Rank”

  1. LakeLand Says:

    They gave up 21 points on Special Teams, they were awful.

  2. NFLNut Says:

    23rd on average … we were better than 9 teams … ugh.

    Our Punter is great … and a 6th round pick like CB/RS DJ Reed could fix the return game, but man, we still need a kicker … Murray was okay and I have confidence he can be better next year but I do hope the team brings in an UDRFA to compete with him at the very least.

  3. adam from ny Says:

    imagine we just kept matt bryant…think of all the non issues !!!

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Nick Folk cost the Bucs two games. Literally. If we had won them, we would have been 7-9.

    If we had half the injuries we had, or if we had a better running game, we may have squeezed two more wins.

    It still would not have been enough for the playoffs in this division, but it will have been a winning season at 9-7.

    The team really isn’t as far as the panicked fans think it is.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    On both of those kickoff returns there were blatant blocks in the back….I know that refs miss those sometimes but we get more than our share.

    Either Murray needs to kick it deeper or our coverage needs to improve…I think we are missing Russell Shepard.

    Anger is great…..rarely punts it badly and usually very high and inside the 20.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    and yet no changes were made to the staff…..GO BUCS!!!!

  7. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ tampabaybucfan
    That’s probably true. Although I think Ryan Smith was very good on special teams. Godwin also was also pretty good , but that shouldn’t have stopped Bucs from getting him more involved in the offense earlier. Also Josh Robinson didn’t
    play in 5 games. All these players were capable of pinning the offense down
    with Anger’s great punts. Agree on Murray’s short kicks.

  8. JonBuc Says:

    @ Buccaneer BrownEye

    While I applaud you for shutting down your Elf Erotica link in favor of riding the JBF brand coat tails with your “expertise”…calling fans panicky is off base. Disgusted and fed up perhaps? Again…nicely done pulling the plug on the previous link as Chris Hanson from “To Catch A Predator” was hot on your tail.

  9. oar Says:

    When I hear about missed field goals………..I think about how Jameis and the offense couldn’t score a f#&%ing TD!!!

  10. FortMyersDave Says:

    oar, I think about Koetter going conservative and setting up plays for a long FG when I think about missed FGs. Bucs probably would be 4-12 after losing to the Saints at RJS 24-23 if Koetter had his way as he would have had Winston dump a five yard gain out of bounds instead of JW’s bomb to Godwin and like clockwork Murray would have missed the 50 or 51 yard FG just like the way he lost the ATL MNF game. Of course that would have given the Bucs the #5 pick instead of #7 and it will probably cost the Bucs a chance at Chubb or a deceent bounty of picks to trade down…. We as fans crucified (and rightfully so) when Lovie said he was content in leaving points on the field going into halftime to avoid mistakes yet Koetter gets a pass for the vanilla, predictable game planning that always had the Bucs in a hole early and then going conservative when aggressive was needed and when common sense could have helped (like in AZ) Koetter simply went 180 in the opposite direction and threw away numerous point chances by idiotic play calls. It was like the guy was trying to go 3-13 with the help of slugs like Swaggy Baker. I still can’t believe the Glazers are standing pat on the GM and all the coaches this offseason.

  11. Bculaw Says:

    Spot on @FortMyersDave! I like Murray, but had no confidence that he would’ve made that kick.

    Special teams were atrocious this season. Kicking game struggled early, too many blocked kicks in the middle and 2 huge returns for scores against late. Take away the punter (who is outstanding) and there’s not much to like about that unit. So glad the FO was proactive and is bringing in new blood on the special teams coaching staff to jump start the turnaround.

    …. oh, wait.

  12. darin Says:

    Lol @ Jonbuc
    Yeah that guy couldnt be further off base. He constantly talks about lack of talent. Dirk has said the team was by far the most talented and had enough talent to make the playoffs. But browneye still is going to stick with his nonsense only because he wants to throw out his browneye prediction after next year. It doesnt take a genius to figure out the team would be better with a pass rush, better oline and rb. The reason its not hard to figure out is because the coaches refuse to adjust from week to week and in game. The kicker cost us 2 games and injuries another 2? Every team had plenty of injuries. Unsurprisingly he didnt mention that dirks terrible clock management and refusual to play the best rb cost them 4 games. The defensive coordinator cost them another 2 or more. He is right saying the team isnt far off. Theres plenty of talent here. All it needs is a new head coach and d coordinator. What I saw is here is a coaching staff who was outcoached every week. Not sure how it was that hard to see. Now theyre both staying, so I really hope they learned some lessons and will adjust next season. Im not a browneye who just wants to say ” i told you so “next year. I have no faith they can outcoach the other teams yet tho. Hope they prove me wrong.