New Chapter, Old Story

September 5th, 2020

Who wants to see a list of the Buccaneers’ opening day kick and punt returners of the past 10 years?

Joe’s got it right here, and a look at the next guy on the list.

Once upon a time back in 2008, the Buccaneers had a rookie Pro Bowl returner named Clifton “Peanut” Smith. The dude was electric. And then his career was destroyed by a vicious blow to the head in October of 2009.

The Bucs went back to old friend Micheal Spurlock to take over the returner duties and life hasn’t been quite the same since Spurlock left the building.

Here’s the list of opening day Bucs returners of the last 10 years, aka The Lost Decade.

2010 Micheal Spurlock (kicks/punts)
2011 Micheal Spurlock (punts) — Sammie Stroughter (kickoff)
2012 Sammie Stroughter (punts) — Michael Smith (kickoff)
2013 Eric Page (punts) — Kevin Ogletree/Eric Page/Doug Martin (kickoff)
2014 Solomon Patton (kicks/punts)
2015 Bobby Rainey (kicks/punts)
2016 Adam Humphries (kicks/punts)
2017 Bernard Reedy (kicks/punts)
2018 Adam Humphries (kicks/punts)
2019 Bobo Wilson (punts)/ T.J. Logan (kicks)

Joe’s going to stay positive this morning and just say that the Bucs have had bad luck with returners.

Back in 2015, they drafted Kaelin Clay to be a returner, but he was cut and later that season took one to the house for the Baltimore Ravens.

For 2020, it appears 26-year-old Jaydon Mickens will be the man.

Undrafted out of the University of Washington, Mickens was the Jaguars’ punt returner in 2017, the season they lost a heartbreaker to the Patriots in the AFC title game. Mickens took a punt to the house that year (what’s that, Bucs fans?) and he had an excellent average of 10.6 yards per return, fifth best in the NFL. His Mickens’ production fell off and he was on the street most of the 2019 season before the Bucs signed him in December.

Bucco Bruce Arians says he looks good.

Is this the year the Bucs have a dangerous returner again?

Fun fact, back in 2013 LeGarrette Blount was one of the most dangerous kick returners in the NFL, 29.1 average yards per return for the Patriots. Yes, the Patriots.

9 Responses to “New Chapter, Old Story”

  1. Snook Says:

    Kick returner is a dead position in the NFL now. Meh.

  2. Erick Says:

    Lol just sad. So sad that a coaching staff sent Humphries out there knowing he absolutely had no shot at taking one to the house

  3. gotbbucs Says:

    Look at our offense. Send someone out there that can kneel and fair catch. I’m more concerned with the kick coverage teams.

  4. Leighroy Says:

    Funny but true gotbbucs. How often do a guys return from even outside the goal line and never make it to the 25? Plus a fair catch anywhere yields that result. I would accept that 100 out of 100 times, be fine never seeing another TD or fumble on kick returns.

    Punt returns are a different story. Catch w no muffs. Know not to catch the ball when at the goal line. And again no fumbles. Any yards in a return are gravy at this point.

    My expectations couldn’t be lower on return yards, just give this offense every opportunity to do their thing!

  5. Jay Molina Says:

    Kick-offs have changed and so the role of a kick-off returner has been greatly diminished. Punt returners are much more important. Kick-offs either go through the end zone or are mortar kicked so that return coverage is right on top of the returner.

  6. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Ughhhh. What a list. At least we don’t have to hear it every single freakin’ game like we did for decades:

    “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not returned a kickoff for a touchdown in their x year history.”

  7. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Good ole Speedy Bernard Reedy

  8. Sport Says:

    We had those names because it’s at the bottom of the priority list. It’s a play that most of the time results in a fair catch, goes into the endzone or is downed by the opponent. Who Cares!?

    In BA I Trust!

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    I just threw up in my mouth!