Speculation And More Speculation

May 27th, 2021

Bucs special teams coach Keith Armstrong

Joe got a great answer today from Buccaneers special teams coach Keith Armstrong, who is a straight-shooter in the Bucco Bruce Arians mold.

Armstrong answered multiple questions about rookie punt returner/receiver Jaelon Darden, and Armstrong was quick to glow about the skill, smoothness and promise of Darden in that role.

But Joe had one more question: Is there really any way to gauge what a rookie punt returner can do until preseason games?

“Nope,” Armstrong replied before laughing.

“No. Because you got to make decisions and you have to manage the game. And we’ll practice that as much as we can.”

Armstrong talked about all the ways Darden will be tested in training camp and prepped for good decision-making, but it still all comes back to live fire.

There’s a great divide at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters; one Joe loves preseason and all it represents when it comes to evaluating and developing players. The other Joe thinks the games are a waste of time, fans’ money and good sense.

Regardless, Darden’s 2021 NFL life likely is on the line this preseason.

Joe remembers very well what happened when overhyped for Bucs receiver/returner Kenny Bell fielded his first kickoff return in the 2016 preseason.

19 Responses to “Speculation And More Speculation”

  1. Darin Says:

    Definitely a waste of money.

  2. SB~LV Says:

    The games are certainly a waste of time time for fans, other than watching rookies play in a scrimmage. Years ago before everyone was a high priced player there really was an attempt to compete as a team for a win even though it was preseason. Now it is ALL about watching the tape after the game and evaluation of players. Of course I watch but it is just watching the clock tic closer to the regular season.

  3. Swampbuc Says:

    I’m excited for the champs to strap it on for preseason so we can see more of what Griff and Goobert, Vaughn, TJ, Darden, and Tanner Hudson, O’Connor, Nelson, and the rooks Tryon, Britt, etc. can do.

  4. Bird Says:

    I give you kenny bell

    Shined in practice. Turned into a ghost come game time.

    So its both
    Preseason good for evaluation And at the same time a waste of fans money. I mean its a chunk of your season ticket prices and depending on which preseason game 1, 2, 3 , 4 starters dont even play but you have to pay

  5. Colonel Angus Says:

    Preseason has it’s place and entertainment value. That is in watching the incoming draft class and free agents for the first time. I enjoy the battles between the bubble guys. Score board doesn’t, though I want to see my team win regardless. It is certainly a rip off to the paying fan in attendance. The league should charge a 1/4 of the price of regular season games. And I am against playing your entrenched starters any amount of time. Nothing worse than losing a key contributor in a meaningless game (for the guy who’s roster spot is secure). I’d like to see 2 preseason games and an option for 2 controlled scrimmages, open to the fans.

  6. Colonel Angus Says:

    Scoreboard doesn’t matter, I meant. My brain moves faster than my fingers. That’s understandable, being the super genius that I am.

  7. Exkwood Says:

    To much side to side , like a Peter Warrick ( who was great but didn’t know how to go forward) but a step to slow ( decision) not speed going forward !!! He only averaged 7 yards a return in college for a reason and it’s the mental ability to cut once and accelerate and not juke or cut again .

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Kenny Bell was not even a preseason guy, the coaches liked what they hoped he would become from what they saw at practice.

  9. Flying Dutchman Says:

    Kenny Bell, sweet bucsfans memories. The guy got first row tickets to the NFL. Just thinking about the difference between drafting Bell in the third to Godwin in the second. The draft is such an crapshoot.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Preseason has been a way to exact funds from season ticket holders…….there is no way it’s worth the same price as regular season.

    Everything is relative……drop the price of preseason to $15 per ticket….so families can attend at a good price…..knocking it down to 3 games is good…

    I do think there is some value to filling out the roster…..and…..it’s very imprtant to the players on the bottom end.

  11. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Darden ain’t no Bell. You will see it by game 1. This is a small school guy with a ton of upside. Bell was a large school guy with no upside, but lots of great hair!

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe look at it this way. No matter what there is going to have to be a Training Camp. Would you rather that month of TC to be void of any football games?

    As a fan Im glad we get to see some games durning August. Preseason is funner with some games. More football better then less.

    Do agree that its a jip for season ticket buyers.

  13. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m in between the Joe’s. I think one game and a couple days of two team practice like we’ve done with the Jags in recent years gives coaches enough time for evaluation.

    I do like at least one REAL pre season game with the big lights on, national TV audience and all the hoopla of a regular season game to see how big the eyes of the young kids grow. I like to see them do it under the bright lights in prime time.

  14. Cliff Massie Says:

    Kenny bell was a 5th round pick.

  15. August 1976 Buc Says:

    I remember the 6 game preseason, definitely way to much. For me that was 1976,77, then 1978 the NFL went to 16 game season. This post points out clearly there are some things that will never be known without actual players running around and tackling. Whether it is worth it for someone to pay to see preseason games, that is up to each person and if they are willing to pay. Preseason or not, I love football. GO BUCS!!!!!

  16. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    For those who have yet to see the game film on Darden…should. The kid is very shifty and can stop on a dime. Nice burst, very good hips and has the ability to make you miss. He definitely ain’t no Kenny Bell.

  17. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Colonel Angus Says:
    “My brain moves faster than my fingers. That’s understandable, being the super genius that I am.”

    I had to learn to keep mine in a jar, so it couldn’t get away from me.

  18. Baby Grace Says:

    August 1976:

    Completely agree! How is preseason a ripoff? If you think it is don’t go to the games. If you think having to buy tickets for preseason games which are included in your season tickets don’t buy season tickets. Still a free country I think?
    I can guarantee you one thing, there is not a single URFA, late round pick, or on the bubble player that doesn’t want to play preseason! I would also think that there are not any coaches against preseason games. There is a big difference in practice and games when the are shooting live bullets vs no contact in practice.

  19. Mike Says:

    I struggle at times watching preseason games, but I know it’s very important for the younger guys to get some game tape and get a chance to make the team, so I am all for it. It’s even more interesting to watch with a rookie QB though, so hope Trask gets some opportunities to play and get some game experience.