Time To Show Up

August 14th, 2021

Rookie receiver/returner Jaelon Darden

Don’t you dare fumble.

That’s the stone cold reality tonight for Bucs rookie receiver Jaelon Darden.

Put all the hype and good vibes aside, Bucco Bruce Arians and Jason Licht are in full blown assassin mode. They will do anything necessary to crush this season and bring home another Super Bowl. And you can bet your wallet on Arians and Licht being completely unwilling to carry a struggling rookie receiver on the roster.

They don’t have to. Not with this loaded roster and this organizational mindset.

Darden has had a solid camp and has drawn praise as a fourth-round pick. But the slate is wiped clean tonight when the preseason kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at The Licht House.

Darden needs to make the team as a punt returner and he will be judged by the preseason. Arians and his special teams chief Keith Armstrong have said it clearly: the bright lights of preseason separate the special teams studs from the pretenders.

The Bucs know returner/receiver Jaydon Mickens can handle the job. They’re looking for better.

Hopefully, it’s Darden. But he probably will have to handle wind, a wet ball and some nerves tonight without a hiccup, otherwise the ice under him will get thin in a hurry.

Enjoy today’s Ira Kaufman Podcast!

15 Responses to “Time To Show Up”

  1. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Darden has a 90% chance to survive the entire year on the roster , per NFL stats on such matters.

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    He looks like “Miles” from the old sitcom “Moesha”

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Sure, Jaydon Mickens can handle the job. But he seems to lack the game changing speed that Darden has.
    It looks like the Storm will not have as much effect as some thought, because it has taken a more offshore track.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe (at least one of them) hates preseason games…..but giving players like Darden opportunities for punt returns is at least one good reason to have them.

  5. ir8oldman Says:

    Fred has danced away, Grace will be here next weekend.. Go Bucs!

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    No more “gifted” positions on THIS roster. The kid better come to play if he wants to make the team.
    Look, Bucs fans haven’t seen a legit return game since the likes of Karl “The Truth” Williams and Michael Spurlock. That’s sad, IMO.

  7. firethecannons Says:

    Jaelon Darden does not remind me of Kenny Bell

  8. SB~LV Says:

    He has lived his whole life for this moment!
    Kid ain’t got no choke in him !

  9. Jmarkbuc Says:

    “Licht House” is silly.

  10. Joe Says:

    “Licht House” is silly.

    It’s no longer the Den of Depression (thankfully). 🤷‍♂️

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    This dude is pumped not nervous. And Tryon. Few more hours.

  12. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    He’s a lock to make the team.

  13. DaBux Says:

    Just run the opening kick off back and end this discussion now. Thank you.

  14. Greg Says:

    Just stop it Joe. LOL. Its one scrimmage game. He is far more accomplished as a receiver coming out of school than Scooter Miller or Johnson. Number 1 slot receiver in all of college last year. Hell get a lot more than one rainy night to make the team. RELAX No Guarentee on Godwin or Browns return next year and Johnson came in a bit out of shape. I like this kids chances.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Im with Joe on this. If the guy starts fumbling the ball when the pressure gets real they wont be able to trust him. If they cant trust him they cant use him and that dont seem like the best way to use a roster spot in this season.

    I dont tgink its one fumbld and youre out situation. But a fatal arror like a fumble probably pushes him near the bubble and he will have to play his way out of it.

    Pressure can bring out the best or worst in players and you just never know. In a big reason what makes sports great.

    Rooting for the kid. GO BUCS!!!!!