Giovani Bernard Surprised Coaches & Won Punt Returner Job

December 7th, 2021

Giovani Bernard

Not even a week ago Bucco Bruce Arians was talking about how Scotty Miller would return punts against Atlanta because Jaelon Darden would miss the game with a concussion and Miller had been working on the role all season.

That didn’t happen.

When the whistle blew, it was all veteran Giovani Bernard at returner.

How did that happen? Bucco Bruce Arians explained via his streaming show today that Bernard won the job in practice.

Arians said he asked Bernard on Tuesday or Wednesday if he had ever returned punts. Bernard, per Arians, said he did it in college. The Bucs gave him a shot in practice and Arians emphasized the Bernard was a total “natural.”

“The plan was to use Scotty but Gio looked just so natural at it. It’s like, ‘Hey, let’s go with him,”’ Arians said. “And he did a heck of a job fielding the ball.”

Arians added that Bernard did an “unbelievable job” but it was unclear if he was referring to practice or the game.

Joe thinks it’s excellent that Arians and the coaching staff are open to depth chart changes in December. It’s a great way to keep players motivated and it’s just the right thing to do.

20 Responses to “Giovani Bernard Surprised Coaches & Won Punt Returner Job”

  1. David Says:

    He caught the punts but that’s about all you can say. He didn’t return anything. The one time he just stood there for a while before deciding to run.

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    Anyone but Jaeylean Darden, Jesus H. Christ that pick is haunting us already

  3. B.D Says:

    Dexter Jackson………

  4. Jonny Says:

    Darden at this moment is a waste of active roster spot.

  5. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    Interesting to see Scotty as a gunner. Johnny on the spot last week on the muff.

  6. Bird Says:

    Yah and no worries that he starts a game and wont get sick during it. 😂

  7. SRQ Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe- off topic did you see the video of Gronk spiking the ball? the official turned his body away to protect himself

  8. JGhotier Says:

    Does any of this Gio gettin’ the return job due to practice habits and also Perriman getting the majority of the WR snaps over Johnson and Miller due to exceeding in practice (per Arians also) have anything to do w/ “some of the guys having a bad week of practice last week”…?!?

    Wonder if Tyler and/or Scotty are a few of those guys Arians and the Sunday broadcast have mentioned, as far as not having a good week of practice…

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Mickens is long gone, he signed with another team, and Darden was not doing the job.
    So we might as well give Gio a shot, since he can not block worth a dam,
    He nearly got Brady killed twice, until Arians warned him.

  10. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Good way to get Bernard on the field and contribute…Miller would have been sawed in half and been more nervous than the Joe’s at a vegan restaurant. Miller has more of a boy band build and needs to be careful out there.

  11. kgh4life Says:

    Jaelon Darden deliberately trips when returning kick-offs and punts.

  12. Sparky Says:

    I see the brain trust here has moved on from trying to get Trask cut and now wants to cut Darden instead. I guess the 4th round pick thats 6th on the depth chart didn’t make miracles happen fast enough.

  13. Colonel Angus Says:

    Lets hope Gio can become the 2nd coming of Brian Mitchell.

  14. Orlandobucsfan#1 Says:

    Darden seems scared
    He’s too little.

  15. adam from ny Says:

    jaelon dardin is a shook one…

    said mobb deep

  16. bucschamp Says:

    Darden is soft like charmin

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    So Gio was a return guy in college. No shat, his whole career has been about being illusive. It only took Arians 12 weeks to figure out what many of us posted frequently on this site. At least it was nice to hear BA made it to practice. I like Gio back there, more sure handed.

  18. Reach87 Says:

    It’s funny how bums on a couch know more than a SB winning coach. Go Bucs!

  19. don g Says:

    I had no idea how stupid some fans are Its Darden’s first year Relax people its the faster guys that have to adjust more because now the defenders are super fast too We need to worry about this weeks game not our 4th rounder

  20. Crickett Baker Says:

    I’m with David. I didn’t see anything returned from Gio except him to the bench. I don’t know if Darden purposefully tripped, but he looked like he was wearing roller skates instead of cleats to me. Miller did not get a chance, but I saw no ability from the other two at all.