Special Teams Coach Keith Armstrong Should Be Fired

January 23rd, 2022

Bucs special teams coach Keith Armstrong

Bucs fans watched a historically ugly performance by the Tampa Bay special teams today — after an offseason devoted to upgrading/fixing special teams and a season of shaky-at-best special teams play.

Why did the Bucs set out to upgrade special teams this offseason? Because they weren’t good last season.

Longtime NFL writer Rick Gosselin, a guy Bill Belichick has sought for NFL Draft counsel, annually ranks every special teams unit in the league. It’s a complex formula and he’s done it for years.

For 2021, the Bucs ranked No. 29. Last year, Tampa Bay was ranked No. 22. In 2019, they were dead last in the league.

Enough already. Joe is all about accountability and Bucco Bruce Arians is supposed to be, as well. Bucs special teams coach Keith Armstrong is not good at his job compared to his peers and he should be fired.

The Rams returned three punts today for a total of 60 yards. Unacceptable. Bradley Pinion was flagged for 15-yard penalties on two kickoffs, while Ryan Succop missed what turned out to be a key field goal. Both players regressed this season.

The rookie linebackers, K.J. Britt and Grant Stuard, were bright spots on coverage teams this season, but that’s not enough for Joe to think Armstrong is worth another year. Why was Scotty Miller absent on punt coverage today? The Bucs can and should do better than Armstrong.

Returner Jaelon Darden? Does he look like a guy being developed? And why is he on the field?

Joe has seen enough. If Arians wants to tell fans Armstrong is the best available special teams coach in the NFL, well, he’s not. Bucs fans and players deserve better in 2022.

82 Responses to “Special Teams Coach Keith Armstrong Should Be Fired”

  1. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    along with Todd Bowles.

  2. PassingThru Says:

    He should have been fired last season.

    I don’t get how Arians runs this ship.

  3. Alexstotle Says:

    #1 Darden is the worst player I’ve ever seen.

  4. cmurda Says:

    He and Todd should be coaching the Tampa Bay Bandits. Both of them are useless

  5. DBS Says:

    Most of us have been saying this for how long now?

  6. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Anybody that thinks Jaleon Darden is kick returner material should be put in a mental institution.

    You need help.

  7. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    If Rich Bisaccia doesn’t get a HC gig he’d make a good replacement. Never seen opposing gunners running full blast alone down on our returners like this year.

  8. LVMYBUCS Says:


    Aries aint running this ship he just a figure head he let Leftwitch run the show and when things get dire he steps in.

  9. YuctoBuc Says:

    Looks like a Crackhead, but Darden and Sucs were horrible

  10. Robertg Says:

    I want to know why they didn’t do a delay of game to run down clock before kicking ball back to Rams?

  11. BradyBucs Says:



    If you were about accountability you’d be posted articles about WRONG you were on overhyping Dean, SMB, and Davis in many past articles.

    You’d be calling for the Bucs to CUT SMB after he yet again blew an easy 1-on-1 tackle (Robinson) to just wrap a guy up with both arms and take him out of bounds. His lazy one arm tackle miss that gave up that 1st down really hurt.

  12. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Dead wrong Joe.

    Just look at him.

    He’s obviously HC material.

  13. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    cmurda were you saying that last year after the Super Bowl?

  14. Erick Says:

    Darden has to be related to the “bad” Dexter Jackson

  15. Lesko_Brandon Says:

    You know you cannot fire a black coach, you will be canceled by the woke mob. Shannon Sharpe, Nick Wright, Max Kellerman, Skip Bayless, Steven A Smith and all of the rest.

  16. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Where was this post during the season?
    The ST have NOT been good all for most of the time. Daren runs Scared.
    WHY??? Is Darden the returner, when Barner showed more life in 1 game then Darden has all season.

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  17. PassingThru Says:

    I also don’t get the O Line coaching. The O Line (when healthy) has some of the strongest, most athletic linemen in the business, and yet they just do a mediocre job on run blocking. Today the Bucs could have gashed and slashed the Rams with Fournette back, as the Rams run defense is ordinary. Yet they couldn’t. That’s been an ongoing problem all season long.

  18. lambchop Says:

    Here come the over-reactions post a heart breaking loss.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Darden isn’t good….but he has the worst blocking in the NFL……..

    This was uncharacteristic of Pinion who usually leads the league in touchbacks.

  20. cmurda Says:

    @WalkdaPlank. None of us think that. I have never heard one person. Not one person on this sight believe in Darden after seeing him have several games of returns. It was obvious halfway thru the year. Only our coaching staff and apparently our special teams coach who deserves to be fired thought Darden is the right fit or is even serviceable. I won’t mention the special teams coach by name. He doesn’t deserve it. The unit sucks and is worse than the previous years as Joe has stated with actual proof. How does incompetence continue to be rewarded? Speaking of which as soon as I say that word, Todd Bowles comes to mind. Get out of my head terrible D coordinator.

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Two words:

    Rich Bisaccia

  22. cmurda Says:

    On this site…

  23. August 1976 Buc Says:

    cmurda Says:
    January 23rd, 2022 at 7:03 pm
    He and Todd should be coaching the Tampa Bay Bandits. Both of them are useless

    Yeah Bowles was a genius after the Mahomes beatdown in the Super Bowl…BUT now he is a useless stray dog?

    GO BUCS!!!!

  24. cmurda Says:

    @Jmark. I would love that as we already know he is good as a ST coach but

    1) Why would he take a lateral move?

    2) I think he gets a better opportunity than ST.

  25. Coburn Says:

    Yeah clear to any fan Armstrong was garbage. Many were saying it before he even arrived. Falcon fans were saying it too

  26. Hodad Says:

    Two kick offs OB back to back horrible. I’ve never seen a team so afraid of whoever the returner is. Mind boggling, and Darden’s a little be.

  27. DaBux Says:

    This shouldn’t even be a debatable issue. He sucks.

  28. cmurda Says:

    @August. Yes. That’s how it works. Our defense was fantastic in last years Superbowl. We might be on our way back if it hadn’t been for Mr Useless. Go ahead and tell me how a coach that leaves one on one coverage with a safety on the best WR currently in the NFL. Tell me that isn’t useless.

  29. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Rich Bisaccia?

    Sure, he’s good…… but he’s missing a certain qualification…….


  30. Bucs fan from Philly Says:

    Darden has to go.

    Piñon did us dirty when it counted.

    We lost to Matt Gay

  31. Cdog76 Says:

    Yes I agree 100%. Bowles should be relieved of his duties as well.

  32. Coburn Says:

    We didn’t lose to Matt day. That’s overly dramatic. He made basically an xp at the end. It only even came down to that because be missed the 48 harder earlier

  33. HC Grover Says:

    BA is back. This signals mediocracy next year.

  34. cmurda Says:

    @Coburn. Well, it came to that because on back to back plays Cooper Kupp got 64 yards. Apparently the first 20 yard play wasn’t enough for our brilliant D Coordinator to shift coverage his way. One would think the defensive gameplan would revolve around stopping their greatest threat but why let common sense prevail.

  35. Zzbuc Says:

    Last year SB Champions
    This year the team had tons of f injuries, team had a great season and now everybody has to be fired?

    Crying babys ….. go an Watch Karashians!!
    Unreal how unloyal some are!!

  36. Daniel Says:

    How does one kick it out of bounds twice?

    Armstrong presided over terrible ST he can go.

    I can’t blame Leftwich today we just couldn’t block

  37. BucsfaninTX Says:

    Keith Armstrong didn’t kick the ball off out of bounds-2X!

  38. tampabuscsbro Says:

    Zzbuc. No this is calling for a ST coordinator to be canned. The ST has been bad he wasn’t a good coordinator before he came here he is only here because of his relationship with arians.

  39. bucfanforever Says:

    Wait, and he was coordinator when Pro Bowler Matt Gay didn’t kick well for us.

  40. David Says:


    They still have no one who can return it and they don’t block well on the returns. Why pinion is trying to angle kick off‘s when he kicks it to the back of the end zone most the time is beyond me. And they’re kick coverage rears its ugly head every now and then.

  41. Buc Neckid Says:

    So Long
    Enjoy Jacksonville with Leftwich

  42. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Darden is one of the worst football players I’ve ever seen.

  43. MoHawg Says:

    Rams dominance last three games

  44. MoHawg Says:

    Gots to have more farm animals than a GOAT

  45. SKBucsFan Says:

    I’m more concerned about finding a better coin toss caller….I think we won 2 all season/post season. I think Clark Griswald did better.

  46. SickofLosing Says:

    Thanks Joe, I had forgotten about the missed field goal. Thanks, it all hurts again.

  47. alvinscissorsharper Says:

    Darden is simply AWFUL. Very reminiscent of the crappy Dexter Jackson.

  48. mg Says:

    Just a mental breakdown the whole day for the not so special teams.

  49. Beejezus-belt Says:

    Well Jason Licht drafted this year for special teams. This was one of the worst drafts in franchise history. Teams would rather kick it short and let Jarden return it 10 yards then spot the ball on the twenty five. If this draft was for now it was a failure. Trask couldn’t even dress on Sunday, so for a second round pick that was crap. The third round pick couldn’t find the field. And the fourth round was another great waist of pick for the buccaneers to maybe be a return man. Please stay TB12 or we are a five win team.

  50. Boltsfan17 Says:

    This is just symptomatic of the lack of accountability within this organization. Brady covered a lot of issues with this team.

  51. bogiedr Says:

    Darden is NOT an NFL player, don’t care how fast he is. North Texas State is not the NFL. Wasted draft pick. And Tyler Johnson is a major bust!! There I said it.

  52. August 1976 Buc Says:

    cmurda Says:
    January 23rd, 2022 at 7:13 pm
    @August. Yes. That’s how it works. Our defense was fantastic in last years Superbowl. We might be on our way back if it hadn’t been for Mr Useless. Go ahead and tell me how a coach that leaves one on one coverage with a safety on the best WR currently in the NFL. Tell me that isn’t useless.

    This is how it works:
    Bowles gambled and lost, McVey gambled with a deep shot and hit it.

    Saying Bowles is useless is off the mark.
    We have seen this beat up defense all year long. It has been the 30+ points by the offense that has put “make up on a pig” that the defense has looked like so much.

    Where was the 30+ a game offense? So maybe we call Brady and the 1,2,3, Qtrs offense useless…

    If the offense does the normal output of points 30+, then it does not come down to a gamble that hit or miss you, and you miss get beat.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  53. Bucs Guy Says:

    Bucs will keep both Succup and Pinion. Too big of a cap hit to get rid of them ($4M and $2.9M respectively).

  54. Silent_Partner Says:

    This isn’t a Keith Armstrong problem. This is a Bruce Arians problem. His special teams were bad in Arizona too. It was one of his glaring weaknesses as a coach. I don’t know if he doesn’t have his teams practice enough on different situations or what, but his special teams have always been bad.

  55. Mike Johnson Says:

    LMAO here. Thats right. Blame it on somebody anybody right? Anytime a team takes a 5 plus hr plane ride across country comes into your house and wins? Thats called an A..whippin. You cannot beat good teams from behind 9 out of 10 times. Remember, its the best healthiest team that usually wins. That was us last year. Great season. On to the next one.

  56. Hondo Says:

    VERY undisciplined team. It starts at the top. Even Brady was guilty. No game plan no D.

  57. HC Grover Says:

    They insist on playing their awful draft picks.

  58. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    Also, why did we have two kick offs go out of bounds? That is unacceptable!!! We gave the Rams a short field on both those possessions. Field position was critical in this game and the Bucs were behind the eight ball the whole game.

  59. Greg Says:

    Pinion was out earlier due to his bad hip. HIs back up was damn good with holding for kicks, punts and kick offs. No excuse for a kick out of bounds much less TWO!

  60. mg Says:

    wide right cost them

  61. Swampbuc Says:

    Is Armstrong still employed? Maybe he and the Packers special teams coach can start a business. “Watch us and do the opposite.”

  62. unbelievable Says:


    Should have been after 2019.

  63. sasquatch Says:

    Coaching aside, I always thought getting rid of Matt Gay after one year was stupid. He’s better than Succop. Suck-up sucks.

  64. sasquatch Says:

    Can we bring back Bisaccia if the Raiders don’t keep him as HC? Who else is available? Any notables from staffs already fired?

  65. Nutbucer Says:

    100% agree. An obvious weakness for 3 years, last year we dedicated the back end of the draft just to special teams and we got f’n worse. I want accountability, dude sucks at his job. Sorry bro ✌️

  66. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    …he looks like he’s doing an Al Pacino impersonation…

  67. Nutbucer Says:

    Kicker will be gone, punter will be gone, we’ll have a new punt returner and I pray a new ST coach.

  68. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I realize that after losing, it’s usually a lot of complaining here…but…we actually had two fantastic seasons in a row. We won the superbowl last year and we won 13 games this year.

    Our players broke all kinds of records…and our QB will more than likely be named League MVP.

    And, on top of all of that…Brady told the play by play guys he wants to retire winning the superbowl…so he’ll be back.

    Get a grip, people, lol.

  69. Rod Munch Says:

    Hard to complain about this guy when you compare this special teams vs the Packers special teams last night.

    If Bisaccia becomes available, then I’d love to bring him back. The only time in Bucs history that I remember them having good special teams was under Rich Bisaccia.

  70. Rod Munch Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai – I agree on the fact we’ve had a good run, and you can’t just keep getting major injuries and nothing think it’s going to catch up.

    But you’re wrong about MVP, the overwhelming favorite is Rodgers, and since Brady didn’t pull of this comeback, it remains Rodgers. Personally I got money on Brady, so I’d love for him to win it, but realistically, it’s going to be Rodgers.

  71. Swampbuc Says:

    Bonz, thanks for the perspective.

    I still want Todd’s Bowel to offer his resignation. BA will decline but Bowels should make the gesture. They were out of timeouts. Crying out loud.

  72. LakelandSteve Says:

    Bucs, I’d you do anything in the off-season please get rid of the Darden kid. I’m not sure what you see in him. He had a couple of decent returns during the season but way too many plays where he gets tripped up by a non-existent piece of grass. You could literally put a kid back there from the school for the blind and he would do as well or better than Darden. Today, all three phases were terrible especially special teams.

  73. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    Been saying that for about two years.

  74. kyle Says:

    sucks to lose aholes.. i know.. im hurting too.. players make plays.. the coaches were good enough to win a superbowl last year joe? sometimes you lose

  75. SOEbuc Says:

    Come on. Its not his fault Darden can’t return the ball farther than my great grandmother in her wheelchair.

  76. steele Says:

    Giving them two possessions starting at the 40 yd line because of two sucky kickoffs. That alone is enough to swing any game.

  77. The Coroner Says:

    On the way to the game I told my friend that Matt Gay – the Bucs’ kicker replaced by Succop – would kick the winning field goal.
    In a sad way – it was poetic.

  78. FortMyersDave Says:

    Armstrong was fired in 2018 by the Falcons before Arians took a flier on him. He was fired from the Falcons for basically utilizing physically limited players (sounds like Darden) at both return positions and generally ranking around 20th or worse his last couple of seasons in the ATL. He simply brought the same dog and pony show to Tampa Bay. Lots of blame to go around but methinks this dude has not earned his paycheck while in Tampa, time to go.

  79. Eddie Marz Says:

    The Bucs could play better. Too many injuries and too many mistakes. It’s amazing they were able to tie the game. GOBUCS!

  80. The Deflator Says:

    This is not a new topic of discussion. In fact, and I’ll add this for context, I am an Arizona native. The Cardinals have never been my team. I latched on to the Bucs before the Cardinals moved to AZ. That being said, I’ve always been very tuned in to AZ sports. When Arians coached the Cardinals, EVERY OFF SEASON, fans, sports pundits, local media…they were always calling for Arians to fire Armstrong. And year after year, Arains would keep him on the staff.

    Arians – when it comes to his coaching staff, is loyal to a fault. With everything that happened with Arians in AZ, it is my personal opinion that the (then, and current Cardinals GM – name dropping, beer swilling drunk driving Steve Keim) gave Arians an ultimatum: make changes to your coaching staff, or else. Well, Arians chose the “or else” option which ultimately led to his ouster. But in order to save face, the organization allowed him to step away for “medical reasons” instead of firing a beloved head coach.

    Think about it. If it were any other reason, why wouldn’t the Cardinals have held out for compensation from Tampa in order to hire him? Technically, as Arians had retired, his contract rights were still owned by AZ.

  81. Ernest Polk Says:

    Darden belongs on a pee wee team, anyone can see that

  82. JB Kickback Says:

    Todd Bolls should be fired with that absolute breakdown and stupidity he displayed in the final seconds.
    Playing prevent defense only prevents you from winning
    You completely shut down a team for an entire half!!!
    So what do you do??? Line up 15 yards off the line of scrimmage and allow a team you had just shut down an ENTIRE HALF to score on two. Plays in 13 seconds!!!!
    What an idiot