Former Superstar Punter Says Bucs’ Punter Is Struggling

August 31st, 2022

Rookie Bucs punter Jake Camarda was a star at the University of Georgia.

The nuances of punting are not Joe’s forté. So Joe had no clue that Tampa Bay’s rookie punter Jake Camarda is not kicking — in practice or in games — like some sort of punt god.

Joe wouldn’t invest time studying punters anyway, but former Colts Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee sure does.

Speaking on his national show today, McAfee blasted Camarda as a struggling punter through the preseason, one who could be part of a Bucs special teams unit capable of sinking Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl dreams.

McAfee talked about studying Camarda this summer and at the Bucs-Colts preseason game on Saturday.

“They gotta figure out their punter situation,” McAfee said of the Bucs. “Jake Camarda, punter from Georgia last year, has gone to Tampa Bay and I was watching him in warmups at like halftime, because I don’t think he’s hit a clean ball in a game yet.”

McAfee continued: “This guy is not even close to hitting a clean ball. So I thought he was just broken. And then at halftime I saw him [kick] some fu**n bombs. So I’m sure he’s not happy with what’s going on either. Hopefully he’s able to figure that out.”

So what’s the problem? McAfee suspects the rookie fourth-round draft pick might be rushing because he’s being told to hurry up. The fix, McAfee said, is Camarda finding that right balance with coaches.

McAfee is a good friend of Bucco Bruce Arians, his former Colts head coach. Arians even called McAfee to be the Bucs’ COVID emergency punter late in the 2020 Super Bowl season.

Joe sure hopes Arians connects the two of them in the next week or so. Team Glazer certainly has the spare change to fly Camarda out to work with McAfee for half a day and then get him right back to Tampa.

Yeah, the Bucs have special teams coaches, but they haven’t generated great results or improvement.

67 Responses to “Former Superstar Punter Says Bucs’ Punter Is Struggling”

  1. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Well, that’s a bit worrisome.

  2. Jerseybuc Says:

    As good as our other coaches are and other 2 units. Keith Armstrong sucks as does our special teams unfortunately. Hopefully we get it right

  3. SB~LV Says:

    Interesting …..

  4. #8 Says:

    NU’s punter (David aker’s kid) showed out on sat.
    Draft him next.

  5. Mike Says:

    We just need to be patient and let him get it figured out.

  6. Jp09 Says:

    Not sure how much truth there is to it but Bowles said he told him to just kick it as far as he can and not worry about direction or hang time to see what the gunners could do. Guess we’ll see in the regular season, I remember Pinion a seasoned vet having a few Mishima during the season that went about 15-30 yards. Not really worried about the punter

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    And he is going to handle kickoffs also?

  8. Jerry R Jones Says:

    You’d have to blind not to see Camarda is sucking hine t!t.

  9. tampabayallday Says:

    Licht not good at drafting kickers/punters or running backs.

  10. Brady runs the offense Says:

    Love the idea you came up with Joe send him to Pat to fix him… I saw the same issues I’ve been underwhelmed by his punting I think hes had maybe 1 decent punt and that well fell short and bounce forward a lot.

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    Our special teams havent been special.
    Of course, everytime we find a reliable punter or Kicker- we cut them.
    Doesnt make much sense.
    Hopefully, Carmarda figures it out.
    I wonder if anyone has thought of making changes to our Special team
    Coaching staff?
    But itlf we are gonna frequently weaken our special teams(Pinion, Grant Stuard),
    Then you get what you pay for.

  12. sasquatch Says:

    He’ll get it figured out. He’s a rookie. Give him a chance for crying out loud.

  13. Capeaceiskaput Says:

    I made a comment a few days ago that I thought he might get cut. I am hoping he was told to just kick it far to test the coverage units, but if not, then he is definitely having issues. There is no umph or boom in his punts. He is just knocking it. He is out kicking the coverage, not getting the hang time, not looking good. I think it was only 2 fair catches out of 18 punts. That is not good. Remember, punt avg means nothing. It is all about the net, and in preseason, he was only a few from the bottom out of all punters in net. To put that in perspective, Matt Barkley, the QB who had to punt for Buffalo last week, was right behind Camarda. His net was 33, Camarda was 35. The dude we did not want anymore, was over 40 net so far in preseason.

  14. IrishTony Says:

    Licht is not very good at drafting; kickers, punters, running backs, qb’s.

  15. D Says:

    He’s still looking a lot better right now than the Punk Dog!

  16. Beej Says:

    Well, neither us nor the Bills plan to punt much

  17. NCalBucsfan Says:

    McAffee didn’t do his homework. I read/heard a comment by Bowles after the Indy game that they asked Camarda to just bomb it without regard to hang time or direction so they could evaluate the kick returners.
    It wasn’t like Carmarda was missing punts or trying to impress the coaches as he already had the job.
    The fact that McAffee also says the Carmarda hit some bombs at halftime validates that Carmarda can hit good punts and doesn’t need to figure it out….
    Nothing to see here…..

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So…if McAfee is such a good friend of BA’s then we can assume that he was consulted on our draft pick……

    I think Camarda is following instructions on exactly what types of punts they want in the preseason……it’s the punt coverage that needs work….not the punter.

    He boomed a couple of 65 yard punts and also stuck one on the 4 yard line that should have been downed…..

    H will be fine….

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    Capt Tim….Grant Stuard was traded for a 6th rnd pick…oh nevermind.

  20. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Most teams tell their kickers and punters to kick returnable kicks in preseason so they can test the kicking units. They actually said so on the broadcast. It’s possible that he kicked the ball shorter by design.

  21. GOB Says:

    1. Catch the football
    2. Grip the football
    3. Step forward
    4. Drop and kick
    5. Follow through
    It isn’t brain surgery. Some common mistakes I see with punters, is shuffling feet, and not pointing the laces upwards. It might seem counter intuitive, If you have one job, and can’t get it right, you suck. Kickers and punters have turned themselves into chocking golfers. They literally have nothing else to do all day but kick. I know we aren’t going back to the days of George Blanda, but seriously? Go play soccer.

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    sasquatch Says:

    “He’ll get it figured out. He’s a rookie. Give him a chance for crying out loud.”

    Said by many fans regarding Aguayo-yo.

    Its pretty fookin simple…. kicking a football. Not rocket science.

    Figure out what exactly sasquatch?

  23. geno711 Says:

    Punter worried me this preseason. I thought he was out kicking coverage a bunch of times. Then I read where Bowles said he asked him to essentially do that to get a feel on the gunners.

    Now I am confused. Please help!!

  24. D-Rok Says:


    6. Run fast downfield and lay some wood on the returner.
    7. Return to bench and continue playing Candy Crush Saga.

  25. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Maybe he could punt in an actual game before we cut him?

  26. lambchop Says:

    Dude hasn’t hit a directional punt yet, and that’s his specialty. I wouldn’t rush to blame the coaches though, cuz AFAIK, Pinion did just fine in 2020.

  27. D-Rok Says:

    OK, all joking aside…

    Since I’m clueless, anybody know what McAfee is referring to when he says a “clean ball?” I mean, if his foot hits the ball and it goes downfield, can it be more complicated than that? I like learning and never heard this term.

  28. BillyBucco Says:

    Like hitting a golf ball.
    There is contact after you have hit dirt
    There is contact in the way down
    There is contact on the way up etc.

    Then there is a clean hit where the ball shoots off the club when you have compressed the ball properly.

    I’m not a kicker but there is surely a sweet spot on the ball and the foot.
    When I feel rushed or do rush I hit the ball terrible.

    I’m guessing it’s close to the same


    Jmarkbuc Says:
    “Maybe he could punt in an actual game before we cut him?”

    LMAO, well said, Jmarkbuc.
    Good lord, do we overreact much?
    He will be FINE.

  30. CrackWise Says:

    LOL, Troll much Joe’s


    D-Rok Says:
    “OK, all joking aside…

    Since I’m clueless, anybody know what McAfee is referring to when he says a “clean ball?” I mean, if his foot hits the ball and it goes downfield, can it be more complicated than that? I like learning and never heard this term.”

    Hey D-Rok,
    I watch alot of RAYS baseball too, and this phrase “clean ball” is sort of similar to the concept of hitting the ball “clean” with the bat. Getting a solid chunk of the ball to drive it properly, instead of catching a portion of it and grounding out to the Shortstop.

    So, in NFL Punting, it would be catching the “meat” of the football clean, and driving the ball with full force. Apparently McAfee feels that Camarda is not catching the ball in full, and so not……… hitting a “clean ball”.

    I am NO expert, LOL, but this is my take on it.
    GO BUCS.

  32. Ash Says:

    Lol I guess we should just run him out of town geez


    ^^ Right? LOL.

  34. D-Rok Says:

    Thanks, BillyBucco.

    I understand the concept of the sweet spot. I was never a punter but I liked to try, and the best kicks were ALWAYS the ones where it felt like I had hardly hit the ball at all and got a nice rainbow arc. Good reply, thanks!

  35. D-Rok Says:

    Thanks, Demon. I surely understand a clean hit in baseball, and anytime I hit a nice ball, it barely felt like I hit it at all.

    So, thanks all. I am grateful to have learned what a clean ball is punting, and feel like I learned something.

  36. Steven007 Says:

    You know you have a pretty good team when you’re nitpicking the rookie punter. Punting is the least of my concerns with this team. Particularly given the direction he got from the coaches. Goodness.

  37. D-Rok Says:

    And nobody laughed at joke of punters playing Candy Crush during games. 🙁


    GO BUCS!!!


    Thanks D-Rok, good talkin’ with ya man.
    Cheers & Go Bucs.

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    I call BS on this narrative. Saw the kid hit a few nice punts in the 3 games. Couple were very long – couple were nice placements

    In 7 preseason punts – Camarda averaged 47.5 yds per kick. That ranks 17th. Not great – not terrible.

    What IS terrible is our coverage – because the “net” on those 7 punts averages a paltry 35.3 yards….

    Better shore that sh!t up coach Armstrong before we start losing games due to crappy special teams play.


    Steven007 Says:
    “You know you have a pretty good team when you’re nitpicking the rookie punter”

    Very very well said, Steven007. LOL, good point.
    ALOT of NFL teams would take that.

  41. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Camarda has a very large body of work to evaluate him on….I’m quite sure he was selected from that.

    He’ll be fine……breathe a sigh of relief we didn’t draft the “Punt God” like many wanted…..if we did maybe Joe would have dubbed him “America’s Punter”

  42. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Heard the water boy was a little slow on the delivery. Need to bring in Bobby Bouche to mentor him.


    Kentucky Buc Says:
    “Heard the water boy was a little slow on the delivery.”

    LMFAO. — Yes, and I fear that Chloe is falling a little behind on her Cheerleading routine.

  44. Eckwood Says:

    He could be the Bucs best pick in the draft if the , I wanna make the best punter in the history of the NFL ; coaching steps back and lets him punt …….. everyone was all over him first game and he was better than half of Pinions games last year that a success folks !! ………… if he hasn’t improved from game one ,fire the fricken coach , coaching is very mental especially with kickers ask formerly cocky Marteeen G !!

  45. Craig Says:

    Kickers and QBs for the Bucs always do weird stuff, until Brady.

    Most of those that the Bucs fire go on to be great somewhere else.

    Give this one a chance, he is a rookie and landed on a team that may take him to the Stupor Bowl.


    Eckwood,,, you are not former BUCS RB Jerry Eckwood, by any chance, are you? Just curious!

  47. Adrnagy Says:

    As long he kicks the ball 50 yards every punt I’m good. I don’t care about how clean the is.

  48. gotbbucs Says:

    You can’t over coach kickers. You have to leave them alone and let them work through their issues.

  49. tampabuscsbro Says:

    Surely it’s the player and not our garbage ST coordinator.

    Not like Matt Gay is a pro bowler now.

  50. matthew veal Says:

    Even if true this should work out soon.

    We’ve got bigger problems elsewhere imo

  51. PSK Bucs Fan Says:

    We need a new ST coach, ours had done nothing to deserve keeping his job.

  52. Lesko_Brandon Says:

    This is concerning, the punter is the most overwork player in the entire bucs team. Just look at the colts game, he was the only one working in the entire game.

  53. Goatfarmer Says:

    What McAffee is saying, is that Keith Armstrong really sucks and will ruin any young kicker or punter. Better have a veteran stump on standby.

  54. LakelandSteve Says:

    So how many games is this guy going to cost us while he figures sh*t out.


    Uh….. none.

  56. SOEbuc Says:


    I look to watch the rook. Has had some very high bombs. All rookies gotta put on weight, including the punter. Needs to get jacked have to make some tackles.

  57. Goatfarmer Says:

    First kick from his own end zone against the Cowboys, he may not get it beyond the goal line. 8 yard dead right shank coming. Way to go, Keith. Way to coach.

    Thanks, Todd, for keeping Armstrong around to help ruin your chances of success. Meanwhile, learn who Cooper Kupp is and ponder the advantages / disadvantages of letting him run deep down field uncovered at the end of a tie game after your team overcame a 24 point deficit.

    Oh, and Jaelon Dardon. Great call.

  58. MadMax Says:

    Im not worried….kid knows what to do when its his time after preseason

  59. Anonymous Says:

    Drafting a punter in the 4th rd is a joke, period…especially when you have no clue how to find a decent returner in any other round. Licht obviously has no clue about special teams.

  60. Day 1-76 Says:

    Drafting a punter in the 4th rd is a joke, period…especially when you have no clue how to draft a returner in any other round. Obviously, Licht has no clue about special teams.


    Anonymous clearly has no clue of how to create an actual user name. It is apparently……………. rocket science.

  62. 941Boltsfan Says:

    It’s a great Idea especially with ExBuc AQ Shipley in town every week, live from Mcafees stoodgio.

  63. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Licht knows offensive line but doesn’t know sh_t about kickers and waste valuable picks on them.

  64. George Says:

    There were good offensive lineman to be had in the fourth round .

  65. Eckwood Says:

    I like the pick and look forward to actually saying , dam the punter was huge in this win !!
    This may or may not happen but it for sure hasn’t really been a theme of the Bucs Special Teams and it needs to be . Licht took one of the top 2 punters in college football and also created cap space for the next several years ………. The avg Julie doesn’t understand the importance of the punter and flipping field position …………. It’s a fourth round pick and it has a legit shot at being a much better starter and lower your cap a mil plus !!!! Well that is a fantastic 4 th round pick . I met be the only or in the minority but I love the pick !!!

  66. A Bucs Fan Says:

    This kid will be the only reason the bucs special teams are any good this year. They are hoping he will be a top 10 punter and place kicker this year.

    I believe he was told to kick balls that enabled returns so the bucs could evaluate their special teams guys. The regular season will be much different.

  67. Eddie Marz Says:

    Some kids can’t handle the big leagues. Hopefully he’ll figure this out. The talent is there but his head is not. Maybe he’s still awestruck, but he’ll have to get over it. GOBUCS!