One Coach Stands Out

January 20th, 2023

Bucs special teams coach Keith Armstrong.

So yesterday after the Day of Accountability saw several Bucs assistants retire or get fired, a curious name seemed to have survived the bloodletting.

At least for the time being.

That name is Keith Armstrong, the Bucs’ special teams coach. And unfortunately for Armstrong and more so the Bucs, the special teams since he’s been with Tampa Bay have been anything but special.

Rich Gosselin, former Chiefs and Cowboys beat man for the Kansas City Star and the Dallas Morning News, as well as a former NFL columnist, has long had annual special teams rankings each year that are lauded for research and accuracy by NFL types, including Bill Belicheat.

Since Armstrong came on board with the Bucs in 2019, the Bucs’ special teams have never been ranked higher than 22nd.

In 2021,Gosselin ranked the Bucs’ special teams at 29th. In 2020, they ranked 22nd. In 2019, the Bucs special teams were ranked by Gosselin dead-last in the NFL, No. 32.

This really isn’t anything new for Armstrong. In his last two seasons with Atlanta, Armstrong’s special teams struggled as well. In 2018, Gosselin had the Dixie Chicks at No. 20. In 2017, Gosselin’s numbers had Atlanta at No. 22.

(Gosselin’s previous special teams breakdowns are stashed behind a paywall at the Dallas Morning News.)

So in the past five seasons (not counting the 2022 season), none of Armstrong’s special teams were ranked higher than No. 20.

To paraphrase “The Church Lady,” that’s not very special.

Contrast this with the jettisoning of kicking coach Chris Boniol. The Bucs’ kicking game was the only thing decent about the special teams. It was good.

Succop is one of the more reliable kickers in the NFL so long as you don’t ask him to kick 54-yard field goals. Punter Jake Camarda, as a rookie, has become one of the NFL’s better punters.

So Todd Bowles has made a couple of odd choices here. Armstrong consistently has a poor special teams record. But for the one thing that was working, kicking, Bowles bounced the kicking coach, Boniol.

This seems awfully backward to Joe.

46 Responses to “One Coach Stands Out”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Thats what happens when incompetence is in charge…

  2. ClwJB Says:

    Just like our win loss record – Bowles is a bum

  3. steele Says:

    Get used to this, boys. This is Todd, doing what he wants.

  4. Ugotrobbed Says:

    I would have thought that he would have been the second one out the door, right behind BL! Mind blowing that they would retain him. Another BAD decision in a historically long line of BAD decisions! No wonder this franchise has been the worst in ANY sport, ever! The more things change, the more they stay the same!
    Not even the goat could change the mindset for very long!

  5. RottenAmiigo94 Says:

    This is what happens when you hire some one based on the color of their skin. Rather than the qualification for the job. Can’t fire him to quickly or you’ll be deemed racist.

  6. dmatt Says:

    Wow, there’s been multiple games when teams’ pr man run right through our punt team for long returns. This has occurred several times in one game. And, our punt return team was garbage, especially with Darden as the return man. Darden was good at calling fair catch with the defender 10-15 yrs away from him n despite opportunities for big return yards, his first line of site is to run outta bounds. As for Deven Thompson, he has heart n determination but he seldom gets any blocking on the kr n pr team. He’s a tough guy to be so small. I see him taking one to the house. As a receiver, the coaches do not know how to use Deven Thompson. Thompson is fast, not as fast as Miller but he makes all the contested catches n not just as a straight line runner. If Thompson ever get a chance to play for teams such as Philly, 49ers, Seahawks, dolphins,chiefs, bengals, or bills, they will maximize his skills set, something Bucs coaching staff does not know how to do.

  7. adam from ny Says:

    the thompsons and geigers could get legit shots next year…

    with a revamped offense we might just have evans, godwin and gage at this point…

    all others might be nixed as of now…who knows

  8. LoveMeSomeBucs Says:

    To be fair Bowles did try to kick Armstrong out but he shanked it and got Boniol instead…

  9. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Isssssnt thaaaaat spppecial! This is all BA’s fault, smh…. Left us with these idiots. I’m convinced this guy is in over his head. Track record says it all.

  10. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    I’m convinced this guy has compromising pictures of someone in the front office.

  11. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    All in all, we’re two years removed from a Super Bowl and have sported a three year playoff run. It’s not all doom and gloom.

  12. darengibo Says:

    To be fair to Todd, it must be exhausting to have all these 1 on 1’s with the GAZILLION coaches BA left on staff!! He is probably meeting some for the very first time while firing them…

  13. Hodad Says:

    We also need to fire the defensive coordinator.

  14. TDTB Says:

    He’s probably a “yes man”, and tells Todd how well he’s doing ad nausium.

  15. Thadeus Says:

    Now, get rid of Bowels. If he’s gone Tom will stay. Bring in Sean Payton. If this happens, The Gronk will return.
    Hopefully management is done with this WOKE Progressive experiment.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    The guillotine has been hosed off and ready for another day!
    Bowles needs to go, he didn’t show any leadership abilities!
    He is a dud !

  17. Allbuccedup Says:

    This man had his own staff in new york and his record got worse each year. He is no head coach period and I can’t believe Licht is that stupid.

  18. SB~LV Says:

    Jason nearly missed the axe himself before bringing in BA BandAid Arians
    Squeezed in a rental Super Bowl and we are back to scratch 4 years later
    I miss Steve Duimig

  19. Edward Says:

    Is there a need for a special teams coach? I mean our punter was good and will get better and we have had a great kicker

  20. Kalind Says:

    Dude has pictures of someone. Only way that level of incompetence can continue.

  21. Cchead Says:

    Todd Blowes continues to show his ignorance.

  22. Nprbuc Says:

    Keeping Armstrong and booting Boniol just says it all about Bowles. Has a kicker that is aces inside the 50 so he has him attempting kicks out of his range instead of going for a first down. When kicker misses? Let’s fire the coach! When Bucs are among the best with play action and hurry up offense, let’s make sure we don’t do that unless we are down at least two scores in 4 th! Avoid playing to any players strengths. Instead, let’s do our best to put guys in position to fail. Bowles is the HC. That means he is in charge- not loser Leftwhich. Accountability starts at the top. Glazers need to launch this guy. My God. Bowles stood in his famous pose on the sideline while Gage was laying injured on the field. He showed zero concern or respect for Gage until McCarthy, the opposing coach, went out to check on Gage. It took another coach to move Bowles off his spot! I am sooo over this non- coach. How can the Glazers be blind as to how bad he is. I would love to see their list of all all the good things he has done for this team. My list has nothing on it. Bowles and Armstrong. Scuttling the Pirate Ship.

  23. geno711 Says:

    This feels like Armstrong is just Bowles friend and not based on actual production.

  24. Jeff Says:

    Clueless Todd strikes again! Yucs fans, get ready for a 2-3 win season next year. Just like the good ole days! Empty stadiums and free tickets on your windshields!

  25. NEfan Says:

    History does repeat itself. Jets south!!!

  26. RagingBrisket Says:

    the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives, friends, or associates, especially by giving them jobs.

  27. WillieG Says:

    Bowles doing something stupid? I’m shocked! Shocked I say! (The preceding comment was brought to you by sarcasm. Sarcasm. It’s what’s for breakfast.)

  28. Mike Says:

    The results speak for themselves really, but the coach is only one aspect/component of it, and the player talent/execution the other. I can’t remember the last time the Bucs were good on Special Teams.

  29. Buc4evr Says:

    Bowles is making some political decisions. This won’t work out well.

  30. FortMyersDave Says:

    This is just like Koetter and Mikey Smith. Smith was mailing it in 2018 for the Bucs D in that final 5-11 Koetter season, the Bucs got boat raced by the Bears 48-10 with Smitty doing zero adjustments (sounds familiar doesn’t it). Bucs had a bye next week and Koetter refused to fire the guy. Finally, the following week after a bad loss to a bad ATL team, the Glazers finally forced Koetter to launch Smith. I think Bowels and Armstrong are just like Koetter/Smitty. Perhaps the Glazers should review past screw ups the Bucs have had with other below average coaches and help Todd move on from one of the worst special teams coaches in the NFL…..

  31. Greg Says:

    Joe— You are aware Armstrong and Bowles were teammates at Temple right? In fact Armstrong was Bowles host when he toured the school. Tis came from an interview Armstrong gave this year.

  32. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Fire Armstrong

  33. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    So, if I’m remembering correctly, the 2021 draft was used to load up on special teams players (Darden, Britt, Stuard) AND, in 2022, a 4th round pick was used on a punter along with the trade up for Zyon M, who has been a gunner on punts. Yet, with all that capital (some of which could have been used on better depth) and mediocre results, the special teams coach keeps his job.

  34. Goatfarmer Says:

    Armweak is even more deserving than Leftboobwich of getting the Turk’s axe and yet there he festers.

    Blowes — make your post 2023 post-football plans beginning today. You will be fired after ruining another Bucs season.

  35. Bosch Says:

    Do we really know that any of the firings were Bowels’ decisions? What if the Bucs were actually in negotiations with an HC to replace Bowels and Glazers / GM making the staff changes that he wanted? Is it possible that the Glazer are reaching for the handle to flush the Bowel movement?

  36. BucsfanFred Says:

    Armstrong must be the best pivot man in the coaches shower room.
    No way bowlzo fires him.
    The guys chin is so sticky he’s like human flypaper

  37. BrianBucs Says:

    Looks like Bowles kept his buddies no matter how good or bad their units were

  38. Joe Says:

    Is it possible that the Glazer are reaching for the handle to flush the Bowel movement?

    Sure, it’s possible. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. How likely? That’s anyone’s guess.

  39. Day 1-76 Says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing the words…”With the 1st pick in the 2024 draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select…”

  40. sasquatch Says:

    Agree that Armstrong staying is a mystery.

    Disagree that firing Boniol was some kind of contradiction. Here’s why — most teams don’t employ a dedicated kicking coach. Bowles may feel it’s unnecessary staff bloat. My guess is Boniol will not be replaced.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    So zero accountability?

    Ineptitude and stubbornness reign supreme!

    Now I’m starting to think that Leftwich was just the fall guy, and was doing what Bowles told him to.

    This whole thing stinks.

    Special teams have been atrocious for 4 years under Armstrong. He should have been the first one fired, even before Leftwich!!!!!

  42. Daniel Says:

    The kicker/punter were pretty good this year on the whole.

    That fake punt was a disaster, but would’ve worked if Gio hadn’t spaced out.

    The coverage units are routinely not very good, but the Bucs also have a really old roster that lacks the athleticism you need on these units. It’s not like Armstrong is picking players.

    Armstrong isn’t great, but probably not as bad as people think.

  43. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Should have cleaned house from Licht on down.

    The only legitimate FO this team ever had was McKay and his group. What we’ve got now is a middle aged frat boy.

  44. Goatfarmer Says:

    BucsfanFred – ROTFLMAO!

  45. Crickett Baker Says:

    nprbuc-great post.

  46. firethecannons Says:

    Bowles is a loser there is no way this team gets a winning record he is very bad this guy will help us get the #1 draft pick 2024