Zyon McCollum Details His View Of How Jake Camarda’s Famous Punt Developed

January 7th, 2023

Explains his part in Jake Camarda’s season-saving punt.

So, Joe has a hunch Bucs fans will be talking about the rookie Jake Camarda punt for a long time.

Camarda, with the Bucs clinging to a 30-24 lead late in last Sunday’s win-and-in game, recovered his bobbled snap of a punt about the Bucs-42 with just under 40 seconds remaining.

Camarda sprinted left and when he neared the Carolina sideline, somehow on the fly squared his body and booted the ball inside the Carolina-5.

The play was wiped out because of a Bucs penalty but had Carolina recovered the bad snap or tackled Camarda they clearly would have declined the penalty. So you could make a good case that Camarda saved the Bucs’ season.

The guy who downed the ball and prevented it from reaching the end zone for a touchdown was backup cornerback and fellow rookie Zyon McCollum.

So Joe wanted to get his perspective on how the crazy play broke down. McCollum admitted his senses told him things were going very bad as he blew down the sidelines.

“So I am running like I am supposed to and I hear the crowd going crazy and I thought, ‘Oh, boy,'” McCollum said.

McCollum said when the crowd reacts the way it did at about the time he’s listening or watching for the ball to be punted, that usually means disaster like a blocked punt.

“I turn around and I see Jake running for his life to the sideline,” McCollum said. “I thought he was going to run for the first down. I had no idea what he was doing.

“Then he kicks it, ‘Wait, is that in play?'”

It was and McCollum recognized immediately it was a fantastic play by Camarda. So much so McCollum said he was then scared he was going to botch this tremendous play with the result being a touchback.

“Luckily I was down there or otherwise I would have never been able to make a play on it,” McCollum said. He told Joe he kept saying to himself as the ball sailed down the left sideline, “I’ve gotta down it; I’ve gotta down it; I’ve gotta down it.”

McCollum admitted he’s never seen a play quite like that.

“It was such a crazy play, such an athletic play by him,” McCollum said.

Most punters are not athletic, though they like to pretend to be. Camarda actually likes to remind folks he was clocked running a 4.56 40 yard dash at the combine last year, and he is insulted when Bucs staffers don’t treat him as an athlete first, rather than just a punter.

“In the summer the strength staff used to limit him running,” McCollum explained. “You know, a [punter] has to take care of his legs.

“He would be like, ‘Nah, I’m running with the skill guys.’ He prides himself on being an athlete and to [be able to] run fast.”

That sure paid off for the Bucs.

22 Responses to “Zyon McCollum Details His View Of How Jake Camarda’s Famous Punt Developed”

  1. ClwJB Says:

    A bobbled snap away from missing the dance against a 6-9 team with an interim HC…

    How inspiring

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    The snap was way off. The fact that Jake handled it is the first miracle. He didn’t bobble it, he saved it from skidding by him. Jesus.

  3. david Says:

    Running left and then kicking that with his right foot without sending it out of bounds after 10 yards was remarkable.
    I have not seen Pat McAfee‘s take on it. I’m assuming he has done one

  4. Tony Says:

    Who cares. In the end it helped because if he didn’t kick it more then likely it gets blocked & Carolina goes right down the field & wins it.

  5. adam from ny Says:

    the funniest part is when greg olson goes into his “whispery speak” when the snap is way off…

    i get a kick out of it when greg olson begins whispering in amazement to the tv audience…

    he does it a few times every game 🙂

  6. Crickett Baker Says:

    It’s just one of those plays you watch over and over and it never gets old. 😀 Hmm..kinda like Brady.

  7. Crickett Baker Says:

    BTW, I loved the article from Zion’s perspective. Very interesting and entertaining. Great idea!

  8. Matlok727 Says:

    can you say best penalty ever? This guy has made plays all year . Pat Mcafee was only other punter that wowed me. Jake should never see the field but when he does you stand up and watch. I went to the cardinals vs bucs game sat in the 400 levels and his punts were eye level!

  9. Jay Says:

    Instead of “WTF” or “FXXX Off” he thougt “Oh Boy”…i like that! 🙂

  10. mg Says:

    Awesome effort and result.

  11. Lt. Dan Says:

    4.5 speed from a punter. Yet no fake punts this year? Maybe in the Atlanta game tomorrow…you know – give Dallas or Philly something else to plan for.

  12. ClwJB Says:

    Full disclosure- I was 7 drinks in when I posted the first comment

    Sober me says great play 👍

  13. geno711 Says:

    They say your true personality comes out when you been drinking or when you are just being a keyboard warrior with no consequences.

    I don’t necessarily believe that.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A great deal of poise from a rookie, indeed!!!

  15. Hail2dabucs Says:

    Hey matlock727 , I know who you are bro . Glad you and your wife went 2 the game & repped our beloved bucs !

  16. Tony Says:

    That kick alone was already more successful then Roberto Aguayos career.

  17. Buccos Says:

    Not to mention all of the tackles that Camarda has made this year and his huge leg.

  18. kyle Says:

    Love the Call by the announcers. Greg Olson i believe is the guy that says “oh my God” haha and Burkhardt takes over. I was sick to my stomach for 2 seconds when i saw that ball on the ground…

  19. Mike pizzoli Says:

    Actually it was Burkhardt that exclaimed “oh my god”

  20. Mike pizzoli Says:

    No you’re totally right my bad it was Olsen that said it, again I was completely wrong lol

  21. Matlok727 Says:

    Did Greg whisper it?

  22. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Too bad that play was beat out by a 107 yard ko return td for ST play of the week……. but I understand. Jake still deserved it. His play shows how very little imagination our coaching staff has. He runs faster than Neo Geo but gives a fake punt to an unprepared rb instead of a rookie punter who pulls off one of the greatest “pulling victory out of the ashes of defeat” ST plays ever witnessed by Bucs fans! Another thing the man can kick it out of the endzone at will or with so much hang time that our gunners on a few occasion they have been able to shed their blockers have tackled returners inside the 15 yard line something Arrrgguayo was drafted to do, and let’s not forget about his punts. Since Suckop can’t kick anything over 49 yards why isn’t Cmarda trained to kick field goals like it’s been posted here??? Begs the question!