Special Teams Questions Abound

July 4th, 2023

Has a new savior arrived for special teams chief Keith Armstrong?

It’s been noted repeatedly at One Buc Palace over the years that backup running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn isn’t much of a special teams player.

That’s bad for Vaughn because backups at nearly all positions need to be at least solid on special teams. Why? Starters playing special teams is risky business. Just ask Carlton Davis and Jacquies Smith.

Davis got hurt covering a punt on a wet field in New England back in 2021. Smith blew his knee out on kickoff coverage duty on the Falcons’ home turf in September of 2016. At the time, Smith was the Bucs’ best edge rusher.

Of course, the Bucs want to improve their special teams, which have been anything but special for many years.

Vaughn is subpar and Rachaad White won’t get any snaps there, Joe assumes. So that brings Joe to free agent running back Chase Edmonds signed earlier this year.

Edmonds was a beast covering kicks and punts for the Cardinals in 2018 and 2019. He racked up 11 solo tackles over those seasons, which is a strong number. Vaughn does not have a special teams tackle in his career.

But Edmonds moved away from covering kicks in recent years, which is common for running backs as they become veterans. It’s possible the Bucs plan to revive his special teams prominence, but that’s no sure thing.

No. 1 tight end Cade Otton likely gets yanked from special teams this year because of his top-dog role with the offense. Otton was a big special teams contributor as a rookie last year with five solo tackles and eight combined tackles.

Lots of questions on Bucs special teams, which got another ugly spot in the esteemed Rick Gosselin annual study.

Joe is thinking the Bucs will use Joe Tryon-Shoyinka a lot more on special teams this season if he can’t break through as a dangerous pass rusher. Tryon-Shoyinka was good there as a rookie in 2021 but had only 17 special teams snaps last season.

14 Responses to “Special Teams Questions Abound”

  1. ChiBuc Says:

    “Of course, the Bucs want to improve their special teams, which have been anything but special for many years.”

    The quickest way to improvement is to get rid of the 1 constant over those MANY YEARS…. Armstrong

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t know… Ronde Barber played special teams for over a decade with no issues. I don’t think you’re really any more likely to get hurt on special teams than any other play – in particular now that they put dresses on the ladies during returns.

    With that said, having some special team aces is certainly never a bad thing – and I’m not sure why someone like Vaughn isn’t spending every min possible trying to improve at special teams since that might be why he makes or doesn’t make a team.

  3. firethecannons Says:

    dump keyshawn vaughn he is not a good running back he cannot perform catching the ball, he is not a good blocker, he is sub par on special teams what am I missing here? get a replacement sooner rather than later. move on to the next problem.

  4. garro Says:

    How does Armstrong still have a job?

    Three phases of the game Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. We got a punter. Let a reliable kicker go for the unknown “strong leg”. Coverage units suck! Return game sucks!

    He and Leftnut should be having a beer someplace and looking through the want ads for employment.

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Armstrong = nepotism

    If Leftwich got fired, why hasn’t Armstrong been fired?

    Go back and watch the Super Bowl run, Mickens was solid.

    The next year, we replaced “fearless” Mickens with Jaelen “puss in cleats” Darden.

    Darden was the worst return man in the NFL.

    Mickens was good.

    Mickens had a great return in the NFC Championship game against the Packers.

    Darden? He looked like he went doo-doo in his pants on every return

  6. Ugotrobbed Says:

    EVERY TEAM Armstrong has coached special teams on has sucked.
    I agree with garro…how is he still employed?!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well, we at least solved the punter problem…..and it seems we have a capable long snapper.

  8. Dooley Says:

    JTS isn’t going to get “punished” by being made to play special teams, not when we just added a ton of youth to the roster and that being where guys like Hamiclar Rashad, Charles Snowden, and Markees Watts not to mention Diaby & Ramirez can earn playing time. Can’t forget Cam Gill either.

  9. Daniel Says:

    Why is Armstrong still employed?

  10. FortMyersDave Says:

    I think its a fair question: “Why hasn’t Armstrong been launched yet?” Overall special teams have been below average as of late so its seems like Bowels would have launched the special teams coach when Leftwich and others got their walking papers or “retired”.

  11. NYbucsfan Says:

    I personally think they have them ranked too high. There’s no doubt he’s the worst head coach in the NFL. The biggest mistakes the team is made in their history unless we’re so bad we get the top overall pick.

  12. unbelievable Says:

    ChiBuc nailed it!

    Get ride of the loser who has been in charge of our sub-par special teams for the last 4 years…

    Oh wait, that would make too much sense.

  13. HC Grover Says:

    Back to the future with Armstrong and Bowles, What could go wrong?

  14. Larrd Says:

    Vaughn is four years in and still cannot contribute to special teams in any way? That seems odd. Does he not want to contribute? Hopefully at least one of those rookie free agents can push him aside.