Bad Return Game = Bad Team?

May 30th, 2024

“Run Micheal, run.”

Ugly, yet interesting stats dug up by noted handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp this morning are bound to get Bucs fans groaning.

In the post-Chucky era of the Bucs, which Joe commonly refers to as the Lost Decade, only one team was worse than the Bucs in fewest wins at home from (2009-2018). That was the Browns.

So Joe nearly laughed out loud this morning when reading the last time each NFL team returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Per Sharp, the second-longest drought belongs to the Bucs. The last time the Bucs ran back a kick for six was in 2010.

The worst team? The Browns last ran back a kickoff for a score in 2009.

Coincidence that both teams were trash until this decade?

The Bucs have a deep, rich history of having a rotten return game. Born in 1976, the Bucs didn’t return a kickoff back for a touchdown until Micheal Spurlock in December 2007! That’s 31 years. That’s insane!

Joe cannot fully make the connection that no kickoff returns for scores means the Bucs are bad. Notice the Bucs won a Super Bowl before ever returning a kick for a touchdown (!). And while the Bucs haven’t returned a kick for six in 14 years, they have won a Super Bowl since.

Joe has no idea how this new kickoff routine for the 2024 season will play out. But dang, it’s time to snap this 14-year streak of no kickoff returns for a touchdown.

20 Responses to “Bad Return Game = Bad Team?”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Return game is being taken out of the equation, historical stats are virtually meaningless going forward.

  2. Dude Says:

    From what I’ve seen the new kickoff rules almost makes it look like a rugby kickoff/restart. Closer quarters makes tackling paramount, but should you let a returner wiggle away and get behind you with more ground to cover behind the kick team it’ll make for some pretty interesting returns when containment gets busted.

  3. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Spurlock should be considered for the Ring of Honor for that feat alone.

  4. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Love to see how Bucky Irving does as a returner.

  5. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The new rules will make it apart of the game again. My two gripes are not being able to surprise onside kick anymore and squib kicks are effectively illegal. I hope the entire league sees more exciting returns this year.

  6. SRQ Bucs Fan Says:

    Gene Deckerhoff – “Run Michael Run!!!”

    The stadium shook on that play!

  7. Mike Says:

    Wow, we’re better than Cleveland! That’s awesome!

  8. Pops Malone Says:

    Maybe now that the useless Keith Armstrong is gone, our coaches can come up with a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown, or maybe actually block a kick or run a successful fake punt here or there. Armstrong was bad and he was dead wood on this staff. Should have been out of here several years sooner. Good bye!

  9. LANshark Says:

    Can’t speak for the Bucs, but the Browns are STILL BAD. And will remain so as long as DePervert Watson is under center.

  10. gbobucsfan Says:

    Santa Maria !!!

  11. Dave Pear Says:

    Wow. Even Mark Dumdumnik couldn’t out-stink the Browns. That’s a special brand of ineptitude.

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It was so cool when we finally got one. I remember it always being brought up by the announcers during kick offs for years before we finally hit it

  13. Booger Says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day, just how BAD we’ve been at returning kicks. Historically Bad. I couldn’t remember the last time we did. And, I was going to say, remember when we went all those years without EVER doing so… Something like 30+ YEARS, & like over 400+ GAMES!? Just Unbelievable. I cannot ever remover having a good return game or returner. Think of the options Miami could throw out there this year… WOW. That’s going to be REAL scary. That Mike Evans contract is looking better and better everyday now, with the signings of both, Waddle & Collins. They are young but they both stay banged up all the time, it seems.

  14. teacherman1983 Says:

    Culp the new tight end should return kicks.

    He looks like Cordarelle Patterson.

    He could even train as full back.

    Run some full back screens to Culp?

    Deceptive. Most teams won’t be ready for a 4.46 fullback.

  15. Bucnjim Says:

    Was there for that Spurlock return not many fans can say that. There was no one there that day. Think we had won 2 games up to that point of the season.

  16. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    I was at that game with my dad before he passed. One of my favorite memories. We both jumped up and down (that’s asking a lot of my dad), hugged and shed tears.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    I’ll never forget that cheap arse hit on him, that essentially ended his career either…

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Hopefully moving on from the previous ST coach Armstrong? will improve all the special teams. Not sure why it took so long – we basically sucked at ST every year he was in charge of it…. Being one of BAs ‘guys’ I guess is what kept him around so long despite failing every year since arrival in 2019…

    No excuses – Bucs Special Teams should be very good now that we have all these young, fast, athletic players drafted the last 3 drafts.

    Losing McCollum from ST to a starting role will hurt – but Josh Hayes looked very promising out there playing ST as a rookie.

    Should be interesting to see who the returners are when the season starts.

  19. David Says:

    Another pointless article written by a guy who loves to here himself talk so to speak. It obviously not that important in today’s game it’s not like teams are returning multiple kicks per season. We will see how the new setup changes things. But until then it really doesn’t matter.

  20. Dave Pear Says:

    This is a fun thread. I was watching the Spurlock Falcons return game with my son who was 7 at the time. We were at a BWW. Great memory!