Buccaneers Special Teams Unit Still A Work In Progress


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams unit finished near the bottom of the league statistically in almost every category in 2019. Part of that reason was having a new special teams coach, kicker, punter, and a revolving door at returner. While the three formers are all heading into their second season with each other, the latter is still a question mark.

New Buccaneers Return Man?

T.J. Logan, who would have gotten a firm look at kick returner, suffered a season-ending injury in camp and the speedy John Franklin III, as well. Coach Bruce Arians said that he’ll work out guys like Scotty Miller, Raymond Calais, and even second-round pick Antoine Winfield Jr.
I recently asked coach Arians how comfortable he felt with the entire special teams units:

“I think we’re getting better and we continue to improve. Losing T.J. Logan hurt because he was one of our best special teams guys as a returner and a cover guy, so somebody’s going to have to step into that role. We’ve got enough capable guys to get it done. We’re probably hitting more in special teams than we ever have for that reason.”

Who’s Safe and Who’s Not.

Long snapper Zach Triner and punter Bradley Pinion are the incumbents at their position and have had strong camps without competition. Unlike second-year kicker Matt Gay, who in a kicking battle with journeyman Elliot Fry. While the job is most likely Gay’s to lose, they needed the competition after a promising season that saw some crucial misses.

The team returns standout special teams players Dare Ogunbowale and Ryan Smith. With another season with Keith Armstrong at the coaching helm and development for Gay and some younger special teams players, there’s hope this team can turn around what was a less than favorable unit last season.