Friday, February 7, 2014
Bucs need to upgrade return game
By Pat Yasinskas
TAMPA, Fla. -- I listed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' five biggest offseason needs this week, but there is one more position I’d like to touch on.
That is return man, because it could be an area where the Bucs make a significant move. It might not seem like an area of desperate need since Eric Page did an adequate job last season and Jeff Demps has great potential.
But, after hearing Lovie Smith talk several times about how much emphasis he puts on special teams, I don’t think adequate is good enough. And I don’t think Smith is going to be patient enough to wait on potential.
Smith has made it clear that he thinks special teams are extremely important, and there might not be a more important position on special teams than return man. This is where you start connecting the dots.
There are strong indications out of Chicago that Devin Hester might not be back with the Bears. Hester just might be the best return man in history. And, oh yeah, Smith used to coach him in Chicago.
This move is logical on many fronts, including the fact that Hester, 31, probably wouldn’t command a large salary, which is important when you’re talking about a guy whose only role might be returns.
Even if Hester doesn’t end up in Tampa Bay, I would expect the Bucs to look to upgrade their return game in free agency or the draft.