Jeff Demps focused fully on football

TAMPA, Fla. -- For Jeff Demps, the race might not be over just yet. But it’s definitely on pause at the moment.

The running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is focused solely on football for a change. Demps has put his career as a track and field performer on hold for this year.

"I’m excited about putting all my effort into football," Demps said.

That’s something Demps wasn’t able to do in 2012, when he was a member of the United States Olympic team, or last year, when he was competing in the World Championships. Demps said he hopes the "off year" in track can get his football career on solid ground.

Demps has been getting reps at running back during this week’s minicamp. But coach Lovie Smith has said Demps also could get a look as a wide receiver or a return man. Demps might be the fastest player in the NFL, and that makes for some tantalizing possibilities if the Bucs can get him into space.

"I like to be in space a lot to utilize my speed," said Demps, who said he has put on about eight pounds this offseason. "If they can get a plan and put me in space, that’s great."

But, as I said at the top, Demps’ track career might not be over. Demps acknowledged that he might have an interest in competing in the 2016 Olympics.

"If the opportunity exists, we’ll see," Demps said. "For now, I’m just focused on football. In 2016, if I get the chance to do it again, I would."