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December 23, 2009 @ 8:30 am
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Spurlock Happy To Return To Tampa Bay

Written by Jim
Jim Flynn


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Bucs WR Micheal Spurlock is excited to be back in Tampa Bay. Spurlock signed with the Bucs Tuesday. He was the first player in the team's history to return a kickoff for a touchdown. The Bucs will use either Spurlock or RB Kareem Huggins to fill in for Clifton Smith and Sammie Stroughter in the return game.
Tampa Bay wide receiver Micheal Spurlock didn't hesitate to re-join the Buccaneers when the opportunity presented itself Tuesday.

"I have people's phone numbers saved from Florida, so I saw the phone and didn't know whose number it was," said Spurlock. "I picked up the phone and it was [Bucs coordinator of pro scouting] Doug Williams. I started laughing. He said, ‘What do you think about coming and signing with the Bucs? I said, ‘What do I need to do?' My family and I love it here and have always considered it home, so it's great to be back."

The 5-foot-10, 214-pound Spurlock was signed by the Bucs to help fill the void left by return specialists Clifton Smith and Sammie Stroughter. The running back and rookie wide receiver were averaging nearly 30 yards per kickoff return and 10 yards per punt return before landing on injured reserve earlier this month.

The Bucs gave WR Yamon Figurs an opportunity to fill in as a return man a few weeks ago, but he disappointed in limited action, which prompted Tampa Bay to bring back Spurlock.

Spurlock, 26, was the first player in the history of the Bucs franchise to return a kickoff for a touchdown. His 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown came against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 16, 2007. It broke a streak of 1,865 consecutive kickoff returns without a score.

The Bucs have since returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Each of those was turned in by Smith and Stroughter, who own the franchise record for longest kickoff return in franchise history (97-yarder).

Spurlock, who is sporting jersey number 81 with the Bucs, has averaged 26.2 yards per kickoff return and 7.5 yards per punt return in stints with Arizona (2006), Tampa Bay (2007) and San Francisco (2009). Head coach Raheem Morris said Wednesday that the Bucs would use either Spurlock or rookie running back Kareem Huggins as Tampa Bay's return man.

The former Mississippi standout has worked hard to make the transition from college quarterback to NFL wide receiver. He has just four career catches for 31 yards, but believes he's made progress while making an immediate impact on special teams, which is what the Bucs expect Spurlock to do.

"It's a steady process," said Spurlock. "Coming from playing quarterback and learning the position it's been a great process. Would I like it to go faster? Yeah, but it's moving along. We have two games to keep it going, so I'm just taking it day by day.

"We'll see [about offense]. Whatever the coaches want me to do I'll do. My primary focus is on special teams, and then we'll see where I fit on offense."


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