The Buccaneers are interested in re-signing former running back and kick returner Clifton Smith. The Bucs have a spot open on the active roster with Kareem Huggins being out for the year.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering bringing back an old face. According to a source, the Bucs have shown interest in re-signing running back/kick returner Clifton Smith.
The Bucs will have a roster spot open with running back Kareem Huggins heading to injured reserve after tearing his right ACL. With running backs LeGarrette Blount and Kregg Lumpkin still learning the playbook, and Cadillac Williams averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, bringing back Smith makes since for Tampa Bay. He knows the playbook and provides the speed that the Bucs are now missing with Huggins being out for the season. For his career, Smith has 12 carries for 47 yards (3.9 avg.) He also has six receptions for 28 yards (4.7 avg.)
His biggest impact though could come as a returner. With Micheal Spurlock averaging just 21.0 yards on kickoffs and 7.8 yards on punt returns, Smith could provide the spark that the Bucs need on special teams. Smith was the starting kick and punt returner in 2008 and 2009. He averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return with one touchdown and 14.1 yards per punt return with one touchdown in nine games in 2008, and was named to the Pro Bowl that year.
In 2009, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound Smith played in 11 games and averaged 29.1 yards on kickoffs and 10.1 yards on punt returns before he landed on injured reserve after suffering two concussions.
This year, Smith suffered a knee injury in training camp and was unable to reclaim his role as the starting returner. After originally making the final 53-man roster, Smith was released by the Bucs prior to the regular season.
Smith played two games for the Miami Dolphins for before being released on September 21. In those two games, he averaged 17.3 yards per kickoff return and 4.5 yards per punt return.
If the Bucs want to bring back Smith they have to make a move quickly. Today Smith is in Houston working out for the Texans. The Cleveland Browns are interested in Smith as well after their return specialist, Josh Cribbs, suffered a concussion last Sunday against the Steelers. A few other teams are showing interest in Smith as well. Sources tell Pewter Report that Smith's preference is to re-sign with Tampa Bay.~ by Wolf Heard and Charlie Campbell
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.