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October 19, 2010 @ 7:40 am
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Bucs Interested In Re-Signing Clifton Smith

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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
Last modified on Sunday, 24 October 2010 10:52

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  • avatar

    moot point now. the Bucs used that open slot to trade for a DE
  • avatar

    aren't we in dire need of a RB with speed. the return game is NOT the issue. we need a GD RB who can avg more than 1.6 yds/att, and who could possible break off a run of 10 yds or more. We have more than enough PR/KR on this team. we need a freakin RB OR maybe playing Blount would help.
  • avatar

    Here's an idea, lets have the offense and defense switch places for a series and see if it gets any worse?
  • avatar

    Give Parker a freaking chance and more than 2 games to show what he can do! He is better than Smith if given a chance. The first step in making this team better is to get an offensive coordinator who knows how to call plays and move the ball. Like some else said, spread the line on running plays so there isn't 10 guys ond defense from tackle to tackle and start using short possession style passes to move the ball downfield. The biggest problem on offense is Olsen. Then concentrate next years draft on all defensive players starting with DE's and linebackers. Start getting linebackers in here with size and meaness instead of the little boys like Rudd who don't like to mix it up!
  • avatar

    Clifton is AVAILABLE for a reason. He was cut, signed, cut for a reason. Parker is doing fine. Clifton is tentative after his concussions and offers nothing in the RB department.
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Yes why bother? He hasn't done well returning this year and we already proved he couldn't run the ball well and when he did run it he FUMBLED!
  • avatar

    I don't see that being a good move. I am a little concerned about Parkers' cleat choice as he was slipping down a bit against the Saints. Otherwise I'm ok with the job being done in the return game. Josh Freeman and Olsen are going to have to throw out of those 8 and 9 man boxes. The O-line is what it is, therefore the defensive fronts are going to have to be spread out for the run to succeed. Quick outs and slants...K2, Stevens, Stroughter and Benn need to work behind those fronts. Briscoe would be a good addition for the open slot because as we've seen the middle is dangerous.
  • avatar

    The word "fumble" never appears in this article. I think that's a big part of the story as to why Smith was released in the first place. Has he somehow gotten over that?
  • avatar

    Exactly correct, he was cut in large part because of fumbles, I doubt he got over that, but I got over him because of that.
  • avatar

    Smith is a better returner than anyone on our roster. If you think he isn't you are kidding yourself. That's what this is about. Clifton won't ever see the field as a RB unless Caddy, EG, Blount, and Lumpkin all go down.
  • avatar

    Well, you must remember that we used to pick up all of the grimy old worn out veterans for their experience...Grudenizing. Well now it's picking up cut Buc's players for their playbook experience, instead of trying to find a player of some (even marginal) value that doesn't know the playbook....Morrisizing! I'm not in favor of this fumble-bunny.
  • avatar

    No he isn't. He's now concussion prone and tentative.
  • avatar

    Isn't today the last day to make trades? How about we go out and get a DE worth a damn. The Bucs were counting on Stylez and that has been an EPIC FAIL. Grimm is obviously going to continue playing, offer up Sabby, Lumpkin, Stovall or whomever else won't be around next year. We need a DE badly!!!!
  • avatar

    Just what we need, another RB that can't contibute to the running game. No thanks. Spurlock, Preston, and Stroughter are handling the return game just fine. Let's not back track.
  • avatar

    JDouble, I so agree. Let's pull some players from other team practice squad and see if any will stick.
  • avatar

    Wow agree with both of you!
  • avatar

    Idiotic move! Go Bucs
  • avatar

    He's been released by us and the Dolphins - there's a reason for that. Then again, whom else are we going to use.
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