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September 23, 2013 @ 2:46 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Demps Activated To 53-Man Roster; Stocker To Injured Reserve

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers are looking for a offensive spark and hopes the addition of speedster Jeff Demps can help jumpstart the poor offensive showing through the first three games. To make room for Demps Tampa Bay place tight end Luke Stocker on injured reserve.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Monday that they have added former Gator running back and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps to the 53-man roster. To make room the Buccaneers placed tight end Luke Stocker on injured reserve. Stocker has battleD injuries since the start of training camp and was inactive for Sunday's 23-3 loss at New England.

Demps, who has world class speed and played football and ran track at the University of Florida in nearby Gainesville, is expected to compete for playing time behind starter Doug Martin, and reserves Brian Leonard and rookie Mike James. Demps, who returned kicks and punts at Florida, could also be put into the return mix with wide receiver Eric Page.

It is believed that Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has a special offensive package for Demps that would take advantage of his speed and skill set as a runner and receiver, and that Tampa Bay views him as a Tavon Austin-type threat.

The Bucs acquired Demps in a trade with New England that sent running back LeGarrette Blount and a seventh-round draft choice to the Patriots in exchange for a sixth-round pick and the former Gators speedster on the third day of the draft. Tampa Bay had tried to sign Demps last summer after track and field was over, but he opted to join the Patriots instead.

New England wanted to trade him this offseason, as head coach Bill Belichick wanted him to exclusively play football for the Patriots.

“[Football] was an uncertainty,” Demps said prior to joining the Patriots. “I was just focused on running and competing in the Olympics. Once all that stuff was over I was ready to come back to the game. I just want to fit in and help the team out.”

Demps played in three preseason games in 2012 for New England and had nine carries for 56 yards, including three-carry, 41-yard game against Tampa Bay that featured a 29-yard run. He also had three catches for 31 yards in the preseason before being placed on injured reserve on August 31 with a minor knee injury.

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound Demps, who has run the 100-meter in a time as fast as 10.01, did not sign with an NFL team after going undrafted in April 2012 because he wanted to focus on training for the 2012 Olympics at the time. Demps ran in the qualifying preliminaries in London, but did not run in the finals and earned a silver medal in the 4x100 meter relay team.

Blessed with 4.2 speed, Demps has experience on offense and in the return game as he finished as Florida’s eighth-leading rusher with 2,470 yards on 367 carries, a 6.7 average, and 23 touchdowns on the ground. As a receiver out of the backfield for the Gators, Demps nabbed 57 passes in his career for 481 yards, an 8.4 average.

– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report

Last modified on Monday, 23 September 2013 15:31

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  • avatar

    This move makes great sense for another reason, too. The Gator Nation has a lot of fans in the Buc's area of Florida, yet the Patriots make far better use of Gator players than the current Bucs. Spikes the MLB for the Patriots was a Gator and they had Demps too before they traded for Blount. Demps can bring more die hard Gator fans to our stands (and giving Tebo a shot here really would bring the Gator Nation to our turnstiles). This idea wasn't lost on the early Bucs who made Steve Spurrier their first QB and much later brought a popular Gator linebacker to the team. In more recent years there was a Gator FB who stepped up to play RB when needed and almost got a thousand yards--Earnest Graham. Demps is faster than Tavon Austin and a lot more durable too (Tavon Austin is already hurt and not giving much production to the Dallas Cowboys). Running back a kick for a touchdown could give quite a spark to the Bucs this week and turn a loss to a win, so Demps is a smart addition to our team.
  • avatar

    I hope Demps does well in the return game! SPEAKING OF TE's...I would like someone to find out what Cornelius Ingram is up to and get him in football shape...he was a stud TE for the Gators when healthy and would be a cheap look-see with no guaranteed money involved.
  • avatar

    I had high hopes for Stocker when he was drafted; but he has often reminded me of another Tennessee player, Charles McRae. Putting him on IR to end his season will probably end his time here. I absolutely love Jeff Demps and look forward to seeing this former Gator on the field.
  • avatar

    I think adding Demps is great. I believe that TE Stocker has been a failure, espical look at how much Tampa gave up for him. I believe Tampa must go after FA and draft next year a TE or too thru FR and draft. But next year the draft will be in may. I think that if a veteran is doing their job great, but if some of these backups are playing like better then some of the veterans play them go. Tampa must have a plan. I know that all plans has problems, The QB must look at backups wr to throw too. Right now thye go to Williams, Jackson and maybe some one else. That's IT NO TE's inmvolved. A GREAT DEFENSE-NO OFFENSE EXCEPT MARTIN AT RUNNING BACK.
  • avatar

    I don't see Demps getting into games until after the break. I don't believe he is football ready and able to take a hard hit. It's been over a year that he has even been in a pre season game. He'll need a little time, but I do see potential here. Stocker could just never stay healthy and he's another Stovall type with the injuries; Lorig might be in that same arena too.
  • avatar

    Jeff demos will probably be a good return man ! He seems to really have a lot of confidence and fame on his side .
  • avatar

    Say what you will about Luke Stocker, but he's a guy I would take investment advice from. Luke signed a 2.5mil contract in 2011 and will collect all of it but 600k for sitting in a whirlpool watching TV. How many of you can brag about that kind of return on an investment. I can see Luke now grinning like a Cheshire cat as he heads out on a month long vacation on the French Riviera. lol. Way to go Dom!
  • avatar

    what Pinkstob said...GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar

    Let Demps have the special teams return duties and let Page focus on Becoming the #3 receiver. Ogletree has proven he's not up to the task. Where are TE's like Dave Thomas who was with the Saints last year? Not Flashy but i recall him playing well - mostly against the Bucs, but he has to be Better than Noble and Bynham.
  • avatar

    Noble has never even been given the chance to catch and block efficiently give the man some chances before throwing him under the bus dam. I like noble and wright i think they will be good if they can just get stronger and add more muscle over the next couple years im sure one of them will be on this team for a long time as a cheap back up
  • avatar

    Stocker - now on par with folks like Price, D. Jackson, & M. Lewis. Thanks for playing and have a nice life.
  • avatar

    Woooo Hoooo, Stocker is finally done! His time as a Buc is as good as done and he'll be out of the NFL shortly after. Stocker was the only guy on the team I hated (as a player of course). I'm ready to move on from Freeman, but I don't hate the guy even as a player. He's given us some great games. It's also great to hear that we have some real speed on offense and ST with Demps. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Haha couldn't be happier myself ! Just remember it is tampa bay buccaneers though! We will probably give him a new contract cause we feel bad he got hurt lol then we will look like idiots once again. Just wish this team would make good choices its not that hard to do i wish they would give me the GMs job .
  • avatar

    dito, hopefully he will be part of this team for a long time and shine.
  • avatar

    I hope you aren't talking about stocker because he sucks and needs to be benched for life, he cant even block !!
  • avatar

    Awesome! Can't wait to see him in action!
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