Lovie: Bucs need to see more out of kick, punt returnersTampa Bay's Kenny Bell averaged 22.5 yards on two kick returns during Saturday's preseason game at Minnesota. Coach Lovie Smith says the return game was “average at best.” ASSOCIATED PRESS By Roy Cummings | Tribune Staff Published: August 18, 2015 One aspect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to improve on when they take the field against the Cincinnati Bengals at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night is their return game.The Bucs had rookies Kaelin Clay and Kenny Bell handle return duties during their 26-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings last Saturday, but neither managed to carry them out at a high level.Clay, who was drafted in the sixth round out of Utah primarily as a return specialist, handled all the punt return duties but averaged minus-1 yard per return on the two punts he opted to bring back.Clay and Bell split the kick return duties, with each handling two. Bell averaged only 22.5 yards per return, good enough for 37th in the NFL this preseason, and Clay averaged just 18 yards per return (52nd).“That’s something we will continue to work on,’’ Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “We need to get more than we have gotten from it. The first game was average at best. So we’ll continue to work guys.We are working a lot of younger players back there right now. But (veteran running back) Bobby Rainey can always return punts for us. We know exactly what he can do.”firstname.lastname@example.org (813) 259-7893Twitter: @RCummingsTBO
I watched a lot of Utah games and Kaelin has great speed and more importantly, elusiveness and the ability to make people miss. He’s not as physical once a tackler has hands on him, but I really think with more time, he can develop. Not gonna give up one the kid over one preseason game.
He just needs to learn you don't have to return EVERY kick.
And the expectation is high. KR/PR that is your one designed play. Not like WR or RB's where you get multiple looks and different designs....with your OC. KR/PR...its wall left, right, or middle and hope that the ball gets to you and you're able to get your first step to field.I would actually like to see a package where he lines slot/split end - get him into a dig/out route in space, put the ball in his hands then let his speed take over. He and RB Sims could match up well against aggressive secondaries.
I dont trust rainey’s hands enough to be ok with him returning.He fights for every yard, and has a good knack at going where others arent, but those kinds of losses(fumbling ball close /around so many members of the opposition) are things that will kill any momentum a team has.Plus, if he beomes a threat, theyll just give him the "peanut" treatment anyway, so..