It took Tampa Bay wide receiver Micheal Spurlock just 11 seconds to erase 32 years of history and become the first player in franchise history to return a kickoff for a touchdown last Sunday.
The 90-yard kickoff return for a score came in the first quarter of last Sunday's game at Raymond James Stadium on the franchise's 1,865th kickoff return attempt.
Spurlock has spent the ensuing days taking in all of the recognition that has come with accomplishing such a tremendous feat, which earned him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award on Wednesday.
"It's been crazy," said Spurlock. "You couldn't have written a book like this. It's a dream come true. It finally happened."
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden gave his players the day off on Monday after their impressive 37-3 win over the Atlanta Falcons, which earned the team the 2007 NFC South division title.
However, Spurlock didn't necessarily use his day off to get away from football. Instead, he spent most of Monday watching ESPN and other television replays of his historic 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Spurlock was happy to answer more questions about his infamous kickoff return on Wednesday, but he and his teammates came back to One Buccaneer Place ready to work and prepare for the team's next opponent – the San Francisco 49ers.
"I don't think I'm ever going to come back down from it, but I'm trying to just put it behind me and focus on the next game," said Spurlock. "It was a team effort. I enjoyed the few days of everybody talking about it, and it's probably going to be talked about forever, but we've got bigger and better things on our plate right now."
After spending 15 weeks of the 2006 regular season on Arizona's practice squad, Spurlock joined Tampa Bay's practice squad in 2007 and was promoted to the team's active roster on Nov. 1.
While his kickoff return for a touchdown was the 1,865th attempt in the 32-year history of the Buccaneers, it was just Spurlock's 13th career kickoff return.
Spurlock played quarterback and running back at Mississippi. He completed 142-of-267 passes for 1,709 yards and tossed seven touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing fro two additional scores.
The former Mississippi standout is attempting to model his game after another former quarterback turned wide receiver/return specialist – Washington's Antwaan Randle El.
"Randel El did it, and that's one guy I've watched a lot and a lot of people said I could be the next Randle El when I got into league," Spurlock said of making the transition from quarterback to wide receiver and return specialist. "I consider myself an athlete. If you can teach me I can do it."
Now that he has seen what Spurlock is capable of doing with the ball in his hands, does Gruden have any plans to use him creatively on the offensive side of the ball as a quarterback?
"Well, as soon as you learn the wide receiver position there's incentives and crumbs that we kind of lay on the ground [for the player]," Gruden said regarding Spurlock. "You have to learn how to play multi-dimensional roles as a receiver for us, but that's something that could eventually come about for him down the road. Remember – we signed him during the season and he's picking things up, but he's got a long way to go. We do have some creativity in mind for him."
Spurlock is open to the possibility of having a limited, but creative role on offense and said he is willing to do anything to help the Buccaneers continue to win.
"Whatever my role is I'm willing to take it on," said Spurlock. "Coach Gruden hasn't discussed that with me yet, but we'll see what happens."
In the meantime, the 24-year-old Spurlock, who is averaging 30.5 yards per kickoff return on 11 attempts as a Buccaneer, believes Tampa Bay's special teams unit has gained a great deal of confidence since last Sunday and is focused on producing another big return.
"Now that we've got the monkey off of our back we're looking to get another one," said Spurlock.. "It's definitely the type of thing that can give your entire unit confidence. It should breed confidence from this point and to and through the playoffs. Look for bigger and better things."
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