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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Byner excited by potential of RB Demps' speed

3

October

Bucs running back Jeff Demps has had just two offensive touches -- a 14-yard run on a sweep and an 8-yard catch -- but assistant coach Earnest Byner already likes what his track-star speed brings to the offense.

"One of the things I talk to Demps about is that his three-quarters speed is a lot of people's full speed, so being able to govern when to absolutely turn that blazer on," Byner said.

Byner has seen the impact that change of speed can have, starting a run at one pace, then making a cut and accelerating quickly. He worked with the Titans' Chris Johnson from 2008-09, in the speedy back's first two years in the league, including his breakout 2,006-yard season in 2009.

"I think when we get him the ball, it makes it exciting," Byner said. "CJ, (Demps) is shorter, but the speed is, aw, shoot. It's instant, one-step speed. I've talked to him about CJ being able to be close enough to people to touch them, but they can't touch him because he's that fast. It's a good thing to have him here. He adds that level of explosive ability and playmaking."

The Bucs also used the former Gators standout and Olympic sprinter on kickoff returns Sunday in his NFL debut, and special-teams coach Dave Wannstedt said they'll work with Demps on better decision-making, as seen in taking kicks out from the back of the end zone and setting up the Bucs on their 16 and their 10.

"Obviously, there's a lot of room to improve, and we'll keep working with him," he said. "He has a good attitude. The most encouraging thing is his attitude has not been one of a track guy playing football. I've been around a lot of those players in my time. He shows toughness. He wants to be good at what we're doing, and it's nice to work with someone like that."

[Last modified: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:38pm]

    

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