Tampa Bay Bucs' Clifton Smith honored by NFC
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Clifton Smith was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November, according to a news release issued by the team.
Smith had 11 punt returns for 199 yards (18.1 avg.) and one touchdown. He also registered 16 kickoff returns for 498 yards (31.1 avg.) and a score. Smith’s punt return average of 18.1 yards this season ranks first in the NFL and his 31.1 yard kickoff return average ranks second in the NFL. He is also the only player in the NFL to have a kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown this season.
Smith was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 9 as he became the second player in team history to return a kickoff for a touchdown with a 97-yard touchdown return at Kansas City (11/2). He finished the game with two punt returns for 27 yards and six kickoff returns for 232 yards and a touchdown. His 97-yard kickoff return was also the longest kickoff return in team history and the 259 total return yards (232 kickoff return yards and 27 punt return yards) set a franchise record for the most return yards in a single game.
Smith had four punt returns for 90 yards, including a touchdown, and five kickoff returns for 142 yards, including a long of 49 yards at Detroit (11/23). With his 70-yard punt return for a touchdown, Smith became the first Buccaneer since 2004 to record a punt return for a touchdown and he became the first player in franchise history to return both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown.
Smith had five punt returns for 82 yards (16.4 avg.), including a long of 42 yards, and three kickoff returns for 76 yards vs. New Orleans (11/30).
Smith’s honor marks the seventh time in team history that a Buccaneer has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month. K Matt Bryant (December 2007), P Josh Bidwell (November 2005), K Martin Gramatica (November 1999, October 2000 and December 2002), and KR/PR Karl Williams (December 1996) have previously been honored.