Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Did Bucs RB Demps do enough to stick?

A no-gainer for Jeff Demps in second quarter.


A no-gainer for Jeff Demps in second quarter.

TAMPA — After failing to get more than 8 yards on any play through the first three preseason games, running back Jeff Demps entered Thursday needing a big performance to try to make the Bucs' 53-man roster.

He'll find out in the next 48 hours whether it was enough.

The former Gator and Olympic sprinter got plenty of touches with mixed results, finishing with a team-high 59 yards and 20 of the Bucs' 28 carries.

"I knew I was going to have a long day, so I had to be prepared," Demps said.

He started slowly, failing to return a kickoff into the end zone past the 20-yard line. Demps carried the ball on five consecutive offensive snaps in the second quarter. The results: two negative carries, 8 net yards and two three and outs.

Demps has world-class speed — coach Lovie Smith has called him the fastest player in the league, and he ran relays at the 2012 Olympics — but couldn't use it to get outside on two first-half plays. One resulted in a 1-yard loss and a tackle by former Bucs cornerback E.J. Biggers.

His best two plays came in the third quarter, starting with a 37-yard kickoff return.

"I knew it was time for me to kind of use my speed a little bit and try to bounce it outside," Demps said.

A few plays later, he slashed left and cut back to the middle for a 19-yard rush, his longest of the preseason. That kept the Bucs' only touchdown drive of the night alive.

"Put the ball in Jeff's hands and let him show everybody what he can do," guard Patrick Omameh said.

Demps finished his preseason with 42 offensive touches for 128 yards. He'll likely battle fullback Jorvorskie Lane for one of the final roster spots. Lane missed Thursday's game with a left hand injury.

Although Demps fumbled in the fourth quarter, he said he ends the preseason optimistic about his chances of making the roster and he has done about all he can do.

"It would have been nice to get in the end zone," Demps said. "I haven't been there in a while."

Contact Matt Baker at [email protected] Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Did Bucs RB Demps do enough to stick? 08/28/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2014 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay should say no thanks to these sporting events


    Tampa Bay has become the Break-Glass-In-Case-of-Emergency City.

    In this file photo, Cal quarterback Jared Goff poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the first pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  2. NFL Week 7: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) makes a touchdown catch over Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. History rewrite: What if Dalvin Cook, Lamar Jackson had landed at Florida?


    Two days before suiting up in the Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field, Dalvin Cook announced a change of heart.

     Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) on a run in the first quarter of the game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.
  4. Epilogue: USF's Mike Radomski made thank-yous a way of life


    TAMPA — He was a sucker for baseball and benevolence. Mike Radomski tracked every gesture, regardless of how noble or benign, as meticulously as pitch counts in his volumes of scorebooks.

    Assistant director of communications Mike Radomski, who primarily served as the media liaison for men's basketball but also worked with several other Bulls sports, died shortly after 1 a.m. Oct. 12, 2017 in a car accident on Interstate 75 near his Wildwood home. He was 29. PHOTO PROVIDED.