Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Did Bucs RB Demps do enough to stick?

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.

Comments
Bucs Jameis Winston gets engaged to long-time girlfriend Breion Allen who says, ‘Well, it’s about damn time’

Bucs Jameis Winston gets engaged to long-time girlfriend Breion Allen who says, ‘Well, it’s about damn time’

On a day when the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was taking place across the pond, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston proposed marriage to his long-time girlfriend Breion Allen Saturday in New York City.She said yes.The proposal to...
Published: 05/21/18
Could Bucs find another undrafted rookie tight end in 2018?

Could Bucs find another undrafted rookie tight end in 2018?

At no position is the Bucs' ability to find talent outside the NFL draft more clear than at tight end, where three of the four returning players from last season joined the Bucs as undrafted rookie free agents.Cameron Brate did so in 2014, Alan Cross...
Published: 05/21/18
Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Saints, Eagles, Steelers.Three games against three playoff teams to open the NFL season.Who in the league scheduling office did the Buccaneers tick off?What an injustice!Or not.Maybe the league did the Bucs a favor.Would you rather face the Saints, E...
Published: 05/21/18
O-line coach ‘ecstatic’ about Bucs drafting Vita Vea

O-line coach ‘ecstatic’ about Bucs drafting Vita Vea

Add another to the long list of Bucs players and coaches excited about first-round pick Vita Vea: offensive line coach George Warhop.Warhop said the 347-pound defensive tackle from Washington kept showing up as he looked at tape on Pac-12 offensive l...
Published: 05/19/18
Pillow talk: O-line coach says Bucs need tougher approach to run the ball

Pillow talk: O-line coach says Bucs need tougher approach to run the ball

TAMPA — At least he stopped short of calling them soft. That's not a word you ever want to use when describing an NFL player, much less the entire offensive line. That would be a tough pillow to swallow.But it's clear George Warhop didn't like ...
Published: 05/19/18
Pop Warner to honor Bucs’ Gerald McCoy as ‘Inspiration to Youth’

Pop Warner to honor Bucs’ Gerald McCoy as ‘Inspiration to Youth’

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be honored at Pop Warner's annual "All-American Scholars Banquet" in Orlando with the national sports organization's "Inspiration to Youth" award.McCoy, who has been to six straight Pro Bowls, is the first-ever...
Published: 05/18/18
Land O’Lakes grad Shaheed Salmon gets contract with Bucs

Land O’Lakes grad Shaheed Salmon gets contract with Bucs

Most appropriately named player on the Bucs roster? Undrafted rookie Shaheed Salmon, a linebacker from Land O'Lakes who has quickly shown the ability to fight against the current and get to where he wants to go.Salmon, 22, wasn't drafted and didn't h...
Published: 05/18/18
Mike Evans, Jameis Winston among top 25 players under 25, Pro Football Focus says

Mike Evans, Jameis Winston among top 25 players under 25, Pro Football Focus says

Mike Evans and Jameis Winston are two of the 25 best young players in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.In the website's Top 25 Under 25 list, Evans ranks 11th and Winston ranks 20th. Evans is the highest-ranked receiver, and Winston is the hi...
Published: 05/18/18
More praise for Bucs WR Chris Godwin: ‘I see him as a starter’

More praise for Bucs WR Chris Godwin: ‘I see him as a starter’

Perhaps no Bucs player is drawing more consistent praise from coaches than second-year receiver Chris Godwin, who emerged in the second half last year and got his first career touchdown on the Bucs' final pass of the year to beat the Saints in the se...
Published: 05/17/18
George Warhop on Donovan Smith: ‘You have something here that’s special’

George Warhop on Donovan Smith: ‘You have something here that’s special’

A year ago, Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop was unwavering in his support for left tackle Donovan Smith, and on Thursday, he again made it clear he considers the fourth-year player among the best at his position."I don't think I'd take anybod...
Published: 05/17/18