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 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. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Chris Archer has made a name for himself on the mound. And at a time when some athletes work to steer clear of any issue with a tint of controversy for fear it could damage their brand, Archer has used that platform to weigh in on some topical social, political and news events.

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  2. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  4. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  5. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)