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)

Roscoe Parrish latest to try to land role of Tampa Bay Buccaneers punt returner

Roscoe Parrish spent part of the preseason with the Raiders but was released there and in San Diego.

Getty Images

Roscoe Parrish spent part of the preseason with the Raiders but was released there and in San Diego.

TAMPA — The revolving door of punt returners the Bucs have used this season isn't really conducive to a good return game. It's part of the reason the team ranks last in the NFL in punt-return average with 4.3 yards per attempt.

Will things improve this week with newly signed Roscoe Parrish? That remains to be seen, but coach Greg Schiano said he's looking for a return man with fearlessness and reliability.

Fielding punts "is the hardest skill there is in football," Schiano said Wednesday. "There is no doubt about it. You have everybody coming at you, and you have the hardest ball to catch in the game.

"There are several guys who can return kickoffs. There's not the (immediate) presence of defenders when you're catching a kick. Its' an easier ball. Punt returning is tough. I don't envy those guys. It's a special skill set. And when you have one that's really good, don't take it for granted."

Parrish, a college star for his hometown team in Miami, will have an immediate opportunity. He'll be the designated punt returner Sunday against the Redskins, Schiano confirmed.

For Parrish, cut by the Chargers and Raiders, respectively, in the preseason, his arrival in Tampa Bay is a chance to recapture the magic he once showed with the Bills, when he was one of the league's best return men.

"I kind of felt what it's like to sit down and watch a game on Sunday," said Parrish, 30. "It is not a good feeling. Getting this opportunity is a blessing, and I'm trying to take advantage."

WR Jordan Shipley handled punts for one game, Sunday at Dallas, but he mishandled one of his attempts and was cut days later. Parrish mishandled a couple of punts in the preseason, but Schiano said the veteran's years of experience puts the coach's mind at rest.

"I've just got to put the offense in good field position and protect the ball," Parrish, 30, said. "That's the key thing."

BIG SHOES: Veteran free agent DE Jeff Charleston was signed to add depth, a reaction to starter Adrian Clayborn's season-ending knee injury.

But the job will fall mostly to Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, who is listed this week as the starting right end. His steady improvement the past few months caught the attention of coaches.

"I've been very impressed with his development since we've arrived," Schiano said. "I have a great deal of confidence in Daniel. I think he's going to play really well. … I feel good about him."

For Te'o-Nesheim, his ticket to more playing time lies in one part of his game.

"My effort is my thing," he said. "I'm not really super flashy or super strong, I just try to play hard."

FINALLY: News of movement in negotiations between the NFL and its game officials was celebrated in the Bucs locker room.

"This is good news, for sure," LG Carl Nicks said. "Anytime you have guys who have been around as long as the original refs have been, it's great. I take my hat off to the guys who did do a good job while they were out there, but they got thrown in some hot water.

"It's not like when the real refs come back it's going to be perfect. There will still be some questionable calls. But it'll be better."

INJURY REPORT: Nicks (toe) and LB Dekoda Watson (chest) were limited in practice. CB Anthony Gaitor (hamstring) did not practice and seems no closer to a return. He has not played this season.

Staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report. Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected]m. Follow him on Twitter at @HolderStephen.

Roscoe Parrish latest to try to land role of Tampa Bay Buccaneers punt returner 09/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter sounds Bucs alarm: 'They're the players that we have'


    The other day, Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was asked about the lack of production and pressure from the defensive line, especially off the edge.

    Then it happened.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (28) takes the field for the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New England Patriots on October 5, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
  2. Superiority complex: USF continues to battle schedule, expectations


    Does USF deserve its No. 16 national ranking? Coach Charlie Strong says there's no doubt. He expects that his Bulls can match up with any Division I-A program. (Octavio Jones, Times)
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Who will be the Bucs' QB on Sunday?


    Who the Bucs' quarterback will be Sunday against the Bills became clear as mud as Jameis Winston hasn't thrown all week but will take all the practice reps today.

    Will Ryan Fitzpatrick start for the Bucs Sunday in Buffalo?
  4. College football viewing guide, Week 8


    Miami quarterback Malik Rosier (12) hands off to running back Travis Homer (24) during the first half of an NCAA College football game against Georgia Tech, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
  5. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida


     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.