Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Q&A with rookie RB Clifton Smith

Clifton Smith returned five punts for 82 yards and three kickoffs for 62 yards in his first pro game.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Clifton Smith returned five punts for 82 yards and three kickoffs for 62 yards in his first pro game.

IRVING, Texas — Rookie free-agent running back Clifton Smith spent the first seven weeks of his pro football career in relative anonymity on the Bucs' practice squad.

But with the return game struggling for weeks because of second-round draft pick Dexter Jackson's ineffectiveness, the Bucs promoted Smith on Saturday and left Jackson inactive.

Sunday, in his first pro action, Smith had a promising performance, though it was marred by his fumble on the second-half kickoff. He had five punt returns for 82 yards — his 20-yarder was the team's longest this season — and three kickoff returns for 62 yards.

You had some real highs and lows today. Does that make it hard to judge your performance?

It was really a roller-coaster for me today. I felt in the first half that I was really playing well, getting us good field position. Then I came out in that second half, and that fumble really put a damper on the parade.

Do you think you'll be given opportunities despite the fumble?

I hope so. I personally look at every return like I only have one chance. Hopefully, I impressed some people today.

When you finally got a chance to play, it came in Texas Stadium on national TV. Will you treasure this experience?

Definitely. It was a great experience. But I'm a sore loser. I don't like losing whatsoever. So that really puts a damper on everything. But overall, it was a great experience to come and play in Texas Stadium. It's every kid's dream. I'm just living my dream and loving it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Q&A with rookie RB Clifton Smith 10/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 4:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with Cobb on hill, Beckham in lineup

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 3:46: After sitting out Thursday in recovering from extraction of a tooth, former Rays SS Tim Beckham is in the Orioles lineup tonight for his first game against his ex-mates, batting leadoff and playing short.

  2. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?

    Bucs

    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this

    Bucs

    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)