Buccaneers Look for Special Teams To Be…Special
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Is anyone else ready for an actual game to talk about? I know I am.
Hey, the Bucs practiced on Tuesday…again, and again, it was hot.
“I’ve got to believe that was the hottest day we’ve had,” Schiano said. “And I told them before we started this thing leadership will carry this practice. And leadership did carry this practice because there were a lot of guys who would’ve liked to find a place to hide and they weren’t allowed to, not by me. That’s the key. Commonly we go through the pain together. I was aware of it. We gave them a couple more breaks in there than we normally do, just to be safe. But those guys fought, and the execution, we’ve got a lot of stuff in right now we’re preparing.”
During the practice, our partners at Pewter Report were all over the Bucs focusing on special teams.
The Buccaneers spent the early part of Tuesday’s practice working on special teams with mixed results. Punters Michael Koenen and Chas Henry both struggled in their punting duties, with Koenen shanking two, and Henry shanking one himself. Special teams coach Dave Wannstedt was visibly unhappy with his kickers.
Head coach Greg Schiano tried to put a positive spin on things after practice.
“We had some great punts early on and then we had some that weren’t so great. Kickers – the big one was that time-ticking-off-the-clock field goal. That was pretty good, pretty special.”
Schiano “pretty special” kick was in reference to placekicker Derek Dimke’s last second 43-yard field goal in a hurry-up situation. Dimke split the northwest up rights which are half the size of regulation goal posts. Lawrence Tynes is still nursing a toe injury that has kept him out of practice. Tynes of course was signed after incumbent placekicker Connor Barth injured his Achilles in a charity basketball game the weekend before camp opened. Barth has been ruled out for 2013.
The Buccaneers have some serious talent on both sides of the ball, but their special teams could be what makes or breaks them this year. The return game must be better. The punting must pin teams further back. Also, someone has to fill the important kicker shoes of Connor Barth. Will Lawrence Tynes hold off Derek Dimke? Will former Gator Chas Henry knock Michael Koenen off the team? Here we go!