The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired track star Jeff Demps with the hope that he could become a big-time difference maker for the team this season. His first career game occurred last week against the Arizona Cardinals in which he showed flashes of potential. There is no question the running back needs to be a factor in order for the Buccaneers to get their first win of the season.
Demps rushed once for 14 yards, hauled in one reception for eight yards and returned three kicks for 69 yards. As he displayed in Week 4, he is more than capable of handling different roles. With that being said, Tampa Bay is hoping that his big plays will come when he is in the backfield.
“Last week was a big week for him,” special teams coordinator Dave Wannstedt said, according to Buccaneers.com. “He was thrown in there, and obviously there was room to improve. We’re going to keep working with him, and he’s got a good attitude. He shows toughness and he wants to be good at what we’re doing. That’s a nice combination to have and it’s nice to be able to work with someone like that.”
Obviously, Doug Martin is the lead back and is doing a decent job of handling that role. However, the Buccaneers need someone to come in and be the change-of-pace back. More than that, they need someone to put a spark into the offense. Unfortunately, the coaching staff will have to work with Demps a little more before he can become the player they want him to be.
“Demps has that breakaway speed, but obviously he hasn’t been here and he missed training camp and all that; you’re trying to make up for a lot of lost time there,” Wannstedt told Buccaneers.com. “I think the big plays will come; just don’t force it.”
Demps definitely has what it takes to be the difference maker the organization expects him to be. At this point, it will take some valuable time in practice and repetitions during games for him to get the full grasp of the position.