If there is one aspect of this Buccaneers team that isn’t subject to harsh and serious criticism, it’s the Special Teams. They haven’t been inconsistent, there have been very few errors and they seem to usually be the highest scoring part of this team. Connor Barth isn’t an elite kicker but he gets the job done, having missed only two field goals the entire year, both in games the Bucs won by more then three points.
The other guy in the kicking department for the Bucs is their $19 million dollar man, punter Micheal Koenen. The Bucs took a lot of flak for giving a punter, a guy who we all thought would rarely be on the field, a contract that a second string or even some starting running backs get.
But with all of the Bucs woes this year, one of the things that keeps them in the game is the field position game and that’s all Koenen. The Bucs new punter has 2,006 yards and leads the NFL in punts inside of 20 yards with 18. He may not be worth $19 million but the investment is paying off whether Bucs fans approve of the salary or not.
The Buccaneers return game isn’t anything to write home about but then again, unless you live in Chicago when is the return game a crucial part of your gameplan. No coach goes into the week planning around a kick return for a touchdown, that’s why it’s such a gift and a load off when it (rarely) happens.
But Preston Parker is one of those return guys that isn’t elite, but isn’t terrible. He’s a prefect in between guy that is the inverse of Devin Hester. He’s a fast return guy who is an outstanding receiver.
The Buccaneers kicking game seems to be one of the most potent parts of this teams scoring weaponry. Connor Barth has scored the most points on the Buccaneers all season long.
That’s right Connor Barth, not Josh Freeman, not LeGarrette Blount, not Mike Williams, Connor Freaking Barth is the Buccaneers leading scorer with 64 points.
So that right there is why the Special Teams of the Buccaneers is by far the best aspect of this team in terms of success. Their mistakes are minimal and their production is the best on the team. That’s amazing and great for the special teams which also hasn’t allowed any punt returns or kick returns for touchdowns either. But it unfortunately is outshined by the volumes it speaks about how terrible this Bucs team reall is in all other departments.
Mid-Season Grade: A+