When will young Buccaneers receiver live up to coaching hype

Jaelon Darden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jaelon Darden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers and their coaching staff appear to love Jaelon Darden as one of their receivers of the future. When will he match the hype on the field?

It seems hard to find a player on the Buccaneers that has turned more heads in training camp during the past two seasons more than young receiver Jaelon Darden.

Darden was touted as a steal of the draft from the moment he joined the Bucs. The coaching staff and media alike were thrilled with the skillset that Darden brought to the field and the depth he would give the offense.

So, where has that player been?

We’re ok with giving a mulligan on a rookie season that had so much talent ahead of Darden on the depth chart. Six receptions for 43 yards wasn’t all that great, and the production on special teams left a lot to be desired.

Still, Darden was a rookie, and it was fair to expect some growing pains. The only issue with this is that the coaching staff again went all in on their support for Darden.

Great. So why has Darden only played 36 reps in the last three games when the Buccaneers are bleeding wide receivers?

It is fair to argue that the young receiver needs time to grow, but this just shows how detached from reality the comments from the staff can be at times.

If Darden was the player that the staff saw during the summers, the Bucs might have won the game against the Packers the other day. Instead, the team chose to let Scotty Miller stay on the field and keep dropping passes.

That’s a bold choice when you have someone on the sideline that the coaching staff supposedly likes so much.

Either Jaelon Darden needs to step up his play when the coaching staff gives him chances, or the Bucs need to stop coming out in so much support of players during the offseasons if it doesn’t mean anything for the regular season.

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