Buccaneers special teams unit needs to step up down stretch

Jake Camarda, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Jake Camarda, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been inconsistent while the Buccaneers offense consistently struggles. There’s another third of the game though.

It’s no secret that that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the area of special teams have a strained relationship. The Buccaneers played their first season in 1976, and took until 2007 for them to take a kickoff to the house when Michael Spurlock went 90 yards against the Atlanta Falcons.

Defense has always been king for the Bucs with the offense usually somewhat lacking (in most cases, not all), but special teams is the one unit they seem the never be able to get right. This is crucial since after all, it is a third of the game.

2022 has been no different for the Buccaneers. Despite kicker Ryan Succop being one of the most consistently good players on the Bucs roster so far this year, the rest of the special teams unit can’t say the same.

It always seems like there’s a revolving door of players, returning kicks and punts for the Buccaneers, and regardless of who walks through the door, he just about never leads to success. When the Buccaneers are the ones kicking away, the results are not much better. So far in 2022, they have surrendered 1193. Combine return yards to opposing teams, which is ranked 30th out of the 32 NFL teams.

Fortunately, with Succop and rookie punter Jake Camarda, it seems like they have the kicker and punter positions nailed down. Unfortunately, though, there’s only so much kickers and punters do in the field position battle, when the other 10 players on the field are giving up so many yards. This also isn’t even getting into the fake punt disaster involving Giovani Bernard a couple weeks ago.

It seems like the list of things the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to improve on in the final weeks of the 2022 NFL season is endless. Due to that, the issues on special teams, the most slept-on third of the game, may have flown under the radar. Make no mistake about it though, this problem needs to get so fast, quick, and in a hurry.