The makeup of the men’s 4X100-meter relay team at the IAAF World Championships next month will help determine when Jeff Demps joins the Buccaneers.
Demps knows he won’t be with the Bucs when they open up camp next week, but he is waiting to hear from U.S. officials about whether he’ll be running a leg on the relay team in Moscow during the event. The meet runs from August 10-18, so if Demps is included on the team he won’t be able to join the team at camp.
Demps joined the Patriots last summer straight from the Summer Olympics and played in preseason games for them before winding up on injured reserve. His desire to focus on track this offseason contributed to New England’s decision to trade him to Tampa for running back LeGarrette Blount, but Demps’ agent says his client is still set on playing football this year.
“Jeff is the kind of guy who sees things through to the end,” agent Daniel Rose said of his client, via Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. “And right now, he’s running track. But we’ll see what happens. He’s in great shape. He works out five hours a day. He’s being brought in for his speed, and we know he can run.”
Speed is the best thing Demps has going for him, but it’s hard to envision it being enough for him to make the team this summer. Missing out on camp and preseason games on top of the offseason schedule could leave him with more ground to make up than even someone with his speed can handle.