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Lovie Smith excited to coach “fastest guy in the NFL,” Jeff Demps

Jeff Demps AP

Jeff Demps is far from the best player on the Buccaneers, but he’s one of the players new Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith is most excited to coach.

Smith said that Demps, who won a silver medal on the American 4×100-meter relay team in the 2012 Olympics, has the raw talent to make big plays with the ball in his hands. It’s up to Smith and the coaching staff to put Demps in a position where he’s making those plays.

“I’ve never had a chance to coach the fastest guy in the NFL,” Smith told ESPN. “And we talked about his commitment to football and he loves track but he considers himself a football player and he’s anxious to get started with whatever position we ask him to play, whether it’s running back or wide receiver or returning kicks. Again, we’re a new staff coming in so we’re going to give guys an option to do what they feel like they do best.”

Demps has hardly played so far in his NFL career, with just one carry for 14 yards, three catches for 21 yards and four kickoff returns for 93 yards. But Demps was a good running back and kick returner at Florida, and Smith said Demps will get a lot of opportunities to show that he can be a major contributor in the NFL.

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62 Responses to “Lovie Smith excited to coach “fastest guy in the NFL,” Jeff Demps”
  1. Coach John Harbaugh says: Mar 27, 2014 4:21 PM

    how many rings do you have, lovie?

  2. barsfordays says: Mar 27, 2014 4:21 PM

    They have WR Skye Dawson too, these kids are roadrunners.

  3. bbourne0 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:22 PM

    Devin Hester is groveling somewhere, muttering to himself in an incoherent manner.

  4. God Waves His Terrible Towel™ says: Mar 27, 2014 4:23 PM

    Except he isn’t the fastest.

  5. tennesseeoilers says: Mar 27, 2014 4:23 PM

    #Sorry, Chris Johnson

  6. rfgatwordpress says: Mar 27, 2014 4:24 PM

    Hopefully hell be used more effectively then the “Devin Hester Experiment”!

  7. ramrod05 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:25 PM

    Finally!! We were witing for the Bucs to utilize him last year. Hopefully he will concentrate on football this season instead of track! The Bucs feel the need for speed!!

  8. Patskrieg dot com says: Mar 27, 2014 4:25 PM

    Lovie will be thrilled when Jeff tells him that he can devote every other Thursday and two Mondays a month to Buccaneers practice when his track & field training takes an off-day.

    The only thing better than coaching the fastest guy in the NFL is coaching the part-time fastest guy in the NFL.

  9. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 27, 2014 4:26 PM

    This is only true because they don’t have many premium players, such as Darrelle Revis as an example and first to come to mind.

    So Lovie, so how many times in your NFL career have you had a chance to coach a guy like Revis??

  10. stonefish67 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:26 PM

    Right.
    Overrated coach. Bucs keep picking losers

  11. yb1956 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:30 PM

    Wasn’t Devin Hester ridiculous enough?

  12. steeler1nation says: Mar 27, 2014 4:30 PM

    Ted Ginn is the fastest NFL player.

  13. crapsandviche says: Mar 27, 2014 4:31 PM

    Lovie did wonders with Devin Hester at WR……Demps should do well.

  14. chc4 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:32 PM

    Of all the guys he is excited to coach he mentions Jeff Demps? Um ok, whatever coach.

  15. bygd1 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:32 PM

    Marquis “Flash” Gordon from Bills is right in there also and he can catch the ball

  16. pooflingingmonkey says: Mar 27, 2014 4:33 PM

    He’ll be great!

    Regards,

    Renaldo Nehemiah

  17. metalhead65 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:35 PM

    ok demps here is how Lovie uses fast guys, on 3rd down you will get the wide receiver screen which will work the first 5 times they throw it to you but then you will get drilled for no gain or a loss every time after. that is how Lovie used speed with hester and the bears.

  18. ampats says: Mar 27, 2014 4:36 PM

    Very exciting to coach a player who gets injured the first time he gets hit in the NFL.See NE 2012, TB 2013 as he played one series for both teams.

    Thanks again for L Blount and his 700 + yards last season

  19. psly2124 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:38 PM

    Didn’t demos lose to Trinidad Holliday in the sec championship a few years back. Holliday was the 100 meter champ, so that would put demos 2nd at best

  20. jimbo75025 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:39 PM

    Problem is that “track guys” never really do that well in the NFL. Mind bending speed means nothing if you cannot catch the ball or hear the footsteps coming. Offhand, I think Willie Gault with the Bears had the most success in the NFL coming off a track background and that was 25-30 years ago.

  21. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 27, 2014 4:40 PM

    I’m still waiting for an answer Lovie, you’re not going to keep me waiting all day now are you? Speaking of All Day, how many times have you…you know what forget it, you just aren’t worth my time, at least you got dem Demps though. Good luck with your season.

  22. bradleymorgan35 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:42 PM

    Uh, Lovie. You do remember you coached Devin Hester for years and ruined his Career, right?

  23. chicagosports2014 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:44 PM

    Think Johnny Knox was faster than Hester.

  24. averagjoe says: Mar 27, 2014 4:49 PM

    To Coach John Harbaugh:

    Two; one with the Bucs, another with the Rams.

  25. blackandbluedivision says: Mar 27, 2014 4:50 PM

    Oh, boy. I think Demps just leap frogged Jackson as the teams #1 receiver. What’s that you say? he can’t catch, run routes, or block. Perfect for Smith. It didn’t matter to him before.

  26. kd75 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:52 PM

    Speed in the NFL is over-rated. Barry Sanders wasn’t faster than Deion Sanders…

    But did you ever see Deion Sanders tackle Barry Sanders???

  27. kd75 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:55 PM

    After Earl Campbell came in dead last in a one mile run, Bum Phillips said:

    “Well, I guess I won’t be putting him in on third and a mile.”

  28. crindal3000 says: Mar 27, 2014 5:01 PM

    what’s his 40 time?

  29. granadafan says: Mar 27, 2014 5:04 PM

    Straight line speed isn’t very useful if you can’t make a cut and maintain the speed. Guys like DeSean Jackson are very successful because he can cut on a dime and get back to top speed within a few steps. Guys who need a while to reach top speed get caught by those with an angle.

  30. intelligent cement says: Mar 27, 2014 5:05 PM

    …and a single tear flows down Devin Hester’s cheek.

  31. djshnooks says: Mar 27, 2014 5:11 PM

    Sorry, Marquise “Flash” Goodwin doesn’t play for Tampa Bay…but he’s the fastest in the NFL…he is tied for the 2nd or 3rd fastest 40 yard dash at the combine, ever.

    Guys like Ted Ginn and Trindon Holliday are NOT faster than Marquise Goodwin…he’s an Olympian for a reason.

    40 yard dash times:

    Jeff Demps – 4.29
    Trindon Holliday – 4.34
    Ted Ginn – 4.31
    Marquise Goodwin – 4.26 (4.17 once too)

    Goodwin is the best WR out of them too…just wait and see if you doubt it, I saw him go up and take a ball away from a CB who is at least 6 inches taller than him. The kid’s a straight up baller, he has legit talent.

  32. vikescry1 says: Mar 27, 2014 5:12 PM

    like he did with hester??

  33. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Mar 27, 2014 5:21 PM

    does the name mike wallace mean anything? no one in the nfl can touch him. period

  34. Spencer says: Mar 27, 2014 5:26 PM

    I’d love to see a 100m meter race between Mike Wallace, Chris Johnson, Desean Jackson, Tedd Ginn, Patrick Peterson, Tavon Austin, Jacoby Ford, Trindon Holliday and the rookie that ran a 4.26 at the Combine, Dri Archer.

  35. vdogg says: Mar 27, 2014 5:47 PM

    What needs to be clarified here is the part where he said he’s going to “coach” the fastest guy….he never did anything in Chicago with Hester, he had the best Special Teams coach in the biz, Dave Toub doing that for him….

  36. alongthegulf says: Mar 27, 2014 5:49 PM

    Jeff Demps has a lot of pure speed. It the past, Jeff has considered himself a running back. I hope Lovie can convince him to play WR. He can make a huge difference if he successfully transitioned to WR. He could develop into the receiver who can stretch any opponents defense. He’s always been able to catch short passes coming out of the backfield. Love to watch him hauling in those long bombs and pulling away from the defenders!

  37. stew48 says: Mar 27, 2014 5:52 PM

    Not a Cowboy fan, but Bob Hayes was an Olympic gold medal winner in the 100 and an All Pro end for D. Yes, I know, that was a long time ago.

  38. noleitup says: Mar 27, 2014 5:57 PM

    Its gonna be fun to see what Tedford can do with this guy. He showed a couple flashes last year before he got hurt. We havent had a quick/fast guy like him since warrick dunn in my mind (galloway was quick but old and would blow a tire every few weeks)

  39. chicagosports2014 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:11 PM

    Lovie like lil fast guys that fly to the ball, so this doesn’t surprise me. Lovie made Bear football exciting to watch again, Tampa got a good one.

    BEAR DOWN

  40. DrSteveBrule says: Mar 27, 2014 6:15 PM

    Lovie and his staff are always big on special teams. He could mold Demps into a Hester type of threat.

  41. swampcannons says: Mar 27, 2014 6:18 PM

    Caught passes in the backfield @ UF pretty frequently if I recall correctly. I sure hope Lovie contacts thestrategyexpert soon so he can win us another SB ring and get inducted into the hof in one fell swoop.

  42. deweyaxewound says: Mar 27, 2014 6:22 PM

    I remember when Lovie was excited about Cedric Benson, too (over Thomas Jones)…and Hester at WR….and Rex was our quarterback…and Tommie Harris has so much talent….and we get off the bus running the ball, etc.

    I shudder whenever I hear this man praising a player, because he may be a lot of good things, but he’s also horribly, horribly STUBBORN.

    Sorry Bucs fans – but that is his glaring and eternal Achilles’ heel as a coach.

    If something is clearly not working – rest assured, Lovie will stick with it no matter what. The man never met an in-game adjustment he refused to consider.

    Prepare for pull-your-own-hair-out frustration, because the problems will be SO obvious to all (but Lovie), and in response to all your emotion, Lovie gives you back all the passion and charisma of a dehydrated fleck of fly poop on a dull gray wall.

    Sorry.

  43. mrright1963 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:24 PM

    wait until he gots his bell rang and goes from the fastest player in the league to the longest coma in the league.

  44. whywerule says: Mar 27, 2014 6:34 PM

    Demps has a great racket going. I am certain that everyone who posts here would love to make seven figures for playing NFL football, let alone pretending we want to play the game like Demps is getting away with.

  45. elmaxoh says: Mar 27, 2014 6:34 PM

    Fastest to get hurt.

  46. shaggyjeff says: Mar 27, 2014 6:35 PM

    Last I checked the field is 100 yards long not forty …Demps is an Olympic athlete who is also a football player….# excited

  47. razzzmajazzz says: Mar 27, 2014 6:36 PM

    You’ll love coaching him until the 3rd preseason game when he decides to run track in outer Mongolia (or wherever he goes this year).

  48. toybkshr says: Mar 27, 2014 6:42 PM

    Good luck with that Lovie – “he ain’t done nuthin yet”

  49. jaydm84 says: Mar 27, 2014 6:44 PM

    Shaggy, the race is 100 in the Olympics, not 40.

  50. billsfan1 says: Mar 27, 2014 7:09 PM

    does the name mike wallace mean anything? no one in the nfl can touch him. period

    the difference nobody has to touch him…odds are 50/50 he drops the ball

  51. chicagosports2014 says: Mar 27, 2014 7:11 PM

    Lovie win games that’s all he do, don’t forget he was coach not GM.

    BEAR DOWN!

  52. fincelticsredsoxfan says: Mar 27, 2014 7:58 PM

    WAIT I THOUGHT SMITH COACHED THE BEARS? AND WASNT DEVIN HESTER ON THAT TEAM? HMMMM SOMETHING DOESNT SEEM RIGHT

  53. broncostevenp says: Mar 27, 2014 8:12 PM

    I wish they still had an NFL skills competition so we could settle this on the track as to who is the fastest.

  54. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 27, 2014 8:22 PM

    Lovie is a descent coach, but when he stands on the sideline watching his game plan fall apart be sure to watch for the “deer into headlights stare.”

    I am extremely happy with my teams new management and coach. Sorry Lovie, but you had your chance, Trestman/Emery have done more improving the Bears in the 1st year than Angelo and you did in almost a decade…

    Good luck Tampa and most of all Josh!!!

  55. scw1993 says: Mar 27, 2014 8:32 PM

    He isn’t the fastest unless he hangs up the track shoes, and starts putting his focus fully on football. Enough of yanking around the teams he’s been on.

  56. truebuffalo says: Mar 27, 2014 9:18 PM

    bygd1 says:Mar 27, 2014 4:32 PM

    Marquis “Flash” Gordon from Bills is right in there also and he can catch the ball

    Its Marquise Goodwin dude, but he is most definitely in the discussion for fastest in the NFL.

  57. skywalker0028 says: Mar 27, 2014 10:39 PM

    Lol you guys know nothing about true speed. A 40 yard dash isn’t an indicator of speed, its a measurement of acceleration. In the 100m dash ( which is the universal distance to determine someone speed) is broken down into 3 parts acelleraton, terminal velocity, and finish. Line all the so called “fast” nfl player with Demps in an accurate speed race and it will not be close. I use to love shattering peoples egos that had “football speed” lol. (Words from an all american sprinter/ football player)

  58. skywalker0028 says: Mar 27, 2014 10:51 PM

    And the guy talkin about marques godwin. He is an Olympian but in the long jump!!! Not even a running event. He is fast tho but won’t beat demps…sorry!

  59. buffalodiehard says: Mar 27, 2014 10:54 PM

    If flash Goodwin played in a bigger market nobody would dare say someone was faster!

  60. kansacity88 says: Mar 28, 2014 1:13 AM

    Oh god, here goes the Hester thing again! Lovie? Stop while you’re ahead!

  61. bearsoxass says: Mar 28, 2014 4:36 AM

    Oh!!! He drops the ball again……he’s too fast!

  62. ppletr says: Mar 28, 2014 6:59 AM

    Someone mentioned Bob Hayes. Don’t forget Homer Jones.

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