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.