The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get a glimpse at some speed Friday night when the Tennessee Titans come to town for the second preseason game and running back Chris Johnson will hopefully make a brief appearance.
Johnson is one of my favorites because he is, after all, an East Carolina guy. I loved him coming into the draft, and that was before he ran 4.24 at the 2008 combine, the fastest time ever that the "underwear Olympics" for NFL hopefuls. Johnson still thinks he might beat Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, in the 40, at least.
Speed is always fascinating when it comes to football. The faster, the better.
Every NFL team would love to have the next "Bullet Bob Hayes." Hayes, the great sprinter out of Florida A&M who won two Olympic gold medals in the 1964 games (yes, I remember), became a star wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys. From that day on, everyone has looked for the next Hayes.
There were guys like Willie Gault and Renaldo Nehemiah who didn't do anything in the league. Sprinter Darrell Green went to the defensive side of the football and was an outstanding corner for the Washington Redskins—played forever, seems like.
Which brings us to former Florida Gator Jeff Demps.
According to The Pewter Report, your favorite GM, Mark Dominik, has had more than a passing fancy for Demps and his speed, probably whispering in Greg Schiano's ear, something to the effect of: Can't you just see him taking it to the house on a kickoff return? Come on into my office, Greg, got some Gator highlights on the desktop.
Would it make sense to bring Demps in this late in camp? Hey, it's the speed, the need for speed. Add him to Michael Smith and you've got a deadly duo. Speed kills, as Jimmy Johnson used to say when he coached the Miami Hurricanes.
Demps might make a nifty return guy and a slot receiver. Get him in the flat, and Katy bar the doors.
Serious deal or passing fancy?
Only Dominik knows for sure, and he's not talking.
In the meantime, the other 31 teams that could sign Demps haven't made a move yet.
He's available. For now.
Jeff Demps update: At his Wednesday press conference, Greg Schiano commented on the team's interest in Demps. "We'll see how that goes. Hopefully, if its meant to be it will work out."