Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Why the Team Should Sign Jeff Demps

Kyle CaseyCorrespondent IIIAugust 15, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 03:  Jeff Demps #28 of the University Florida Gators runs for yardage during a game against the Florida Atlantic University Owls at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Fresh off a silver medal performance in the 2012 London Olympics, former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps has shifted his focus towards a career in the NFL.

Demps, who was on the 4x100 USA track and field relay team, has been linked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If head coach Greg Schiano is looking to sign a player who can help his team in many ways, Demps is the guy. 

With a backfield currently headlined by Legarrette Blount and rookie Doug Martin, the team could use a speed back. Demps, of course, is known for his speed. Adding an Olympic track star would help open up the offense for the Buccaneers.

In certain offensive sets, Demps could be used as either a running back or as a slot receiver. Demps would thrive out of the backfield if he were to be utilized in shotgun situations where he'd run mainly screen routes. On other plays, he could be used as a receiver to run either reverses or to run short slant routes.

At Florida, Demps thrived as both a running back and a receiver out of the backfield. In 2011, Demps ran for 569 yards and six touchdowns on just 98 attempts. He also added 16 catches for 172 yards receiving. The 172 yards doesn't seem like much, but Demps' yards per reception was 10.8, which is quite high for a running back.

If the Buccaneers were to sign Demps, he'd only touch the field a handful of times when the team is on offense. Blount and Martin will get the majority of the snaps at running back, leaving Demps with only a few opportunities to participate in the offense.

If Demps doesn't get many snaps as a running back or receiver, the 5'8" playmaker could be used as a return man. During his career at Florida, Demps returned 20 kickoffs for a total of 565 yards and a touchdown. The 565 yards averages out to 28.25 yards per return, which is well above average.

If the Bucs decide to sign Demps, the possibilities for him are endless. While he may only get on the field 10 times per game, he can make a noticeable impact on the team's offense and special teams. He is a traditional "offensive weapon" who can help the team in several ways.