Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
The Buccaneers do not have a rich history of great kick or punt returners. Now is as good a time as any to start a new chapter for their special teams.
Last year's kick and punt return numbers were not bad. The Bucs averaged 23.9 and 11.2 yards on kick and punt returns, respectively, both numbers ranking in the top half of the league. However, they failed to score on special teams last year.
Returner Eric Page possesses impressive speed, but he made some questionable choices on some of his returns which often resulted in bad field position for the offense.
Much of the Bucs' offseason was spent adding speedier players, some of which could replace Page returning kicks this year.
A prime candidate to bring some luster to the Bucs' special teams is Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps. His world-class speed could make him a lethal option, but he struggles to stay healthy and has yet to make an impact of any kind on the field.
The Bucs also have a pair of rookies in Robert Herron and Solomon Patton who possess rare quickness that could prove useful avoiding opposing gunners. Neither is an ideal candidate right now as they ought to focus on surviving their first NFL training camp and learning the offensive playbook.
Page remains a viable option, especially with a year's experience under his belt. The biggest drawback for him is the lack of impact he has as a wide receiver. The Bucs may not want to spend a roster spot on a guy who only specializes in returning kicks.
This is another battle that will unfold through training camp and into the preseason. The Bucs are likely to test a variety of options before settling on a returner who they believe will improve their special teams from last season.