Jeff Demps: Buccaneer Secret Weapon

NFL NEWS: Jeff Demps

If EA Sports Madden NFL awarding of Jeff Demps with their highest speed rating is any indication, Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams could be fun to watch.

The third-year man, whose potential has been stunted by a commitment to track and field and injury, has been handling returning duties and was honing in on his receiving skills.

The sky’s the limit on Demps’ versatility if he’s now a more effective receiver. Coordinator Kevin O’Dea might have found his latest special teams star.

To put that into perspective lets put a couple of names of players he’s coached in his NFL career, Dexter McCluster and Devin Hester. O’Dea coached the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs special teams unit to a league-leading four returns for touchdowns (two kick and two punt). McCluster was responsible for the two punt returns for touchdowns. O’Dea helped mold Hester into the most dominant returner in NFL history during his two stints with the Chicago Bears as assistant special teams coach (2006-07, 2011-12).

While Demps may never reach the combined 18 return TDs or the near 9,000 return yards Hester amassed in his career, his threat from the backfield or as a wideout should at least help stretch the field. So you can think of Demps either as dangerous as Hester or Reggie Bush, especially given the nature of a Jeff Tedford offense of mixing formations.

Projection versus execution is another thing as well. Of what little he’s contributed during his two years you could attribute to misuse and injury, but in this case he’s done almost nothing in the league. He’s held on to the ball eight times for just over 100 yards in his two years to show for it.

The value at the fantasy level especially in deeper leagues you may find a good dark horse flex or possibly a bye week pickup. His potential may finally be realized in 2014.