Hidden key reason for Buccaneers 6-5 success? Special teams

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire


Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter began lobbying for one of his players to make the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but you might be surprised when you find out who it is.

While he probably feels the same about a few more obvious candidates, Koetter is convinced that special team’s gunner Josh Robinson is worthy of such notoriety as well.

“If that guy doesn’t get voted into the Pro Bowl as a gunner something’s wrong,’’ Koetter said in the wake of the Bucs 14-5 victory over the Seahawks on Sunday. “That kid is just playing his tail off.’’

Robinson leads the Bucs with nine special teams tackles, including one he recorded (above) early in the fourth quarter Sunday while stopping Seahawks punt returner Tyler Lockett for no gain at his own 7-yard line.

“They tried to sneak those corners in on us late (and) we didn’t have time to adjust our protection, but (Keith Tandy) held it and then what a boot (56 yards by punter Bryan Anger),’’ Koetter said.

“We were very nervous about Lockett all week, but Nate Kaczor, our special teams coach did an awesome job adjusting our scheme to make sure we wrapped him up. Our punt return team has been solid all year.’’

The Bucs came out of their latest victory limiting opposing punt returners to just 5.5 yards per return on the year, tied with New England for fifth best in the NFL.

Anger’s work is one reason for that, obviously, but the coverage units have been outstanding, allowing just 20 punt returns (10th fewest in the league) and just 110 return yards overall (fifth fewest).

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