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The Buccaneers’ special teams coach did surprisingly well

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Nate Kaczor as their special teams coach last year, I wasn’t exactly optimistic. In fact, I thought it was a downright terrible hire — because hey, his record was absolutely terrible:

Kaczor was the Tennessee Titans' special teams coordinator the past three years, and didn't have a lot of success there. Football Outsiders had the Titans' special teams ranking 26th, 20th and 28th in those seasons. I hope he's learned from his mistakes there, because that's not exactly promising

One year later, it looks like he’s mostly proven me wrong. I say mostly, because the Bucs ranked just 21st in Football Outsiders’ special teams performance this season. However, that ranking is heavily weighed down by the worst field goal performance in the league, which can’t really be attributed to Kaczor’s coaching, I think. Roberto Aguayo struggled all on his own.

The Bucs excelled on kickoffs and punts, thanks in part to Aguayo’s and Bryan Anger’s outstanding performance there — and in part to quality coverage teams, which are mostly attributable to Kaczor. A little more worrying is once again a poor performance on both return units — who can forget Josh Huff, who averaged 12 yards per kickoff return and muffed one out of bounds at the one-yard line, for instance?

So, hey, it’s time for the Bucs to get an actual competent return man. Something we’ve been saying ever since Clifton Smith retired. How hard can it be?

At least the team’s special teams coach seems to be competent, though.