TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – When a Super Bowl champion team returns 61 players, including 22 starters, you really have to fight to find a spot on the 53-man roster– or even practice squad. For those players further down the depth chart, that often comes on special teams. One player in particular in this position is Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
The second year running back out of Vanderbilt had a noteable performance in the first preseason game, leading the rush attack with 27 yards on 11 carries and their only offensive touchdown. On top of that, he showed major bursts of speed in the return game.
With a crowded running backs room, where the depth chart is set with Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and Gio Bernard, Vaughn has his eyes on carving-out a special teams role this year to suit-up on Sundays.
“I would say attention to detail is a big thing that has stuck out to me,” Vaughn said. “The small details of just taking it from the class to the grass – that’s the biggest thing for me. And then, like always, just take whatever role is given to me. That this year will be special teams, and I am ready for it.”
Although it’s something he hasn’t done in quite some time.
“I didn’t really play special teams at Vanderbilt,” Vaughn said. “I didn’t really play special teams in high school or college, so all of this is kind of new for me. I’m willing to accept whatever challenge is ahead of me and that’s kind of how I’ve always been.”
“A couple of guys like Ke’Shawn on special teams really showed up,” Arians said Sunday after their game against the Bengals. “Looking at the stuff we record speed with, he hit 21 miles-per-hour covering that kick, which he has never hit that kind of speed. He might have more juice in the tank than that. That showed he beat their starting vice. For his first time, that was good.”
Now entering his second year in the league and with the Bucs, Vaughn feels much further ahead than his rookie season.
“I’m way more comfortable than last year just understanding concepts– what the quarterback wants from us and where I need to be on the field,” Vaughn said. “That’s like going back to the first question – small details stick out. That is something I have picked up on within my first year and now going into year two, I’m a lot more comfortable with what I am doing out there, so I am able to just play more than just think.”
Now it’s a matter on continued demonstrated ability on the field– putting together three solid preseason games on top of work at training camp to solidify his spot on the roster.