Roberto Aguayo struggled on Tuesday missing three kicks – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
It hasn’t been the best couple weeks for Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo.
The regular season still remains a few weeks away, but he’s missed more kicks (three) than the Bucs have played games (2).
That’s not good. It’s also not world-ending, but definitely not good.
Things didn’t get much better Tuesday during Tampa Bay’s first of two joint practices with the Cleveland Browns. Aguayo missed his first kick wide left, made four in a row, mishit the next and then pulled his final attempt from about 45-50 yards left.
The practice session was open to season pass holders and fan reactions varied from groans to implored encouragement to sarcastic applause.
There’s only one person who can change the tone of that feedback and the 22-year-old picked up some more public backing from Tampa Bay’s defensive leader. Speaking with the media after practice Tuesday, three-time All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said he can relate to what Aguayo’s going through.
“One thing I’ve done with him is encourage him,” McCoy said. “I mean, he’s a rookie. He was drafted high as a kicker so a lot of expectations come with that, with you being the guy. Well, who better than me to talk to him about being drafted high and expected to be the guy right away, you know what I’m saying? Especially with me struggling the way I did early on and injuries and not living up to expectations – who better to go talk to him? So I encourage him and tell him to just stay the course.
“Just stay the course and it’ll come along.”
All teammates can do is have Aguayo’s back and hope for the best. There’s been a more concerted effort to reinforce that support, McCoy said. Head coach Dirk Koetter allowed yesterday’s practice to end a little early after Aguayo stepped up and hit a kick.
“Coach said we ended practice early, but we only had one period left so I was like, ‘We should’ve ended that a long time ago,’ ” McCoy said jokingly. “It was good for him, though. That was big for him because he got to see what making his kicks can do for his team, how it can energize us when he makes his kicks. I think it was huge for him. And not only that, we let him break it down after practice so that was a big boost for him.”
well, you can’t hardly blame the kid…since he was chosen by Licht (not politicked for the job) he has been vilified…he’s a rookie…let him alone…these are meaningless exhibition games…that’s all, nothing more nothing less….there are far more serious issues the Bucs have to fix…this is minor…he will kick maybe 2 or 3 extra points a game and perhaps have 2 chances for a field goal…why some of you act like sharks with blood in the water is beyond me…you attack each other as if you have to prove your manhood and now attack a kid just getting used to the pro game…If it so moves you send a letter to Licht, and dont use this board to vent, tell him in a registered letter…those screaming the loudest will also scream they are the best fans ever…best fans ever don’t try to destroy a kid
True richbucsfan, I try and look at it this way… Last year I thought the kid really outkicked Barth in practice and the pre-season, I was very glad the Bucs gave him the nod and thought our kicking game was in good hands. WOW, was I wrong! Last year, the kickers were very good in the pre-season, then sucked in the regular season. I’m hoping that Aguayo will suck in the pre-season and then turn it around and kick great in the regular season.
He will be fine. Chill, have a beer and R-E-L-A-X.
I mostly agree with you guys. However, richbucsfan ,let me point out that two field goals and two or three extra points amounts to 9 points and we lost most of our games by less than seven points.
I’m an FSU alum and I was shocked when we traded up to get him. I personally wouldn’t select a kicker or punter before Round 3. The main reason is that they’re single player roster spots, so you can’t wait for them to develop if they struggle. You either have to cut them or try to justify putting them on IR and have them try again next season. I see the Bucs logic in taking him, but taking him was a gamble. Of course taking Marpet in Round 2 last year was a gamble considering he played at Division III Hobart as LT and we moved him to RG. It’s still too early to tell with Aguayo, but they’ll have a huge decision to make if he continues to struggle. 1. Cut him and they’ll never hear the end of it. 2. Keep him and hope he works it out before he costs us some wins. 3. Try to stash him on IR. I hope this is a fluke and he gets his groove back!
I always liked Connor Barth. If he doesn’t hurt himself right before the season a few years ago, I think he is still kicking here today. Having said that, I was really hopeful the Bucs would land Aguayo in the draft. I thought his accuracy and unshakable confidence were as rare as I had seen. I reasoned that if he was on the sideline with Winston, the rapport and winners mentality would be massive building blocks for years to come. So two preseason games in, I still think it’s possible, even if Aguayo seems to be shaken and in need of “mental” relief.
May I remind some of you we gave up a 3rd & a 4th rd pick to insure we got him. Some of you need to chill out. He’s not a bust. It’s not like he has missed everyone; he is learning in adjusting to a fatter ball; give it some time. He’s a rookie.
In reality it was our original 3rd round pick.
Exactly Horse. Different ball, different holders, different hash marks. Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to quit obsessing about this and worrying about it. Let the kid work his problems out.
He is going through a slump which is something he has never experienced before. If he is as good as he was in college, he will work himself out of it and be fine.
If not, we just go get another kicker.
Won’t be the first time we blew a No. 2 pick on a player. Arrelious Benn or Daquan Bowers anyone. Both of these guys were busts and I didn’t hear have the whining and hand wronging about them as I do about Arroyo.
Does it make it worse if it’s a kicker might turn into a bust rather than a DE. It’s still the same numerical pick.
Good points my friend. That list of failed 2nd rounders is much longer than the two you cited. The kid was a great kicker in college. I believe he’ll work this out if everyone just leaves him alone. We often learn more from the times we fail. He makes 10 field goals in a row and everyone is thrilled. Then he misses one and has that look of despair, tells the coach, “I don’t know, this never happened before.” Coach smiles and says, “that’s OK Honey” and sends him to the trainer who diagnoses him with “Directile Disfunction” which is an inability to aim the kick into the targeted area. Gives him a little pewter pill. Problem solved. Caution, if you have a compulsion to kick longer than 4 hours see the trainer.
Full disclosure, I was a big Murray fan-
Yes, not a time to worry yet as it is still preseason, but a repeat of Houston from last year during the regular season and changes will need to be made. Let’s hope he can get back into the groove v. CLE-
Identifying Roberto Aguayo’s Preseason Struggles Podcast
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