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February 16, 2006 @ 6:13 am
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Bucs Sign K Cundiff

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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With the possibility of losing kicker Matt Bryant in free agency this March, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers safeguarded themselves by signing veteran kicker Billy Cundiff, according to ESPN.com. ALSO: The Bucs filled another coaching vacancy by adding Nathaniel Hackett, the son of Tampa Bay QBs coach Paul Hackett, as the team's offensive quality control coach, according to the Tampa Tribune.

To guard against the chance that unrestricted free agent kicker Matt Bryant may not return once free agency begins on March 3, Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Dallas kicker Billy Cundiff, according to ESPN.com.

Cundiff is not considered to be the same caliber of kicker that Bryant is. In his first year with the Bucs, Bryant nailed 84 percent of his field goal attempts. Cundiff made just 62.5 percent (5-of-8) of his field goals in 2005 after missing most of the season with a groin injury, and while he has a strong leg, he struggles with accuracy.

Cundiff, who is entering his fifth season in the NFL, only has a 73.1 percent (60-of-82) career field goal percentage.

Tampa Bay is expected to attempt to re-sign Bryant, but due to his success in 2005, he may field offers from teams with more money to spend on a kicker. Cundiff.

The Buccaneers already have two other kicks on their roster. Tampa Bay signed Xavier Beitia and Mike Shafer this offseason.

ANOTHER HACKETT JOINS THE BUCS' COACHING STAFF
According to the Tampa Tribune, the Buccaneers have filled the offensive quality control coaching position that was vacated when Kyle Shanahan left to coach the Houston Texans' wide receivers in January with Stanford assistant coach Nathaniel Hackett, who is the son of Tampa Bay quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett.

Hackett, 26, coached the Cardinal specialists and also served as Stanford's recruiting coordinator. In December of 2004, Hackett was offered the linebackers coaching job at Western Michigan, but opted to remain at Stanford when new coach Walt Harris promoted him to the position he held in 2005.

Hackett graduated from UC-Davis, where he was a linebacker and long snapper.


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