Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
It’s never a comfortable feeling when your boss hires your potential replacement.
Sometimes it causes anxiety. Even perhaps bitterness.
But Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo says he feels neither of those things, and thinks the competition with recent free agent acquisition Nick Folk can make him a better player.
Bucs K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Behind the backdrop of over 200 area youths who were attending Jameis Winston’s Pro Camp on Saturday, Aguayo took a breather and talked about the situation with PewterReport.com.
“It is motivation, Aguayo said. ” When I was in college there would be walk-on kids come in and I didn’t know who they were or if they were good or whatever. But whoever they were, it was always a competition for me. Just seeing someone else out there trying to compete. I like it.”
“I look at it like playing golf. When you go out there playing by yourself you are playing to shoot par or shoot your best, but when you have someone else out there it’s like, ‘Well he hit a good shot so I want to hit a good shot.’ So it is good motivation for both of us and it is just going to make both of us better. And the better one will come out on top.”
Aguayo’s struggles began in the preseason, missing his first extra point attempt in the NFL against the Eagles, but he finished the season 32-of-34 on point after attempts. On field goals he converted just 71 percent, last in the NFL. He did have a nice stretch after the bye week where he converted 17 of 20 field goal attempts (85 percent), before going 1-of-3 in the season finale against the Panthers.
The Buccaneers didn’t blindside Aguayo when they signed Folk, instead they gave him a heads up, which the former FSU star liked.
“They (Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter) called me and let me know,, and I told them I appreciated it,” Aguayo said. “That business was business and they were going to bring him in. I didn’t know who it was going to be. But I knew they were going to bring someone in. It was just a matter of who it was. But it doesn’t matter. I am ready to go out and compete and I know he is too. Nick is a good dude. He has been in the league for a long time.”
Roberto Aguayo at Winston’s Pro Camp – Photo: Mark Cook/PR
The former Groza Award winner reiterated how he thinks having Folk in camp will benefit him.
“I think just seeing another kicker… You know last year there wasn’t another kicker there so you don’t get to see (how they prepare and practice). Other positions have other players like quarterbacks, so you can see what he did right or didn’t do right. So you can learn little things from watching other people.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
While I’ve never been a fan of the pick position for Aguayo, I DO hope he can win the job and can become a successful kicker for us. Still whether he wins or not, I hope this enforces the idea that picking a kicker early and expecting success is wishful thinking.
It’s good that Aguayo likes competition, because that’s what he earned with his poor performance last season.
But here’s a clue, Roberto – Nick Folk isn’t here to make you better … he’s here to take your job. This is one of those “zero sum games” that life sometimes throws at you. NFL teams generally keep only one full time kicker on the active roster, with someone else on the roster who’s at least marginally capable of kicking but who mainly does another job full time.
Aguayo is younger, has a strong leg and is a heck of an athlete. Folk just makes his kicks. I was hoping Roberto would be this teams Martin Gramatica. He still has that opportunity, but Licht has made it clear the Bucs aren’t waiting for him to sort out his issues. Gonna be an interesting training camp.
Gramatica became a head case at the end as well. He was never the same after missing that extra point that would have beaten Carolina at the end of regulation that the BUCS eventually went on to lose.
Week 2 2003. Remember it well 🙁
I think the kid will be the beast of old…just needs to get out of his own head! The threat of being cut just might do it…its why most people work harder than others…the fear losing your job!
Man, come on Roberto! Let’s step up and win this job.
Disappointed in what he said. I would have preferred to have heard how he went about in the off season improvIng his kicking strength and technique. Last season I was disappointed in his kicking strength as I had seen a drop off his last season at FSU. He’s either in denial he needs to improve, or doesn’t know how to deal with it. Just my opinion.
Horse I don’t think it was his strength it was lack of confidence IMO. I play golf. When you aren’t hitting all good and confidence is low you take something off your shots and try to steer it or baby it at times. At least I do. Lol. It’s in his head bad. I think Folk takes his job.
A coworker of mine who kicked in college seems to think the struggle is mental too. He said the narrower hash mark in the NFL makes for less adjustment and therefore easier kicks. No reason it should be strength or technique. Tampa should have brought in competition last year, even a cupcake, in order to increase confidence. Better than just handing him the job and trusting that a young rookie has it all sorted out.
I think to win the job he will have to CLEARLY beat out Folk. If it’s close, my guess they go with the vet. But in talking to Roberto a for the story and a few other things this weekend. He doesn’t seem like a basket case or anything. He’s got a little cockiness to him. And I like that in a kicker. Or any player for that matter. My favorite was Pat Murray a couple years ago telling me he wouldn’t miss kick all year and he will hit from 70 yards. I laughed. He gave me the straight face. Crickets…
I agree on the word CLEARLY.
Folk was #9 in FG accuracy (Aguayo #35).
Folk was 50% over 50+ yds (Aguayo ZERO).
One hope for Aguayo he was 94% on XPT vs 92% for Folk.
Dirk probably had to keep Aguayo last year. I can’t see him having to do it this year.
Interesting that you got the impression that the job is basically Folk’s to lose. That’s surprising to me. I would have thought that if the battle is close, the team would go with the younger player in whom they have a lot more invested. It’s surprising to me that it might be the opposite.
Club pros shoot par while the guys on the tour shoot birdies and finish 5 under (Guess who’s who?). Aguayo was statistically at the bottom of the league. Hope he puts his experience beating college walk-on’s to good use…he’ll need it. Wish we could keep him around for kickoffs but that’s too expensive a luxury. Worst to first? Gotta see it.
Hope he improves and wins the job as I hate to see a second round pick go completely to waste.
But Aguayo did say one thing that was interesting.
He stated he had no competition last year which means unlike other players on the team, he didn’t have a seasoned pro to go to like many of the rookies do to seek out advice or watch and observe to see how they practice and prepare for games.
I’m not big on providing overpriced older “mentors: but in Aguayo’s case it might have helped his preparation to see how a seasoned kicker prepares for practice and a game during the preseason.
JL. Drafted Roberto way to HIGH good kickers are drafted in 4th rd
Mark, I agree if it’s close they aren’t going with Aguayo he has been too inconsistent and they have a real chance to make the playoffs his year if they stay healthy. Too many games decided by 3 or fewer points. First time I’ve felt like 10-12 wins is possible in a long time. Go Bucs!
good to know he isn’t discouraged by this, but i’m still not sure he’s grasping the gravity of his situation. this is different than squaring off against some walk-on in the spring, with the resume he has put together in the NFL this is do or die for his career. If he loses this competition, if we ever hear his name again in NFL circles it will be a situation where he is on the other side of that “I didn’t know who they were or if they were good or whatever” quote. I’m rooting for great success for the kid, but his stats from distance were worrisome in college also.
As trite as they are, this is definitely the player i’d love to read that “player X has transformed his body and changed all of his eating and exercise habits” story about…i think he needs more than a little mental tune up and competition to be the kind of kicker you need to physically be for the NFL, there are physical improvements needed
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