Lou Groza Award winning kicker Matt Gay didn’t expect to get picked in the fifth round, but  the Bucs came calling and took the Utah place-kicker with the 145th overall pick.

Gay told the media where he expected to be picked, and what his emotions were once he found out the Bucs were selecting him. He goes on to explain what gave him so much success from long range kicks while at school.

Here’s the transcript from his conference call with the Tampa Bay media:

On what his expectations were in the draft and what it was like when he got the call
“Honestly, what I was hearing, what I felt was maybe sixth or seventh round, maybe even undrafted. When I got the call I looked at the board with the Tampa number and I looked at the board and I saw they were took picks away, I was like ‘No way, not right now.’ I was kind of shocked and overcome with emotion. It was amazing, honestly.”

On if he dealt with the Bucs during the draft process, if he spoke with any of their coaches
“I hadn’t talked to any of the head coaches or anything like that. The special teams assistant had reached out to me a few times and was kind of pretty vanilla about the situation saying ‘Hey, we like you, and hopefully there’s a good opportunity here.’ That’s kind of the extent and kind of checked up on me, but it didn’t seem like there was extreme interest or communication between me and the Buccaneers.”

On how nice it is that the Bucs having a kicking specialist kick, knowing he’ll be working with someone exclusively that’s been a kicker in this league
“That’s an amazing situation to have for me especially. I’ve haven’t really worked with a coach ever, so, to have that there, to have someone who knows how it is and can kind of be on the same page with how you’re thinking is amazing. Someone who’s going to adapt little things to help my game but also keep my same kicking style is going to be something that really pays off and be special.”

On what he attributes to having such great success from 50+ yards
“I think just being comfortable with my leg strength. Being able to not have to stretch or put any extra into those long field goals, I feel comfortable with my leg swings from those distances, so it’s almost like a normal leg swing, it’s not like I have to put any extra power behind it. It’s a comfortable swing and I think that helps go along the lines in what helps is there’s no change in my technique or approach, it’s just the same as any other kick. I hit them in practice situations so I just kind of feel confident and comfortable with those long ones.”

On how often has he had to make kicks in pressure situations and how comfortable has he been in them when it’s to tie or win the game late
“I’ve never had any last second game winners, but down the stretch with a few minutes left to tie the game or put us ahead, I’ve had quite a few. I feel like I handle pressure pretty well and I remain calm, I’m able to stay stable in those moments and be able to hit those, to give my team a chance. I know my team trusts me and that helps my confidence to go out there because they have all the faith in me, so, I’m just kind of confident in those moments and again I just feel comfortable in those pressure situations.”

On if he does kickoffs and would compete for it
“Definitely, that’s something I definitely want to compete for. I’ve been working on them this last season and then all in this pre draft process from January on, I’ve improved in those and there’s definitely more improvement to be done.”

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25 COMMENTS

  1. He was kind of shocked.. That we waited till the 5th round to draft him..

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  2. So was I, thank goodness that I just found out this wedding has an open bar!

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  3. Light is a f%!$&!g moron.

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  4. Are you f****** serious? This guy, smh….what the hell is Licht thinking

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  5. I’ve been shocked since day two, now I’m comatose.

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  6. Not as surprised as we were son! GM is an idiot! Had to know all the grief he would catch for making this pick…yet did it anyway! Even kid said he thought he might be an undrated FA! This pick defies reason!

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  7. I was shocked. I picked him to go to us in round 2. Seriously, I have been watching or listening to the draft since the days of yore (mid 70’s). I have always given the organization the benefit of the doubt. The only exception was when they pick a kicker in round 2 a few short years ago. I went [email protected]#$ing ballistic! I knew it could never happen again. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Light should be fired and given 5 minutes to clear his office. Have HR take the key so he can never get back in the building again. I don’t care if this kid breaks all of Adam Veneterre’s records and is a first ballet hall of famer. This was terrible.

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  8. So I’ve since learned that Matt Gay had 3 kicks blocked last year and has been open about his struggles with clinical depression.

    I’m not sure I like kickers with mental illness being drafted ahead of their own expectations which create undue pressure (see Aguayo, Roberto).

    Having seen Aguayo get blocked in college I’m really not sure I like having someone with 3 blocked kicks in the previous season being taken near the top of the 5th round.

    Wish him all the best. It’s Licht that deserves all the blame if he doesn’t merit the pick.

    sltrib.com/sports/utah-utes/2017/12/14/monson-utahs-matt-gay-has-conquered-more-than-football-hes-won-at-life/

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    • “I’m not sure I like kickers with mental illness being drafted ahead of their own expectations which create undue pressure (see Aguayo, Roberto). ”

      LMAO!

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  9. The next Arians / Licht news conference should be a doozy!

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  10. Not drafting any OL is sickening. It’s like an FU to the QB and RBs.

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  11. Keep in mind the Gerald McCoy saga is still out there. And we had the worst cap going into the draft. The money will be needed to sign these new guys. Who Knew?

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  12. I honestly think this is the worst draft I can remember. I count one maybe two starters, the kicker being the second.

    After suffering through the Winston years I was really hoping to see my team actually get better but when you look at what we lost versus what we gained, it’s quite obvious we are a less talented team especially when we get rid of McCoy.

    I look forward to drafting a new quarterback next season since we will be picking #1 overall. That’s about the only positive I can think of after this disastrous offseason. #2-14

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  13. Even without the kicker being drafted, they’re going to finish near the bottom, one way or another.

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  14. Some questionable selections, for sure. But, Arians had stated his biggest concerns going into the season were overall team speed, the secondary and special teams. Tony Pollard should’ve been the pick over Anthony Nelson, speaking of special teams. I understand team brass likes the stable of backs we have, but dude is a game changing return man who can rotate out of the back-field and can catch. Oh well, it’s done and over. Here’s to next season. Go Bucs

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  15. Scott is probably pissed that the Bucs didn’t draft Dalton Risner, his homer from K State. One thing I know is the Bucs brain trust knows a hell of a lot more about football than anyone on Pewter report does. The Bucs were 27th in the league against the pass last year, I think they drafted all the DBs to make sure everyone in the secondary works their butt off. I think the kid Edwards of Kentucky brings the physical presence that guys like Cotney and Lynch brought. Maybe receivers will again dread catching over the middle on the Bucs defense.

    The offense may need a little O-line help. Maybe they can trade for it with McCoy. They might even get lucky with a free agent O-lineman or two. I don’t know, but apparently the Bucs like the progress Cappa is making. The Bucs could score last year, they just couldn’t stop anyone on defense.

    We’ll see.

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  16. Hey man, I was just as shocked as you that you got picked. Best of luck to you but man.

    I’ve been defending Licht until basically Friday. I don’t expect results, I DEMAND them now or he’s gone.

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  17. With the division being what it is and they having more holes to fill than they are letting on; Mr. Arians may be in for a shock. In the last two divisions where he made his name at Arizona and Indy, those divisions were not as tough as this one. Further, Arians took on a team, the BUCs, in arguably the toughest division in the entire NFL, the NFC South, and he took the worst team in the NFC South, the BUCs. If the man can pull off an 8-8 or 8-7-1, I will be greatly impressed.

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  18. Koetter is probably happy. He is not head coach material, but he is OC and QB coach material. He is coaching one of his old QBs (that actually listens, unlike Winston). He is doing OC duty again. Every time he sees Tampa across the field he will probably be having a big shit eating grin on his face. Especially when looking at Winston freaking out or Licht over there with a constipated, “Oh no I am really going to get fired this time look on his face.”

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  19. White is a good fit. Two CBs in a draft means somebody is going to traded or released. No back up Rb or T or G? No Charles Sims like backup Rb who can be a part time receiver. Who is gone due to cover the cost of the recruits’ salary?

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  20. As the song goes, “Don we now our Gay apparel”.

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  21. So were we mate

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  22. I said long ago. Benedict Arnold (Licht) should have been fired. I’ve not changed my mind. Well, at least his fascination with kickers did not let him choose a kicker in the 2nd rd again. He probably wanted to though.

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  23. They don’t call him meathead for nothing. Oh well look at the bright side we could have Dave Gettleman.

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  24. Another kicker and a punter went in 5th round I guess those teams no nothing either.

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