It’s no secret that the Bucs second round kicker has struggled this season. It’s also no secret that there’s been plenty of criticism for bringing him in where they did in the first place.
After starting the year off just 4-for-8, Aguayo went 17-for-20 including knocking in all 12 of his kicks in the previous three games going into Week 17’s season finale against the Panthers. In that game, however, Aguayo was once again unreliable from beyond 40 yards. He connected on a 33-yard field goal early on, but later in the game missed from 46 yards and had a 48-yard field goal blocked in the fourth quarter which would have taken the lead.
Bucs K Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The topic of Aguayo’s success – more importantly, his worth – has been something highly debated between Buccaneer fans. He left Florida State having connected on 96.73 percent of his kicks, which is the best conversion rate of any kicker in college football history. He didn’t miss a kick inside the 40-line and was also perfect on extra points, not missing a single attempt in his collegiate career.
That’s the guy Jason Licht thought he was drafting, a cold-blooded killer with his feet who could knock it in from almost anywhere at any time. But, so far, that’s not what they have.
In his season-exiting press conference on Monday, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was finally honest with where his shaky second round kicker stands going into the offseason.
“As far as the investment in Roberto and where we picked him, we were all on board with that. That’s not going to change. We’re never going to bring that back. That happened and Roberto was our kicker, and like any other player, if he has that Buc jersey on and he’s out there then I’m 100 percent in,” Koetter began.
“With that said, our field goal percentage of this year is not good enough. Now that’s not the only stat that’s good enough, but that wasn’t good enough. Jason and I have already talked, and I think it’s all ready proven, that we have no problem moving on from a draft choice and playing somebody who wasn’t drafted. Nothing is a given and if they’re not the best player, then I can be pretty certain in saying they wont be out there.”
Koetter was very honest with both himself and the state of the team in his final press conference – as he should be; the best coaches are. And Koetter isn’t saying this is the end of Roberto Aguayo in Tampa Bay quite yet, but if Licht and Koetter are true to what they say, and will make the decisions and moves necessary when they see them, the allotted time for Aguayo to shape up might not be much longer.