Kicker Roberto Aguayo – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
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.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Love coaches honesty so much. Its just damn refreshing. At the very least this lights a fire under Roberto and Koetter also said he will be bringing in competition next year. Good for him.
Good move bringing in competition at kicker I hope Roberto GETS the message!!
This is the first team since the Patriots of 2010 to have no made field goals 45 yds or longer.
Koetter “was finally honest”. Wow. . What was he dishonest about ? How do you know he’s being honest now? You know Koetter well? Interesting claims..
Competition is always good. One good thing is Aguayo is still under a rookie contract, so bringing in competition will not be as costly.
Unless he kicks his a$$ of in preseason, he should go. I’ve seen enough. Investing TWO high draft picks in this guy was the bone-head move of 2016!
I supported the trade up to get him, but I was reminded by my son that the three years he was at FSU he dropped about 5% every year and now that he is an NFL kicker; he dropped another 10%. I don’t think he can take the pressure. Koetter might bring him back to compete unless he signs a known commodity; it’s what i would do. Any thoughts out there?
I like the idea to bring in some competition for him. He played a lot better down the stretch and I think an offseason and some competition will do wonders for Aguayo.
I’m tired of debating this issue with Aguyao. I was totally against this draft pick. Drafting him alone negates the good first two picks with Hargraves and Spence. You don’t draft a kicker or punter in the first 4 rounds. They traded two position players for this clown. They could have had Michael Thomas from the Saints as a WR this year. The top ten most kickers of all time were undrafted. Kickers are a dime a dozen. What was wrong with Barth or Bryant? Bryant is going to the Pro Bowl. You cannot trust this guy over 40 yards and you can barely trust him under 40 yards. This GM even traded for Brindza, he was a 50% kicker at ND so why would you think he would do better in the pros. People keep bringing up Janiskowski. Look it up, he is like #40 most accurate kicker of all time. Is that worthy of a 1st round pick?
Uhhh, no, drafting Aguayo does NOT negate the picks of Hargreaves and Spence. One pick has zero relationship to any other pick – every pick stands on its own.
With half of all first round picks busting in the league on average, Jason Licht is doing extremely well with his picks, as well as his other acquisitions that did not involve a draft pick at all – specifically Cameron Brate as a UDFA.
Yes it does. It is like exercising and then going home and eating ice cream. Licht wasted a third and 4th round picks for a KICKER. Why? Our roster is so deep that we can afford trading to high draft picks for a kicker.
Let’s be honest – given the myriad needs on our roster at the time of his drafting there is almost no way Roberto could do enough on the field to justify the pick. That’s not his fault and doesn’t mean he can’t be a B/B+ talent in the league for 10+ years. Just that he was misdrafted by a team that couldn’t afford to piss away the picks.
A colossal, damning gaffe by Licht. The kind of thing that if repeated earns him, and Roberto, a Fast Pass outta here. Shameful. One more whiff like that and Licht should be gone.
So the next miss in the draft and Jason Licht should be gone…… OMG. Look at the overall draft record so far before making such a stupid statement. PLEASE! It makes Tim Brown look good and I’m no fan of his and his time here. Damn.
Stop being ridiculous. Jason Licht has one of the best records of draft picking in the league in his three years here. The team is improving, in case you didn’t notice the fact that we had our first winning season since 2010, with a quality core of players drafted on both offense and defense, starting from a ridiculously empty cupboard when Licht arrived on our doorstep, with Lovie Smith dragging him down.
I’m not saying that he has not make good draft picks. His FA signings is a totally different story. I’m just saying there is no justification for trading two relatively high draft picks for a kicker when we still have many other needs. What Licht is telling us is that two positional players = Aguayo.
Could have had Yannick Ngakoue from Jacksonville, he would have been great in pewter and red. So frustrating that not only did we draft a kicker in the 2nd round but he struggled throughout the season. He better turn into a top 5 kicker or at least not last in FG%, ugh. Go Bucs!
“As far as the investment in Roberto and where we picked him, we were all on board with that.”
I have identified the problem. You DONT – CANT waste 2 mraningful draft picks on a kicker
Can’t we all stop bemoaning the pick? What’s done is done. Pointless to keep debating the woulda, coulda, shoulda options. We have had a lot more failed high Draft picks than Roberto Aguayo over the past 40 years. Brett Moritz comes to mind.
What I find refreshing is the willingness to move on from # 19 if his woes continue next off-season. It sends a message to the team that one’s Draft position or salary are a non-factor in making the team. Much better for us if Roberto succeeds.
Competition at every spot on the roster is always good. No reason to assume anybody is totally locked in, unless mediocrity is satisfactory.
As for the CAR game, the blocked kick was not on Aguayo. We had a backup longsnapper and the special teams line of blockers looked overwhelmed. The miss from 46 yards was on Aguayo, of course.
It was a terrible pick from the moment we handed in the card. As many have already stated we had far more pressing needs and kicker was not worth that trade. He couldn’t live up to his draft slot which damned him from the start but his performance makes it seem like he should have gone undrafted. Either way cut bait with his terrible pick unless he starts kicking FGs that are beyong 40 yards with any sort of consistency. Bring in Gould this offseason and make the kid earn the job from a veteran!
Wow, I had no idea he was last in the NFL. That solves the issue; he has to go.
Aguayo positives: Still under rookie contract. Improved during the season. Negatives: Still a mental case to me. I wish he would keep the voodoo he is doing to improve, to himself. Kickers need to be strong mentally and appear strong (even if they hired a witch doctor).
He will never live up to his draft status. Even if he becomes Morton Anderson. This isn’t his fault at all. Everyone knows JL hosed up the pick. Dead horse: beaten.
I understand that Roberto had his struggles, but some of you are failing to point out that there were a few games this year that we don’t win without him. I can see all of you in 3-5 yrs calling out the bucs for giving up on Roberto to soon. I guess its easy for you all to bash him now, but what will you say when he t runs out to be the kicker licht knows he can be but on a team like green bay, Pittsburgh, or someone like that? What will you say when we are playing against him in the NFC championship game and he hits the game winning field goal? I get that Roberto frustrated many of us this year, but its not like he’s had the warmest welcome by many of you. He was outlasted pretty much the moment we drafted him. This was his rookie season. He had downs but he definitely had ups too. Bring in competition next year and make him earn it, Im fine with that. But at 21-22 yrs old, Im gonna have to say that he’s far from done kicking in the NFL and Tampa has a history of letting go of players way to early. Like blount, talib, Penn, and so on. Say what you want about their character, but 2 of the three have a super bowl ring, talib is a potential hof player, and Penn is one of the best tackles in football and has helped Oakland reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002….just sayin. ..you gotta give players time to develop and majority of you are awful at realizing that.
I’m of the opinion that we do win those games without him. The week he was special teams player of the week he made 3 chip shots FGs and 1 from 41. Certainly good but definitely not something we couldn’t have gotten from a veteran kicker. Then the Carolina game he technically won but also missed 2 kicks prior that would have eliminated the need for a game winning FG. I don’t think anyone here is saying that Aguayo is a lost cause that can never kick again we are however saying he was not worth a 2nd round pick. There were some players available that could have impacted this team in a much greater capacity than Aguayo. Roberto was decent from 40 and in but a coin flip from anything beyond 40. Connor Barth for example kicked better than Aguayo this year and would not have cost us a thing except to keep him. He might develop down the road into a good kicker that still wont validate a team trading up into the 2nd round and taking a player that simply put was a downgrade from what we already had on the roster. Without looking at the numbers Roberto might have been the worst kicker we have had in the 2000s going strictly off the numbers. I dont get the reach you are making about Blount, Talib and Penn as those players were very productive and were foolishly(with the exception of Blount who needed a change of scenary) let go. Aguayo is statistically the worst kicker in the league this year and has never produced anywhere near the level of Talib, Penn or Blount during their time in Tampa. Not retaining those players were tough decisions that were foolishly made bc of cap/attitude issues, Aguayo has nothing to blame for this except for his right leg.
Oh you are? Then where were the tds? Stop disregarding what he did just because you don’t want to admit that he was a major reason we won at least 3 of our 9 wins this year. How am I reaching with those players? They have performed at pro bowl levels since no longer being here. Period. There’s zero argument to that. This is why I never comment on here anymore. Such a narrow minded way of thinking, ..
Oh, please stop making an excuse for this kicker. When you are last in the league in FG percentages, it is indefensible. This is not to mention 3 extra points he missed that would have cost us a game if our offense didn’t recover by going for 2 points to make up for it. He is not a major reason we won those games, especially after missing two FGs in the Carolina game so it would have been a moot point for him to kick a 39 yard winning FG. Any average kickers are expected to make FGs under 40 yards. In fact now, 50 yards plus FGs are made routinely now by kickers. When 90% of the great kickers are undrafted, there is no way to justify wasting a 3rd and 4th round pick for a KICKER. This is the same genius GM that brought in Brindza and traded away a draft pick for a 50% career at ND. He has made some good draft picks but he have made many mistakes on the Free Agent signings.
There is no narrow minded way of thinking you are just wrong. Missing 2 FGs then making the 3rd doesnt make you a hero it means you survived. Talib was voted top defensive back in the league in 2010. Penn was named as a Pro Bowl alternate during his time in Tampa, Blount rushed for 1000 yards. So please let me know what Roberto has done in his 1 season, that was statistically the worst in the NFL, that warrants this comparison? FedEx Special Teams player of the week is neat but lets not get carried away lol.
No kicking 3 FGs under 40 yards does not warrant FedEx Special Teams player of the week. It is noteworthy when Vinatieri kicked 40 FGs in a row and had a game against the Bears where he went 5/5 and made a 54 yard, 53 yard, 26 yard, 41 yard, and 46 yard. That is worthy of FedEx special team player of the week. And the guy is like 42 years old.
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