Bucs fans that read the newspaper and keep up with the local beat writers will likely recognize the name Ira Kaufman. He’s one of the most respected sports journalists in the Tampa Bay area.
So when a guy like that says something about the team, it would probably be wise to take him seriously.
Kaufman recently joined Tampa’s 98.7 The Fan radio station to discuss the upcoming Buccaneers season. During the segment, he claimed that the decision to cut Connor Barth and go with the young and unproven Patrick Murray was not about football, but instead about money.
While many fans could have told you the same thing, coming from a source like Kaufman, it adds credibility to that argument. During the preseason and in training camp, we saw nothing that would lead us to believe that Barth was on his way out of town. Murray made the field goals he was supposed to make and was never put into a position where he could show off exactly what type of leg he had. Now, we have to hope that his leg is good enough to have consistent success at the NFL level.
He has big shoes to fill.
Connor Barth was one of the best and most consistent kickers in the league, hitting on over 84% of all attempts. While Rian Lindell had an okay year filling in for Barth last season, fans were not content with the job he had done after being spoiled by “Barth Vader” through the years.
Murray will have to make some big kicks to truly win over the Buccaneer fan base.