Roberto Aguayo Talks Pressure, Expectations

Jul 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks the ball during training camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks the ball during training camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

There will be a lot of critical, watchful eyes on Buccaneers’ rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo this season. He spoke to the media yesterday about the pressure he faces and the expectations he’s set for himself.

We’ve all heard it, over and over again. Whether it was from national pundits or fans of the Buccaneers, many people found the second round pick of Roberto Aguayo laughable and the biggest reach of the 2016 NFL draft. Not only that, but having traded up to get him made things even worse.

There may be more pressure on the 22-year old kicker than any other player drafted in April, but that isn’t going to shake Aguayo’s confidence. He’s the most successful kicker in the history of college football and is out to show people he was worth the picks Jason Licht gave up for him. At the end of the day, the pressure is nothing;

More from Bucs News

"“I think it’s just going about what you do. I think no matter what, since I’ve grown up kicking in my backyard or practicing by myself, there’s always been that same pressure on myself, I put it on me to get better and be great. When there [are] people around or people watching, I don’t really think about it too much because I already put that on myself when I was a young child. I mean I guess it’s just something added to the whole picture, but it doesn’t really phase me. I just got out there and I know what I’ve got to do and I play to my expectations. All this stuff where people say, ‘Oh you got to make everything, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that’ – I do what I know I can do and I live to my expectations. So I think that’s how I deal with it.”"

As we’ve said on this site, one of the greatest benefits we will get from Aguayo is his ability on kickoffs. With the touchback rule changing, allowing the ball to be placed at the 25 yard line rather than the 20, Aguayo has the inane skill to kick the ball with extreme height and hang time while pinning it between the five and the goal line. This forces players to field the ball rather than take the touchback and gives the Buccaneers the opportunity to pin the offense inside the ten or, better yet, force a turnover by timing the hits just as the returner is catching the ball.

This creates massive momentum swings and puts the Buccaneers in a situation defensively where they can get after the quarterback forcing a safety or an errant throw that could result in a turnover by the secondary.

Aguayo is the type that is putting more pressure and loftier expectations on himself than anyone else possibly could;

"“Just like I said, going out there, getting better every day, perfecting my craft, just becoming a more consistent kicker. I look at the little details, whether I might make a field goal but it wasn’t the way I hit it, I walk off thinking to my standards it wasn’t good. It went in, yeah, and you minimize your misses, your mishits still go in.”"

One final thing Aguayo touched on was becoming teammates with Jameis Winston once again. The two played together at Florida State during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, winning a national championship together in 2013;

"“I think when we saw each other I think it was already in our heads that was the game plan like at Florida State. We didn’t really have to talk about it that much but I know he’s got my back, I’ve got his back. Every one of my teammates [we’ve] got each other’s back. Whatever I’ve got to do, like I said, far field goals, short field goals, all extra points and now kickoffs too  – whatever we’ve got to do to help the team, but I think we got a great team.”"

Next: Bucs Training Camp: Notes and Quotes Day 3

Roberto Aguayo and the rest of the Buccaneers continue practice again today, beginning at 8:45 a.m. Practice is open to the public and will feature the team’s first time wearing full pads under coach Dirk Koetter.