Roberto Aguayo Issues Get New Insight

Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) reacts after missing a field goal during the first quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) reacts after missing a field goal during the first quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Roberto Aguayo issue continues to build, some Indianapolis Colts have some interesting words – and insight – regarding the world of kicking.

Mike Wells of ESPN wrote a very interesting piece on Roberto Aguayo getting some love from another kicker that had, well, a rough start. He felt he was on the verge of getting cut, but now is a few years away from enshrinement in Canton, Ohio. The kicker? Adam Vinatieri.

Vinatieri started his career – way back in 1996 – by missing five field goals in three games. three in week two alone. He was eight of thirteen after week four and missed three extra points, back when they were chip shots, in the first half of the season.

But things got better for him. And Vinatieri believes things will get better for Aguayo, too.

"“He can give me a call anytime he wants to. There’s a brotherhood with the specialists. There’s not many of them and we don’t get any respect, so we have to show a little respect for each other. We have to help each other out if we have the opportunity.”“This happens to a lot of players. He was a fairly high draft choice. They’re going to give him a little bit more leeway with that, maybe. Sometimes you have to work through some things, and the mental side of kicking is definitely there.“A lot of people can kick a ball a long way, but sometimes you get in a little funk and you work your way out of it. He wouldn’t have been drafted 59th if he wasn’t really, really good. I’m sure he’ll figure out.”Aug 20, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks a field goal against the Baltimore Ravens at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports"

Vinatieri definitely gave a little perspective on the pressure as well as the slow start, but there was something a little more interesting out there that no one else is talking about.

Vinatieri’s teammate, and holder, Pat McAfee hosts one of the best and funniest podcasts out there. McAfee of course is the Colts’ Pro Bowl punter and part time comedian. Every now and again, he talks football but it’s mostly a show with McAfee and other comedians just entertaining. Fortunately, the timing was perfect in his latest episode where he started talking about his missed 62-yard field goal. After he got started, the topic began to snowball and provided a lot of information most fans have no clue about – and possibly provided some insight into one of the issues plaguing Agauyo;

"“Finkle/Einhorn is a real thing. I’m not saying Scott’s [Tolzien] hold was bad, ever, but in field goal operation…let’s talk about it.Field goals are a combination of three people: You got the long snapper. On field goals, their job is to have perfect location, good speed, laces toward the uprights. Holder’s job is to catch it, put it down, hit the spot, get a lean. A lean is something nobody talks about.The holder is usually the punter. It used to be the quarterback but as time has progressed and operation times have gotten so quick, you gotta work on it every day. Quarterbacks can’t work on it every day so the punter became the holder.Operation time, from snap to kick, is 1.2 seconds. So that’s…you’re talking about a lot of s*** happenin real quick. Snapping eight yards, holder gets it down, gets the lean, and it’s the kicker’s job to move when he sees my hand lift, ok? So as I’m lifting my hand to catch the ball, he’s already coming at the ball. That’s why the speed is so quick. It’s a bang-bang-bang-bang operation.”More from Bucs NewsDevin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on TwitterUpdated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicampTodd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with BucsThe Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023Todd Bowles admits he only looks at three things on Bucs schedule"

There’s the start of the insight. Basically, these three players are working as one to execute something in less than one and a quarter seconds. Everything has to be perfect, down to a science, or the attempt will fail, as McAfee continued to elaborate on;

"“You’re talking about a fastball comin in quick – lets get this thing movin. Because, you got monsters trying to block it, right?But the laces – this is what laces do. The laces take yards off the ball and affect flight. That’s why the Finkle/Einhorn/Dan Marino thing happened. But, it’s not the exact determining factor. You can still make a field goal with the laces not perfectly out.It’s more on the kicker than anything. But it’s the holder’s job to get it around if you’re a professional. Scott Tolzien is not a professional. He was just thrown in there. I love Scott, he did a great job. I should’ve made the kick.Snapper’s job is to have the laces. And it’s a thing that just gets overlooked a lot. People are just like “bang-bang-bang” like that’s just gonna happen. “Bang bang bang” the kick is good. Or, the kick is bad and nobody even knows it’s the holder’s fault.Like, I’ve missed a kick for Vinatieri before. And I openly said it, like, that’s my fault completely. If you **** up a lean, you know, it’s gonna be a miss. If you see a miss to the left – right-footed kicker to the left – he pulls it. Now he might’ve just pulled it or there’s a chance the holder leaned the ball towards him.With a soccer style kick, you want the ball leaning away from the kicker. Because, then it takes away the hook. If you lean the ball towards him, it’s a guaranteed hook. Okay? Cause you’re coming in from the side, like a golf club.So it’s leaning away from the kicker and forward a little bit, not back – not at all. And if you **** that up, you can miss a kick. Let’s say Adam Vinatieri did something horrible to me, I could make him miss ten kicks in a row. The holder can **** up everything.”"

We know that Roberto Aguayo has had a constant rotation of holders, between Jacob Schum and Bryan Anger, and that could very well be playing into his issues. This isn’t a “blame the holders, Aguayo isn’t responsible” type excuse. Aguayo needs to be making these kicks, but there is a lot more that goes into them than fans realized or give credit for.

With there being next to no continuity, it’s another mental hurdle for Aguayo to overcome. The faster the staff settles on a punter, the faster there is one less thing to worry about. We have two weeks until this season kicks off for real and that’s more than enough time for the field goal tripod to get on the same page.

Aguayo has some work to do, but fans need to get behind him. Booing him doesn’t make this fixed any faster, it only exacerbates the mental problems involved. Aguayo is this team’s kicker for at least this entire season. Understand that. The faster we get behind him, the faster this issue may be resolved.

Does booing him in practice, or against the Browns Friday night should he miss, help anything? Does it put points on the board? Does it make him think “Oh, they don’t like when I miss. I just won’t do that anymore”? Does it fix the problem? The answer to all of those is no. A resounding no.

Next: Who Wins The Battle For Bucs' 3rd RB?

Maybe everyone just needs to take a deep breath and realize that not all misses are on the kicker, and not all the best kickers get off to perfect starts.