Special Teams: C-
Through four games this year Roberto Aguayo has done more to add to the question: “Why in the world did the Bucs trade into the second round to draft a kicker?”
Coming out of the first quarter of the season fans, media and while they probably won’t admit it in public, some players have to be questioning the draft strategies of their front office this year.
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though. Aguayo is 1-for-3 on field goals this year which isn’t good, but every kick has been from 40+, and remember he is a rookie.
The individual grade is low right now for Aguayo, but the kid’s still a kid, he just needs time.
On the flip-side punter Bryan Anger has been great. In four games the new punter in town has booted 22 offensive possessions to the other team with nine of those ending in the opponents 20 and carrying an average of 47.5 yards each.
He’s Top-10 in pinning offenses back and has the sixth best net yards in the NFL. While his workload has certainly been bigger than anticipated, he’s turned in great game after great game.
Meanwhile, the 2015 Bucs had one of the league’s worst kick return averages in the NFL, and this year’s bunch is more of the same. An impressive 14.5 yards per return average has every special teams coordinator in the league looking to force returns in place of settling for 25-yard touchbacks this season. The longest kick return for Tampa is 19-yards which wouldn’t even get them to last year’s touchback mark on most kicks. Surprising to nobody is the zero return touchdowns, but we can’t knock them for that as no NFL team has one just yet.
Punt returns are looking a bit better and Adam Humphries may be one of the best players on this team if he can shake off a bad performance against Denver. 10.6 yards per return has his team 14th in the NFL for returning punts and his 25-yard longest return may not have produced a touchdown, but it flashed some real potential for the future.
The key to returning kicks and punts though, has to be fumbles, and there are none of those this year. As long as a goose-egg resides in this category then the return team isn’t hurting things, even when they aren’t exactly helping either.
Overall, special teams has been an up-and-down ride, with more downs and the ups coming where you don’t necessarily want to see them.
More points from the rookie and a big return or two would really advance this group which is being carried by the guy who gives the ball away every time he steps on the field.
We have had our say, what do you think? How would you grade the Bucs over the first four games?