Buccaneers: Roberto Aguayo gaining momentum in kicking competition
The Buccaneers may finally be seeing the emergence of Roberto Aguayo.
It has taken over a year, but the Buccaneers may finally have a kicker that gets it. Granted, it’s training camp and it’s early, but any positive news when it comes to this competition is good news.
We know that this is the preseason that is going to determine Roberto Aguayo’s future with the Bucs. 22-31 on his field goals in 2016 is not what was expected of a second round draft choice. That’s why Nick Folk was brought to sunny Florida. The Bucs are dead-set on improving the kicking game no matter what it takes.
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Despite what they say, they would prefer Aguayo to win the job. No general manager wants a player to fail. If said general manager made a move to ensure selecting that player, he CERTAINLY doesn’t want to move on from that player.
He will say the right things. He will say that they will do what is best for the Bucs, but they want their judgement to be right. Privately, Jason Licht will be happier if Roberto Aguayo succeeds than if he has to go with Nick Folk.
Friday afternoon at practice, Aguayo put on a show. According to Scott Smith of the Bucs website, Aguayo was “lights out”. He went 7-7, including long distance shots as well as kicks that were created to simulate game situations.
Coach Koetter noticed:
"“[He was] lights-out,” said Koetter. “Best day of training camp, best day in a long time. He looked great today. Today, Roberto was money on both ends. I don’t think he missed all day. Yeah, he was money.”"
Now, as I have said in the past, the games are going to be the most important days of this competition. Nothing can completely simulate game situations. But in this case, anything Aguayo does well is good. He had such a tough time as a rookie, so baby steps are important. Going 7-7, even during a practice, cannot be ignored. Especially since Folk apparently missed three kicks. Youth could be taking the lead over experience.
An accurate Roberto Aguayo will make a huge difference. It will also certainly curb the anxiety of most Bucs fans.