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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs rookie kicker Gay shows confidence

Florida Football Insiders

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Russ Isabella- USA Today Sports

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ready for training camp and try to turn their losing trend around, a position that will be carefully scrutinized will be placekicker. And the Bucs rookie 5th round draft pick, Matt Gay, is already expressing confidence then that he will not only win the job, but will become one of the most memorable ones in franchise history.

Gay was featured in a social media video that the Buccaneers released on Monday afternoon:

In the video Gay revealed something interesting, in that, no one in his family had ever played football before he began to kick at the University of Utah just two years ago.

But, most interesting were his thoughts on dealing with the pressure that is about to be on him. Specifically, with Gay having to deal with comparisons to the recent past failure of second round pick Roberto Aguayo,

“When I got drafted, the feeling was mixed with fans. Half of them were like: ‘Okay. We’re going after it. We’re trying to fix the situation. We’re trying to get a guy.’ Then, I think the other half remembered the past… ‘What are we doing? We’re not doing this again.’ Gay continued with, “I want to be the best kicker you guys have ever had. I want to be the best kicker in the NFL. I want to achieve a lot of great things.”

The Bucs drafted Gay in the fifth round back in April, as he was one of the most decorated kickers the last couple of seasons in college football. That included, making 56 field goals with an 87% conversion rate during his two-year career in Salt Lake Citty for the Utes. Gay’s best season was 2017, where he won the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s top place-kicker making 30 of 34 field goals and 40 of 40 extra points. Gay was also named consensus first team All-American that year.

Last season, Gay converted 26 of 31 field goals and was a third-team All-American and a semi-finalist for the Groza award. He also holds the Utah record with eight career field goals of 50 yards or longer.

There is another variable for the Tampa Bay kicking job in that veteran Cairo Santos kick solidly, after being picked up off waivers at the end of last season. Santos was brought on board after the Bucs signed Chandler Catanzaro to a guaranteed $3 million contract for last year, but still ended up cutting him after he erratically continue to miss extra points and field goals.

Further, the Bucs have a new special teams coach on Bruce Arian’s staff. And, that is long time assistant with the Falcons, Keith Armstrong who will obviously have lots of input on the Tampa Bay kicking battle.

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