TAMPA – The Buccaneers were hoping that by now, one of the two combatants in the all-important battle for their kicker’s job would have started to pull ahead of the other.
That hasn’t happened, though, and it’s not because incumbent Roberto Aguayo and contender Nick Folk have been lights out at practice every day, because that has not been the case
Aguayo and Folk followed up a good day over the weekend with a horrid day on Monday in which both had a couple of misses from inside of 50 yards and their lack of consistency had Bucs coach Dirk Koetter annoyed.
Though they still have almost a month before they have to make a decision, the Bucs are actually hoping to declare a winner in the battle long before then.
“We’d like to make a decision sooner rather than later,’’ Koetter said. “There’s no reason it should have to go all the way to the (final cut). If it does it does, but we’re looking for a guy to win the job.’’
Aguayo, who went 7-for-7 one day late last week appeared to have an edge going into Monday’s workout, but he took a step backward during the latest workout when he missed two kick of less than 50 yards.
Folk didn’t fare much better. He nailed a 48-yarder against the skinny posts but missed a shorter kick against the regulation posts and a longer one at the end of the practice.
“Not too good, not too good,’’ Koetter said in summation. “It’s one day on, one day off. So whatever they ate for breakfast today – off the menu, because that wasn’t it.’’
At the rate the Bucs kicker’s are going, their performance in the preseason games may have to weigh heavily into the decision the Bucs have to make. Koetter said that’s not an ideal situation, however.
“The problem is that in games, we don’t have any control,’’ Koetter said. “We might go four weeks without any kicks coming up. (That’s why) we’d like to make a decision sooner rather than later.
“But it’s just hard right now. We have to get better at that position. We have to get better at a lot of positions but that’s one of them for sure. So it’s still tight there.
“But today, neither one of them was very good today. I mean, it’s really a simple process. You’re a kicker in the NFL, so inside of 50 yards, you’ve got to make your kicks.
“I’m not trying to be a hard-ass here. That’s just the way it is. I mean, that’s the way it is in this league and they know it, I know it – shoot, everybody here knows it.’’