One and done.
That phrase could wind up defining the rookie season of kicker Roberto Aguayo and his inconsistent tenure with the Buccaneers. After an amazing college career, his rocky debut saw him make just 71-percent of his field goals. And Aguayo was put on notice Monday, by his coach.
“I think it’s already proven that we have no problem moving on from a draft choice and playing somebody that wasn’t drafted,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said when asked of Aguayo’s status. “We did it this year. We did it a year ago. Nothing’s a given.’’
That was certainly true of Aguayo’s field-goal kicking. A second-round draft pick out of Florida State, Aguayo made just 22 of the 31 field goals he tried this year, the worst among all kickers attempting 10 or more field goals throughout the course of the season.
Aguayo also missed a pair of extra points and despite a solid run through the second half of the season, Aguayo never left anyone feeling confident that he could salvage a few points out of a stalled offensive drive, no matter where the drive stalled.
“It was definitely a big learning experience,’’ Aguayo said of his rookie season. “I went through some tough times, but I learned that along the way, even if you make mistakes, you have to find a way to fight through it and be a pro.’’
It’s possible more tough times are ahead for Aguayo. He’ll almost certainly go into training camp next year as the top kicker on the depth chart but the slightest sign of trouble or inconsistency could prompt the Bucs to make a change.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht will forever field criticism for spending the 51st overall pick on Aguayo should that happen, but Koetter says the Bucs can’t be swayed by fear of criticism and must move on and do what’s best for the team going forward.
“As far as the investment in Roberto goes, we were all on board with that,” Koetter said. “That’s not going to change. We’re never going to bring that back. That happened, and Roberto was our kicker and like any other player, if he’s got that Bucs jersey on and he’s out there on game day, I’m 100 percent in. That said, our field-goal percentage this year was not good enough. That’s not the only stat that wasn’t good enough. But if you’re not the best player, then I feel pretty certain in saying that you won’t be out there either.”