TAMPA – Any hope that Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo might have cured himself of the yips during the offseason went up in smoke during the first day of OTAs at One Buc Place on Tuesday.
Aguayo, who made just 22 of 31 field-goal and ranked last in the league in field-goal percentage (71-percent) as a rookie last year went 1-for-4 during the field-goal kicking portion of the team’s first workout.
Now, it must be noted that Aguayo missed three of the four kicks he attempted while trying to split the skinnier set of uprights, those that are half as narrow as the ones he’d be kicking through during a game.
But during a windy day in which the elements may have played a factor, Aguayo still would have missed at least two of the kicks he attempted against the regular uprights.
And it’s not like the wind or the uprights bothered Nick Folk. The veteran the Bucs brought in through free agency earlier this year to push or possible replace Aguayo was a solid 4-for-4 on his kicks.
And Folk was right down the middle with those kicks as well. It was literally like watching a pro take on an amateur, though Bucs coach Dirk Koetter warned not to read too much into the performances.
“I don’t think we should decide any competition based on four kicks,’’ Koetter said. “But Nick got the best of it today, and they’ll be out there going at it again tomorrow.’’
Koetter’s right, of course, but this was just more of what we saw all of las year from Aguayo, who will almost certainly find himself on the street if he can’t find his range sometime very soon.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who made the call to trade back into the second round to get Aguayo a year ago, has made it clear he’s not afraid to admit a mistake and cut his losses if that’s what’s necessary.
We should also point out that it wasn’t just Aguayo who struggled today. Even tight end O.J. Howard, the Bucs first-round pick in the 2017 draft, had some issues.
While Koetter noted that he was very pleased with what he saw of rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin, the Bucs third-round pick this year, he said Howard struggled a bit during his first full-squad workout.
“I thought Godwin had a really nice day today,’’ Koetter said. “Of the rookies, I thought Godwin really showed up. I don’t think O.J. showed up quite as much. He had a couple of chances to make plays and for whatever reason it didn’t work out.’’