The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the most puzzling pick of this year’s NFL draft when they took Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round. Although they got their guy (well before they needed to) the team’s perceived value of him seems to have inadvertently screwed him.
Aguayo left college football as the most accurate kicker in history, with a 96.73 percentage of converted attempts, and had never missed an extra point in college, ever. Naturally, he started his NFL career with a missed extra point against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Aguayo also missed two field goal attempts in Saturday’s game against the Jaguars, and now, he’s looking for outside help. From 620 WDAE:
Aguayo said he contacted former NFL kicker Ryan Longwell and former Bucs special teams coordinator Billy Miller to help him with his mechanics. He said he also spoke with a mental coach because his confidence has been shaken “a little bit.’’
“I’m just focusing on relaxing and sometimes not thinking about it too much,” Aguayo said. “When you’re overthinking like, ‘Ok, I have to do this and this and this,’ you get too many thoughts in your head. Sometimes you have to sit back and relax and just kick it. That’s the mindset going into practice and throughout this week.”
When a rookie kicker misses preseason kicks, it’s usually not a big deal, because it’s the preseason. If he’s that bad, he can be cut for someone with experience. When that rookie was taken in the second round, however, it gets more complicated.
It’s not Aguayo’s fault that the team valued him so highly, but the Buccaneers have inadvertently placed a lot of pressure on a rookie for a fundamentally solitary position that requires a mentally sturdy person. It’s still far too early to make any proclamations, but I do feel safe saying this: Every time Aguayo screws up, the fact that he was picked in the second round will be brought up. And that sucks.