“Some of the players in the locker room have told me kind of off the record that they would agree with this in the sense that, you know, in a bottom line business, just like any other position on the team, if you have someone that’s not performing, they’re replaced. Well, kicker, you don’t have a backup so it’s a little more challenging, but everyone is expected to produce and everyone is expected to be held accountable regardless of where they were drafted. You have a certain standard that has to be maintained. If they can’t deliver at their own positions, then they shouldn’t have a guy that’s out there that can’t deliver as well, either. You get what I’m saying? It sends a bad message to a locker room if you’re holding all your other players accountable for missing assignments, or making mistakes, dropping passes, but then you have a kicker that’s going out there in clutch situations and failing to produce. So I think it’s a great competition.” Said ESPN’s Jenna Laine in a recent interview on WDAE-AM 620/95.3 FM.
While she didn’t go into detail about whether this was largely her opinion, or if it’s been a part of the team’s locker room talk, it’s no secret that in football, if you don’t meet expectations, you’re out and there will be someone else taking your place. Roberto Aguayo, who the Bucs traded up for last season based on his impressive college kicking career, which includes leaving on a high note as the most accurate kicker in college football, struggled to impress during his rookie season in the NFL with the Buccaneers. He finished last in the NFL in field goals, converting just 71 percent, forcing the Bucs to sign Folk to a deal going into the 2017 season. Folk and Aguayo will have to compete for the starting position.
That being said, Aguayo is very well liked by his other teammates, they were quick to take up for him during interviews last year and praising his ability to continue to improve. Whether or not he will win a starting position in the coming season is yet to be seen, I for one have been pulling for the guy. It will be very interesting to see if he has improved in the offseason.