“Aim Just Inside The Uprights”. Sage advice from the greatest kicker in Buccaneers history, Martín Gramática. On Wednesday nights “The Audible”, our own Joshua Cole Allen had a conversation with the Super Bowl Champion, Pro Bowler, and leading scorer in team history. There are two kickers in camp this year. Second year player Matt Gay, and second year player Elliot Fry. The two players were competing at training camp on Friday.
I Know You Are But What Am I
Funny thing about kicking competitions. Sometimes they are no competition at all. Whether there is an actual competition going on here only Bruce Arians, Chris Boniol, and maybe Jason Licht, know. That’s not to say that Elliot Fry doesn’t “have it”. Just to say that Buccaneers 2019 fifth round draft pick Matt Gay has it as well. The fact that the Buccaneers brought in another kicker to keep things lively should come as no surprise. This is what good teams do. Cover all scenarios.
That Is Unless…
During Friday’s training camp, the kickers got a chance to put toe to leather. In what will amount to the truest simulation these kickers will see this year, there was no perfection. There usually isn’t. As Gramática told Joshua, practice is where you want to miss. Both Gay, and Fry had their misses. Greg Auman of The Athletic reported that Gay was good from 40, Fry as well. Both then miss from 48. On a 53 yard attempt Gay would miss but Fry would make it. Matt Gay would then connect on a 38 yard FG in a “hurry-up” drill. Elliot Fry would connect on a 56 yard, “end of game” scenario kick. Maybe there is a competition?
Never Say Never
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, the weapons on this offense, and this incredible defense. Its easy to think the Buccaneers will outscore everybody by a mile. Truth is. In the NFL, this just isn’t always the case. Not to mention the importance of being able to convert extra points. Especially if there are a lot of touchdowns.
As Gramática stated on Wednesday. Kickers are “used to having that noise, even though your locked in”. He would go on to say “for the stadium to be super quiet where you can hear a pin drop, the kickers are going to be able to hear the d-linemen talking to them so that could throw them off”. With each NFL dealing with their own COVID-19 protocol, fan attendance is still an unknown.
It will seem strange for kickers just kicking into an empty end zone. Which is another reason why these camp kick competitions may be just that. A real competition. If Friday was any indication, there just might be a battle to watch.