Koetter: Roberto Aguayo will have competition in 2017
With one field goal missed and another blocked in Sunday's one-point win against the Panthers, the Bucs finished last out of 32 NFL teams in field-goal percentage, connecting on just 71 percent. Coach Dirk Koetter made it clear Monday that rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo will have competition for his job this year, and if the results aren't there, the Bucs have shown they'll move on.
The Bucs traded up into the second round to draft Aguayo, a move that was questioned by many before his struggles on the field. Koetter said the coaches and front office all supported the move, but need Aguayo to produce to keep his job.
"As far as the investment in Roberto and where we picked him, 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 Buc jersey on and he's out there on game day, I'm 100 percent in. With that said, our field-goal percentage this year was not good enough. That's not the only stat that's not good enough."
Not only did the Bucs only hit 22 of 31 field-goal attempts, they went just 4-for-11 on kicks of 40 yards or longer. Aguayo's long this season was 43, making the Bucs the first NFL team since 2010 to go an entire season without hitting a single field goal of at least 45 yards. To find a Bucs season where they did that, you have to go back to 1980, when Garo Yepremian's season long was 43 yards.
"The long of 43 part, we didn't attempt many longer than that," Koetter said. "They just didn't come up."
Aguayo had five field goals of 50 yards or longer while at Florida State, with a long of 53.
Koetter said he and general manager Jason Licht have already talked about bringing in competition for Aguayo -- the Bucs waived veterans Patrick Murray and Connor Barth within days of drafting Aguayo, knowing the high draft pick meant he had the job locked up.
"I think it's already proven that we have no problem moving on from a draft choice and playing somebody that wasn't drafted," Koetter said, perhaps referencing the waiving of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins after a DUI arrest and the ensuing success of Cameron Brate. "We did it this year. We did it a year ago. We've got to have competition at every position. Nothing's a given. If they're not the best player, then I feel pretty certain in saying they won't be out there."