McCoy's encouragement to Bucs kicker Aguayo: 'Stay the course'
As Bucs rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo has struggled in his first two preseason games with three missed kicks, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Tuesday that he's made a concerted effort to encourage the second-round pick to remain confident and push through his current problems.
"One thing I've done with him is go to him and encourage him. He's a rookie," McCoy said. "He was drafted high as a kicker, so a lot of expectations come with that with being the guy. Who better than me to go talk to him about being drafted high and being expected to be the guy right away? Especially with me struggling the way I did early on with injuries and not living up to expectations, who better to go talk to him? I just go encourage him and say 'Hey, listen, stay the course. It'll come along.'"
McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, missed 13 games in his first two seasons due to injuries and had a combined four sacks in those two years. He's bounced back to make the Pro Bowl in each of the last four years, however. The Bucs gave up a fourth-round pick to move up 15 picks and into the second round to make Aguayo the highest-drafted kicker since Sebastian Janikowski in 2000.
Janikowski, who also played at FSU and is now entering his 17th season with the Raiders, would be a model for patience with a young kicker. He missed his first NFL field-goal attempt and three of his first five tries. Six games into his career, he was 8 of 15 on field goals, then went 14 of 17 the rest of the way.
Adam Vinatieri? He made his first NFL field goal, but in his second game, he went 1-for-4 in a 17-10 loss for the Patriots, missing another field goal and an extra point in his third game. He missed three extra points in his first eight games, then didn't miss another until midway through his fourth NFL season.
Jason Hanson? The 1992 second-round pick went 3-for-6 on field goals in his first three NFL games, then went 18-for-20 the rest of his rookie year.