Past meets future: Mutual respect between Gramatica, Aguayo
When the Bucs traded up into the second round to take FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo, it was the highest they had drafted a kicker since 1999, when Martin Gramatica went in the third round. On Thursday, the two kickers spent time together, chatting on the sidlines as Gramatica was a guest at the Bucs' OTA practice at One Buc Place.
"He's a legend here in Tampa as a kicker, and I hope to be as successful as him, or maybe even more so," said Aguayo, who had spoken to Gramatica on the phone but hadn't met him before Thursday.
Gramatica, 40, kicked six years for the Bucs and still has the team's career record with 137 field goals, a mark many Bucs fans hope Aguayo can stick around long enough to break. Gramatica said he already has a respect for Aguayo and understands the pressure he'll face.
"You can tell he's a perfectionist, so it doesn't matter if you get drafetd or you're a free agent," Gramatica said. "He's going to put pressure on himself just to be great, regardless of where you get drafted. ... Sometimes being a free agent is a little more pressure, because you can get fired right away (laughs). I think in his case, he wants to be great, so you can tell he works hard to be great."
Both come from families of kicking brothers -- Martin's brother Bill followed him to the NFL and brother Santiago kicked at USF, and Roberto's brother Ricky will kick for the Seminoles as a freshman this fall.
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher called the Bucs' move to trade up for Aguayo "genius," and Gramatica said he agrees, excited about Aguayo's future.
"Any time a kicker gets drafted, all us kickers get excited," he said. "You can appreciate what the Bucs have done, especially knowing that you can have a kicker for 10-15 years. If he stays healthy and does what we can do, then the Bucs are set with a kicker ... 99 percent of the time, teams are looking for a good kicker, so when you have one you can lock up for a while, I think it's a great idea."