Carolina coach Ron Rivera said former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo was so up front in his audition with the Panthers this week that he even apologized for a game-winning field goal he kicked for Tampa Bay against Carolina.
"I told him, ‘That’s all part of it. You were just doing your job,’ " Rivera said in this story by the Charlotte Observer’s Jourdan Rodrigue. "I did take a dig at him too. I asked him, ‘Do you know what the Japanese word ‘Bushido’ means?
"It’s kind of the Samurai code that, ‘Once you know you’re dead, you’re dead.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s kind of the same with a kicker. You know you’re going to miss it, just don’t miss it today.’ "
Carolina signed Aguayo this week to its practice squad, creating the possibility he could face the Bucs at 1 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The Panthers signed Aguayo, released by Tampa Bay in training camp, as insurance in case kicker Graham Gano (knee injury) cannot play.
Other interesting nuggets from Rodrigue’s story, which made it clear that the pressure of being selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft still weighs heavy on Aguayo:
? More on the Aguayo--Rivera conversation: "He talked about some of the things he did, some of the things he felt. He did feel the pressure of having been a second-round pick. It was just interesting to hear him be very honest and up front about it. I thought that was a good sign."
? Aguayo on the pressure of being selected in the second round: "At that point it’s like I felt like I had to be someone different, someone better. A second-round person."
? On being released (by Tampa Bay and Chicago): "I’ve gone full-circle with the whole process, with getting drafted as high as I was and all the expectation," he said. "Basically, I was at the top. And I went through some stuff. ...You go back to basics. It’s humbling. It definitely is."
? On what he gained from the experience: "You know, at the end of the day, God has a plan. You might not see it, you might not realize it. You might wonder ‘Why am I struggling? Why am I going through this?’
"It’s just about regrouping, being given that time off and finding yourself and building that confidence back up."
Read the story here.