Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fennelly: Cutting Aguayo gives Bucs chance for decent night's sleep

TAMPA — Goodbye-o.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was asked who was in the room with Roberto Aguayo when he was released by the Bucs on Saturday morning.

"Me, Jason and Hard Knocks ," Koetter said.

Koetter and Bucs GM Jason Licht put Aguayo out of his misery Saturday and waived him after the opening credits of another disaster movie. They did it the name of the season that can still be. Wise move.

Koetter ended the charade. Nick Folk was brought in to replace Aguayo. And now he has. You know, unless he starts missing, too. The Bucs will bring in a couple more kickers. Kickers come, and kickers go. Hey, they're kickers.

 

Hard Knocks should have filmed Koetter sleeping Saturday night. Soundly.

No more Aguayo nightmares.

He was The Pick That Couldn't Kick Straight.

Friday, just when we thought it was safe to go back in the pool, one brimming with Bucs optimism, there was Old Unreliable, missing both an extra point off the right upright and a 47-yard field goal attempt wide right against the Bengals.

Enough. It's over. The disaster, the distraction, all of it. Licht's grand, misguided experiment — taking a kicker in the second round of the draft — is done. Give the Bucs credit for admitting their mistake and moving on before it cost them this season.

Too bad they didn't realize it before they made the pick. The next time they worry about being thin at pass rush or in the secondary, that Aguayo pick should haunt them.

They couldn't risk this season on this young man's quivering right leg.

Complicating matters somewhat is that Folk, brought here to oust Aguayo, hasn't exactly been Jan Stenerud, though he did hit his only field-goal attempt Friday, from 45 yards.

I bet Hard Knocks had Koetter mic'd for Friday's game. My guess is it did, and my guess is Koetter will speak words as he watches Aguayo's misses. I mean, Koetter laid into franchise guy Jameis Winston at the end of the first Hard Knocks episode, driving Jameis into silence. Stay tuned.

Aguayo madness has ended. He never could find his big-boy kicking pants. He sounded great early in this training camp. He was refreshed and a newlywed. He said all the right things. He was and is a good guy. But then he had to go and kick.

Koetter barely tolerated it last season. You could see it in his face and hear it in his words. He had the good sense to realize that this league waits for no coach and he needed a shaky kicker like the world needs more Progressive commercials with Flo. The Bucs went 9-7 last season. There is room for error in this season of expectations. There is no room for Roberto Aguayo.

Bucs coaches, players and fans couldn't go through that again. They covered their eyes and said their prayers whenever Aguayo trotted on the field last year. It was like Phillies fans seeing Mitch Williams coming in from the bullpen.

They've been freed from the Aguayo torture cell.

Like I said, he's a good kid. I hope he finds his way in this league. He always said the right things. But then his right foot opened its mouth. Wide open. Wide right.

The Bucs couldn't go through that again.

Next leg up.

   
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