Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fennelly: For Bucs fans, watching Roberto Aguayo kick is torture

What does it say when you win the game and people still can't bear the idea of you trotting onto the field?

That's where Bucs Land is with kicker Roberto Aguayo, the when-time-ran-out star in Monday's 17-14 season-saving (for now) victory at Carolina.

Has anybody ever got less mileage out of something like that than the generally likable Aguayo?

The poor kid. Five games in and he's the guy Bucs fans watch with fingers crossed and one eye closed. Or both eyes closed.

It's torture.

That's what 4-for-8 on field goals will get you in today's world.

Five games in and Aguayo is torture.

Are we waiting on his next make or his next miss?

There was a telling scene in Carolina as Aguayo lined up with seconds left. Three of his teammates, Jameis Winston, Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald, huddled on the sideline. ESPN cameras caught the scene. They appeared to be praying.

Touching.

Five games in and people are praying for wins. For Roberto Aguayo to make it.

Torture.

I don't think Bucs coach Dirk Koetter trusts the kid any more than he did before Aguayo won the game, judging by Koetter's postgame comments.

He's a first-year coach working for knee-jerk owners in a league built on close games, games often won by a handful of points, sometimes by one kick.

Think Koetter is going to wait on him?

Think Aguayo doesn't know the deal?

What if Aguayo had missed that as time ran out Monday? Think there wouldn't have been a line of kickers outside Bucs headquarters Tuesday? The team would have needed to think about looking everywhere, including dance studios, to find a right leg.

This isn't going away until it goes away.

Leave it to the Bucs. Can you name me another team in the NFL where the general manager's fate might rest on a kicker?

Of course, this is all about where Aguayo was chosen in the draft (too high). Mind you, Aguayo was the most accurate kicker in NCAA history while at Florida State. But there weren't many close games for Aguayo at FSU. Blowouts everywhere. The NFL is different.

You're telling me that's not inside Aguayo's head?

Meanwhile, this is torture for Bucs fans.

Sports history is filled with torture. Aguayo has a long way to go to be Scott Norwood, who haunts the Bills, or reliever Mitch Williams, who haunts the Phillies, or Bill Buckner, who once haunted the Red Sox. Those were on big stages. This is nothing compared to that.

Still, every team and its fans have someone who tortures them. Sometimes it's an outsider, say Bucky Dent for Boston fans. Or, in a small, weird way, someone like Buster Posey, the one who got away from the still catcher-less Rays.

The Chicago Cubs, in open pursuit of 1908, pulled off an amazing ninth-inning comeback Tuesday to win the NLDS over Posey's Giants. Think they don't have 108 years of torturers? The billy goat? Steve Bartman? Steve Garvey?

But let's just stick with the Bucs.

Bucs torturers are a legion.

Try Vinny Testaverde. Try Bucs quarterbacks in general. Try Doug Williams, Steve Young and Trent Dilfer, who won Super Bowls after they left Tampa Bay. Or try Bo Jackson, whom the Bucs drafted No. 1 overall in 1986 but who refused to play a down here. And that's just the short list.

Roberto Aguayo doesn't want to go there.

Hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

He did win that game, right?

Just checking.

Comments
Who says preseason doesn’t count for Bucs?

Who says preseason doesn’t count for Bucs?

TAMPA — Monday was a beautiful day out at One Buc Place.Sunny. Blue skies. Hot, but not a thousand degrees like it has been in recent weeks around here.The Bucs were finally back home after spending most of the past week in Nashville. And despi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Vita Vea, Mitch Unrein injuries have Bucs scouring waiver wire again

Vita Vea, Mitch Unrein injuries have Bucs scouring waiver wire again

TAMPA — The Bucs continued to address their mounting injuries on defense by signing fifth-year defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.Rookie defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first round pick from Washington, hasn't played since suffering a calf str...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Justin Watson standing out in battle for Bucs’ final receiver spot

Justin Watson standing out in battle for Bucs’ final receiver spot

In the battle for the fifth receiver spot, Justin Watson needed to stand out.  Being 6-foot-3, 216 pounds helps. But the Penn rookie needed a play to separate himself from the pack.He got it at the end of the first half in Saturday's 30-14 win a...
Published: 08/20/18
Bucs now have Men in Black, injured players with no-contact jerseys

Bucs now have Men in Black, injured players with no-contact jerseys

Bucs cornerback M.J. Stewart and safety Jordan Whitehead suffered injuries in Saturday's 30-14 win against the Titans Saturday and had to leave the game.They were both back at practice Monday, but with a warning flag of sorts. Stewart and Whitehead w...
Published: 08/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What a difference in Bucs quarterbacks

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What a difference in Bucs quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled while Jameis Winston dazzled, showing improvement in his footwork and scrambling, in the Bucs' preseason victory over the Titans. Tampa Bay also has gotten good play from DeSean Jackson, while rookie Ronald Jones ...
Published: 08/20/18
Nothing is going to stand in way of Peyton Barber and his goal to be Bucs’ starting running back

Nothing is going to stand in way of Peyton Barber and his goal to be Bucs’ starting running back

TAMPA – Ask Peyton Barber his approach to training camp or preseason games, and his answer is meant to bull over the questioner as if it's all that's standing between him and the goal line."I think the end-all goal for me is to be the star...
Published: 08/19/18
Bucs claim defensive tackle Adam Reth off waivers from the Eagles

Bucs claim defensive tackle Adam Reth off waivers from the Eagles

Facing a critical shortage of interior defensive linemen, the Bucs on Sunday claimed Eagles defensive tackle Adam Reth off waivers. To make room for Reth, the Bucs waived/injured defensive tackle Drew Iddings, who joined the team last week.With both ...
Published: 08/19/18
Why wait? Time for Bucs fans to start missing Jameis Winston

Why wait? Time for Bucs fans to start missing Jameis Winston

NASHVILLE — Here in the land of love-sick country ballads where the dog dies, the pickup truck tires are slashed and somebody leaves a note on the way out of town, Bucs fans should already start missing Jameis Winston.Oh, he's not gone, gone, g...
Published: 08/18/18
Updated: 08/19/18
Tom Jones’ Two Cents: Mixed bag for Bucs’ first teamers vs. Titans

Tom Jones’ Two Cents: Mixed bag for Bucs’ first teamers vs. Titans

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents while tuning in to the WFLA-Ch. 8 broadcast of Saturday night's Bucs-Titans preseason game.It's preseason. And it was just the second preseason game at that, so there's no reason to get too ...
Published: 08/18/18
Bucs journal: When in doubt, keep throwing to Mike Evans

Bucs journal: When in doubt, keep throwing to Mike Evans

NASHVILLE — Coach Dirk Koetter joked last week that the Bucs' offense consisted mostly of throwing to WR Mike Evans.All kidding aside, it's not a bad plan.Evans is the most reliable weapon among the Bucs' corps of target-rich receivers. He prov...
Published: 08/18/18