Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs' Aguayo could finish much better than he started

TAMPA — Roberto Aguayo got it straightened out — his kicks and future both look good. After starting the season 4-of-8 on field goals, he has made 17 of 20.

He also made 17 straight extra points.

"Yeah, he's been on a little hot streak," coach Dirk Koetter said. "We've had faith that Roberto would come out of this thing on the back end and be a really solid kicker for a lot of years."

The confounding thing about Aguayo is his longest field goal is only 43 yards. He is 0-for-1 from 50 yards or longer and 4-of-8 from 40-49. Does Aguayo have the ability to make longer field goals?

"Yeah, absolutely. I mean, he made a 58-(yard field goal) in practice (Thursday), and he's made (longer) this last month," Koetter said. "That's usually where we stop him, is somewhere around 58. He's definitely got the leg to do it."

Aguayo isn't the only rookie who has pleased the Bucs. CB Vernon Hargreaves has started every game, and his coverage has grown tighter with each one. DE Noah Spence, despite playing with a shoulder harness, has 51/2 sacks.

"Yeah, I was just looking at that this morning. I think we have 13 rookies maybe on the active (roster), plus one that's been with us all year on the practice squad that we're excited about," Koetter said while lauding GM Jason Licht's past two drafts.

"There's always the talk about do rookies fade at the end of the season. And I don't think our guys have. I think they've hung in there, and that's how really good teams build, is through their young players. They hit on their draft choices, they get a good, young nucleus and they build around them. And if you look at the young guys that we have in three or four years or less in this league, we have a strong nucleus to move forward with."

LIGHTER SIDE: The team used Friday's practice as an impromptu jersey-swap day, where some players exchange practice uniform shirts. DT Gerald McCoy wore No. 24 while CB Brent Grimes pulled on 93. DE Robert Ayers wore 21. CB Alterraun Verner wore 91.

"Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the jersey swap," Koetter said. "But I told Robert Ayers on that one pass rush, he looked a lot faster wearing 21."

INJURIES: DE William Gholston (elbow) did not practice this week and is out for Sunday's game against Carolina. RT Demar Dotson, who is out of the NFL's concussion protocol, will play. T Gosder Cherilus (groin/ankle) practiced Friday and is questionable. Hargreaves (abdomen) was limited and is questionable.

Bucs' Aguayo could finish much better than he started

12/30/16 [Last modified: Friday, December 30, 2016 9:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  2. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  3. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  4. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …

  5. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.