Bucs PK Chandler Catanzaro insists he’s curse-free

Tampa Bay kicker Chandler Catanzaro during training camp at One Buc Place in Tampa. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Tampa Bay kicker Chandler Catanzaro during training camp at One Buc Place in Tampa. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Published Sept. 21, 2018

TAMPA — When placekicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter at New Orleans and a point-after attempt last week against the Eagles, he left the door open for a possible comeback by the Saints and Eagles.

The Bucs won both games, fortunately, and overall Catanzaro has been solid. He's 2-of-3 on field-goal attempts and 9-of-10 on PATs.

But given the Bucs' history of wayward placekickers, fans may had begun to wonder if the curse is continuing.

"This is a tough gig when that starts happening," Catanzaro said. "Not many people understand that. But it's all about the next kick. As tough as it is, you've got to have a short memory because we attempt tens of thousands of kicks in warmups and practice and games and those are just bound to happen so you've got to bounce back as quickly as possible.

"Some of it is experience. You know, just one kick at a time. I pride myself on not missing two in a row. If you do miss one, when it happens, come back and make the next one and I think that all comes from being straight with your discipline, your mental routine, you pre-kick routine out there on the field and taking it one kick at a time."

Overall, it was a tough week in the NFL for placekickers. They missed 19 opportunities last Sunday, two shy of the single-day high point for this century.

Much of the blame has been heaped on the NFL's decision to move the extra point back 13 yards.

"I think it was an adjustment for everybody," Catanzaro said. "You know, the margin for error goes down a little bit. You have to hit a good ball, especially when you have wind or conditions. I don't know, I think it's probably a fluke. I think there's been weeks where kickers have missed. I'm not sure why it happens. It was pretty crazy the way it did."

Catanzaro says he's not worried. The curse of Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk is not real. Not yet anyway.

"It's tough. Nobody really cares as long as the ball is going through the two yellow poles," Catanzaro said. "I've just got to find a way to do it more consistently. Been hitting the ball great. Just got to put it between the goal posts."

INJURY REPORT: DT Beau Allen (foot) did not participate. DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) was upgraded to full participation. S Chris Conte (knee), T Demar Dotson (knee), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee), WR Chris Godwin (toe), CB Brent Grimes (groin), T Donovan Smith (knee), DT Vita Vea (calf) were limited. CB Marcus Williams (hamstring) did not practice.