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Bucs journal: Kicking 'interviews' start today

Nick Folk has missed six kicks in past two games, including this 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter Thursday.
Nick Folk has missed six kicks in past two games, including this 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter Thursday.
Published Oct. 9, 2017

TAMPA -— The Bucs, considering their options to potentially replace struggling Nick Folk, are expected to bring in six kickers for workouts today.

The list includes Pat Murray, who was the Bucs' kicker in 2014 but has missed most of the past two seasons with injuries; Josh Lambo and Marshall Koehn. Also on it is Cairo Santos, who is about three weeks away from a healthy return from a groin injury. He will be in for a physical.

Two kickers previously reported to be worked out are former Dolphin Andrew Franks and veteran Mike Nugent, who played briefly for the Bucs in 2009.

Murray, 26, spent two games as the Browns' kicker before injuring a knee, but he's healthy now and was with the Saints in preseason. Lambo, 26, was the Chargers' kicker the past two seasons, going 26-for-32 last year on field goals with a long of 47 yards, and 42-for-46 on extra points.

Koehn, 25, has been in NFL camps each of the past two preseasons, with the Dolphins last year and with the Vikings this year. He hit a 58-yard field goal in the preseason this year, finishing 2-for-3 on field goals and 5-for-6 on extra points, but he lost out to Kai Forbath.

Santos, 25, is arguably the best kicker of the lot but was waived-injured by the Chiefs due to his groin injury. He is in his fourth season, with an 84.8 percent career success rate on field goals (31-of-35 last year) and at least one kick of 53 yards or longer in each of his first three seasons. He would have been an unrestricted free agent after this season, but he isn't healthy enough to be an immediate solution.

Folk has missed six kicks in the past two games, going 0-for-3 on field goals Thursday in a 19-14 loss to the Patriots. Four days earlier against the Giants, he missed two field goals and an extra point but made the winning field goal as time expired in a 25-23 win.

200 club

Thursday was the Bucs' fourth game of the season. Entering Sunday, only two teams had played more. As a statistical quirk, the Bucs have four players with at least 200 yards receiving: Mike Evans (276), DeSean Jackson (249), Adam Humphries (207) and Cameron Brate (205). Only one other team had more than that entering Sunday: the Patriots with five after five games.

Entering Sunday, the Panthers and Giants were the only other teams with three 200-yard receivers. More than half of the league's teams had only one, and four — the Bears, Ravens, Jaguars and Raiders — didn't have a 200-yard receiver.

Last year's Bucs didn't have a fourth player reach 200 until Nov. 27, after 11 games.

Having four players with 200 yards now won't likely extend to having four with 800 at the end of the season, but even if the Bucs finish with four at 600, that would be a first in the franchise's 42 seasons. They had three at 600-plus just twice — and not since 1995 — until Evans, Brate and Humphries did it last year.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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