Looking Out For The TeamJanuary 11th, 2017
When America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, talks about the Bucs as family, he’s not the only one with the same mentality.
Winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, though he may not publicly display it often, is a players kind of guy. Just look at all the ways he tries to keep players fresh through the rigors of training camp, right down to having walk-throughs at night under temporary lights in order to spare exposure to the brutal Florida sun.
And in the mind of outhouse-admiring, airline-napping, steerage-flying, Yogi Berra-worshiping, urinal picture-taking, video game-playing, Taylor Swift-listening, pickpocket-thwarting, Bucs-uniform-frowning, Allie-LaForce-smitten, Big-Ten-Network-hating, pedestrian-bumping, olive oil-lapping, popcorn-munching, coffee-slurping, fried-chicken-eating, oatmeal-loving, circle-jerking, beer-chugging, cricket-watching, scone-loathing, college football-naïve, baseball-box-score-reading, NPR-honk, filthy-hotel-staying, fight-instigating, barista-training Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports fame, Koetter gave the team morale a boost by putting embattled kicker Roberto Aguayo on notice when he announced competition would arrive for Aguayo.
Alas, seemingly hours later, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht signed a kicker.
This impressed King, who took to his keyboard Monday morning on his site, theMMQB.com.
I think I’m sure Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter won points in his own locker room by saying the team would have competition for second-round kicker Roberto Aguayo in training camp next summer. GM Jason Licht traded into the second round to pick Aguayo, and he was the worst kicker in the league (among kickers who played the full season with their teams); he was a 71-percent kicker, and hit just four of 10 from beyond 40 yards. “Our field-goal percentage this year was not good enough,” Koetter said last week. “Jason [Licht] and I have talked, and I think it’s already proven that we have no problem moving on from a draft choice and playing someone who wasn’t drafted.” Good lesson for Licht: Let’s say the four best kickers of the current era (just my opinion) are Adam Vinatieri, Dan Bailey, Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker. One was drafted. You can find kickers—and great kickers—on the street, or late in the draft. You certainly shouldn’t trade up to pick one in the second round.
While Bucs players are lockstep in their public support of Aguayo — specifically Kwon Alexander — actions often speak louder than words.
Joe was struck by the image of a prayer circle of Bucs players seeking help from a higher authority as Aguayo lined up to kick a game-winning field goal at Carolina in Week 5.
It was as if players were hoping The Almighty would help guide Aguayo’s kick between the uprights.
When have you ever seen a gaggle of players drop to one knee in group prayer in Week 5?! A Super Bowl or a playoff game, sure, but Week 5?!