A Transforming Battle

June 15th, 2019

Listening to Bucs rookie kicker Matt Gay talk yesterday, it sounds like the high-profile Tampa Bay kicker battle is about to go from friendly affair to an-I-wanna-kick-your-ass showdown.

Manbeast JoeBucsFan.com intern Zachary Seifter, the pride of Plant City and a proud Gator, was 1-on-1 with Gay and asked if his winner-take-all competition with Cairo Santos had any animosity to it.

Gay said they get along great and he’s learned from Santos, but it’s all about to get very serious.

“It’s an interesting vibe, right, because I mean he’s a great guy,” Gay said of Santos. “You’re with him all the time. You’re a specialist and you kind of hang out with the specialists, so you’re there. But I think for him as well, in the back of your mind, there’s only one spot. So it’s nothing that’s animosity or anything. I mean, you want what’s best for him. I want him to land a job but there’s only one. Eventually, I mean, it’s going to be one of us. You kind of have to have in the back of your mind that you’re coming for the job and he’s coming for the job, and you both know that.”

Joe is so eager to see how this plays out in August. Joe just hopes it’s a fair fight. It would be a shame, for example, if the Bucs kept Gay over Santos because of his draft status.

Both kickers are hitting the ball well, Gay said, and that’s all Joe could ask for. And yeah, Joe would not rip the Bucs if they decided to keep two kickers for a little while. This kicker mess has to be solved this season at all costs.

23 Responses to “A Transforming Battle”

  1. Pittsshore Says:

    Yet another example of how bad an organization the Buccaneers have become; 2 of the last 6 articles are about kickers. What’s next, women’s World Cup soccer???? May as well do an article on the leagues first male cheerleader Joe. And for all the JW lovers….the only reason we have a male cheerleader is to offset all of the JW homophobic slurs during that drunken night in Arizona.

  2. Larry Says:

    Hey Joe, thanks for the kicking update. That’s refreshing to see that we have a guy who’s going to bring it on. Kudos to young Seifter for digging it ut.

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The job is Gay’s to lose, Santos is insurance

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Competition, legit competition, is good for any position. May the best player win!

  5. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Have we had an article about the punter we signed out of UCF? I can’t remember his name but he might have a shot to stick.

  6. Wombat Says:

    It’s Gays job to lose.

  7. BucDan Says:

    How could we forget about Loudermilk!

  8. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    This season is shaping up to be a disaster of biblical proportions, old testament, real wrath of God type stuff, Gumpster fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, forty three years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, female coaches, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, male cheerleaders, dogs and cats living together, climate changing, gay kickers and mass hysteria???

    I thought the world was going to hell in a handbag, but now we learn it was just because of JW homophobic slurs on that drunken night in Arizona.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    I know how Gay feels.

    When I was a rookie going into the WFL there was no innerweb, so you didn’t know what was going on. You didn’t know guys from watching highlight reels. There was no ESPN. You only knew college guys from newspaper box scores on Sunday morning.

    Two weeks before I was headed to camp, I read a short newspaper article that my team signed two kickers from big SEC schools. I had heard of both and both had earned near legendary status in their colleges.

    So I’m thinking “WTF?” I knew I was pretty good, but I went to a tiny school compared to these SEC giants. I honestly didn’t know if I could compete, because I had no basis of comparison. All I knew was I was better than anyone we’d played against, but that’s a small sample size. Thing is, my college offense was so powerful we didn’t need to go for many FG’s, but I nailed the ones we tried.

    So my first pro camp starts, and I get to meet these legends before the first practice. They were leery of each other and both pretty much blew me off, the little school guy. Polite, no doubt, but I could tell both looked down their noses at me. And we all know there was only one spot.

    I admit to insecurities walking onto the practice field for the first time. I was totally out of my element. I had zero confidence I could compete; the unknown breeds fear.

    It took 10 minutes into that first practice to learn those two guys couldn’t come close to my skill level. I had 10+yds distance over them on FG’s & kickoffs, and they couldn’t punt but I could. The ST coach saw the difference immediately. The difference was unmistakable. Those two guys pretty much avoided me after that practice. Three days later one of the guys left camp, and a week before the first PS game the other guy got cut.

    So I can imagine what Gay is going through. He comes to camp as a small school guy not knowing where he stacks up against a proven pro, and not understanding what the pro game is all about: it is night and day compared to college. So he treads lightly, trying to find his place. But at some point, he discovers he’s got the goods, and the other guy needs to be vanquished.

    This is how a pro kicker develops confidence. Enjoy watching the personal growth.

    Aguayo never went through this.

  10. Magadude Says:

    Wombat is right…it’s Gay’s job to lose, especially given he was actually drafted. How bad would have to be to lose it to Santos, who met the basic requirements last year? Depends. I tend to think JL is loathe to lose any player he just drafted because he doesn’t want make it look like he goofed again. On the other hand…keep him too long, rely too much…like he did with Aguayo, and he also looks bad. The best strategy is to give Gay the time in pres-season and camp 60-40 or better. He needs to be able to get any head issues cleared up before SF comes to town.

  11. Magadude Says:

    Good to see Joe spreading the articles around…talking about the kicking game is exactly one of the right topics right now. Thanks Joe!

  12. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    If they’re even you have to keep gay bc Of the salary difference, right?

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    I think the bigger heavier place kicker can kick better at longer distances. So keep the fat guy.

  14. Magadude Says:

    Ooh…Dirks…that’s a good question. Santos is in for about $1M this year, and I can’t imagine Gay doing more than the league minimum of just under $500K. Santos has a dead cap space of about $200K, meaning he gets that even if not on the roster. So it seems minimal cost of a K this year looks about $700K to $1M. I’d HOPE the Bucs don’t keep the 2nd best kicker over $300K. Man, if that were an issue for cap space they are broke bigtime.

  15. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Appreciate the story. We could use more of that here, and less mindless babble. LOL. Calling all former pros!

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Have really enjoyed your kicker stories through the eyes of experience. It’s a unique position, good to have a poster who has gone through a lot of the stuff Gay is facing.

  17. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Thanks maga. I wasn’t sure about the exact numbers but for 300k then you’re absolutely right. I was thinking it was around a million in savings

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe says
    “It would be a shame, for example, if the Bucs kept Gay over Santos because of his draft status.”

    I would be more concerned about the opposite happening. They keep Santos because they signed a deal with him, and Gay gets released.

    According to all reports, both kickers are doing well inside of 40 yards, but Gay is far out-doing Santos outside of the 40. Heck, they are not even having Santos attempt the long kicks because they know he doesn’t have the leg.

    The guy that does Bucs Insider on their website…I forget his name…he said that Gay’s kicks are always in a straight line…that he might miss a couple barely, but it is because they are using the skinny posts, and all of his would have made it with regular posts.

    I never liked them re-signing Santos at all. He performed too poorly last year, and it will be worse this year if he gets a full season.

    This news tells me that Gay thrives on competition, unlike Robert Aguayo.

    Am I the only one…

    Who thinks they should cut Santos, bring in Bryant and keep him and Gay until Gay is ready to step up?

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Cobraboy Says
    “I know how Gay feels…”

    lol. Sorry. Slipped…

    But seriously, That was a fantastic story.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    From the few notes we’ve heard during practices so far, it has sounded like Gay has performed a little better. And been more consistent with the longer kicks…

    Would you agree Joe? Or you think it’s been pretty dead even?

  21. Joe Says:

    From the few notes we’ve heard during practices so far, it has sounded like Gay has performed a little better.

    He gives Joe hope. The football just booms off his foot. Accuracy? Not sold yet but haven’t seen anything (yet) to suggest he’s Aguayo-like.

  22. Joe Says:

    2 of the last 6 articles are about kickers. What’s next, women’s World Cup soccer????

    If you don’t think a decent kicker is important, you clearly have not been paying attention the past five years.

  23. unbelievable Says:

    Ok that’s what I thought. The distance is important. Definitely been an issue for us since Bryant left.

    Lol at that last comment. Can think of at least 5 games over the last 2 years we lost due to kicking.