Do Not Fear The Unknown Kicker

August 28th, 2020

Joe plans to resist the easy one-liners and stay focused on the importance of this post.

Bucs fans are well aware that the team’s kicking situation has been a circus act no Hollywood script writer could have crafted since Connor Barth blew out his Achilles playing basketball before the 2013 season.

Barth drilled 93 percent of his Bucs field goals in 2011, and then was strong with 85 percent in 2012, including 6-of-9 that year from 50-plus yards.

And then came the well-documented mess that currently features second-year Buccaneer and fifth-round draft pick Matt Gay, who is coming of a shaky season, against newcomer Elliott Fry. Neither is having a great training camp and Fry seemingly holds a slight edge in the battle if you read between the lines.

So now what?

Well, Joe is not panicking, and Joe does not fear Fry (other than because of Bucs history). Yes, Fry is an unknown outside of his time at the University of South Carolina, bouncing around the offseason rosters of the Bears, Ravens and Panthers, and his 14-of-14 kicking in the defunct AAF. But many, many teams have succeeded by scooping up no-name kickers and giving them a chance.

Ironically, look at the world champion Chiefs. Kicker Harrison Butker was plucked off the Panthers’ practice squad in 2017 (the year the Bucs hired another new kicker) and he has made 90 percent of his 107 field goal attempts ever since.

There are so many examples.

Pro Bowl Saints kicker Will Lutz was undrafted in 2016, the same year the Bucs drafted Roberto Aguayo in Round 2. The Ravens cut Lutz after training camp and it’s been happily ever after for New Orleans. In 2018, Lutz made 93 percent of his field goals and was a machine-like 89 percent last year.

The Falcons needed a new kicker last season and found their way to Younghoe Koo, another AAF kicker who was rejected by the Belicheats after flopping in his shot with the Chargers three years ago. Koo earned a new contract after nailing 23-of-26 field goals in half a season with Atlanta.

Look at the Panthers and Joey Slye. He went undrafted in 2018, and tried out for the Bucs but didn’t make it. The Panthers gave him a shot last season because Graham Gano was hurt. Slye had an extremely similar rookie season to Matt Gay, except Slye made 10 of his final 11 field goals while Gay struggled late.

Joe could go on and on.

There should be no fear of Fry at One Buc Palace. If he wins the job in camp, let him roll with it. Same for Gay.

Joe just hopes the Bucs’ power players don’t have any allegiance to Gay because of his draft status. Just go with the best kicker or sign someone else like other teams do successfully.

18 Responses to “Do Not Fear The Unknown Kicker”

  1. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    >draft status

    That is my biggest issue to begin with. You do not draft kickers. That’s just something you don’t do for some reason Forrest never got the memo. Yes there were a few exceptions but stop finding the exceptions.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    Roberto didn’t miss a kick that mattered, and made his only game winning chance.

    Gay meanwhile lost us 2 games last year and has never, in his entire life according to him, made a game winning FG.

    With that said stop the musical chairs on kickers. Most HOF kickers have bad rookie years, OK second years then go on to be good kickers. I’m not fan of the Gay, but he did enough last year to be the heavy favorite for the job and should not lose it in camp unless he’s way outplayed. Tampa is not a hard place to kick, it’s one of the easiest outdoor kicking jobs in the NFL. If they wanted to replace Gay, they should have signed Gostkowski and see if he’s still has it. I would not turn from Gay to another unknown at this point. Also it’s not too late to get Gostkowski if he still wants to play.

  3. Says:


  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Gostkowski has much better numbers than Hauschka.

    Looking again at Gostkowski’s numbers, why exactly is he out of work? Did he totally fall apart physically? If not, I’d sign him now – say Gay pulled a groin (who know how those people pull their groins all the time).

  5. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Never fear Joesph…I have a call into the agent of one Donald Amechi Igwebuike! kicking problem solved.

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bottom line: Best player for the position. The kicking problems MUST stop.
    This is “the land of opportunity”, right? Bring in another guy to compete, and may the best man win.

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    We should trade a second round pick for another kicker. Licht seems to waste them anyways.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Fry is more reliable, sign him……the problem for us is that whoever kicks for us seems to eventually break down in games, so….perhaps we put a kicker on the practice squad.

  9. Chris l Says:

    Maybe we should trade our first rounder for Justin tucker. All in!

  10. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Rod Munch Says: “Gostkowski has much better numbers than Hauschka. Looking again at Gostkowski’s numbers, why exactly is he out of work? ” Totally agree, does J Licht need to borrow someones phone, lol It is worth it to call him and at least give him a shot. Why not? GO BUCS!!!

  11. The Coroner Says:

    Hauschka was cut for cap reasons. Just a thought.

  12. The Coroner Says:

    Hauschka lowest success of 11 kickers of 50 or more yards with at least 10 attempts.

  13. Wesley Says:

    Take extra points kicks out of football. No team should lose a game because of a missed extra point.

  14. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Alabama he took two starting members of our secondary the last two years and Rojo the year before, I think you should look the word “waste” up in the dictionary before using words you aren’t familiar with.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    i just want BA to have a short leash with the kickers….screw the kicker and go for it if he misses 2 kicks in 1game….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  16. D-Rome Says:

    Neither kicker is good enough to be on a roster poised to make a deep playoff run.

  17. Buc4evr Says:

    Hauschka or Gostkowski it doesn’t matter, anyone but Gay or Fry. If the Bucs want to go to the playoffs they need a reliable kicker. The kicker should be an afterthought and there should be some certainty that he will make an extra point. Not the circus we have now. The Glazers have done everything to win it all this year and our offense is now the Ferrari of the NFL. But our kickers are like driving a Ferrari fitted with a temporary spare tire.

  18. SufferingSince76 Says:

    John McKay was known to say kickers were like grass. They were everywhere. Of course, most of the Bucs kickers sucked back then, too.