Short of actually making an excuse for Mike Nugent, Raheem Morris brought up the gusty winds that were evident on the one kick as it took over for a moment; yet ultimately was not responsible for a single miss on Sunday. Fox analyst Tim Ryan tried to put the blame on a poor snap, that it messed up Nugent's timing. Yet watching again, you do not see Nugent studder-step. His motion is a constant one, and he follows through perfectly. He just simply misses them, and even the one he made was lucky to get through because it was reportedly deflected at the line; although It is not that apparent he did.
More of this story after the Jump
Mike Nugent did not lose his job soley on his kicking Sunday; he was supposed to replace Matt Bryant who has not been able to make long FG kicks consistently. Instead, Nugent has missed them all, and had the Bucs in the dubious position of being the only NFL team in week 4 that had yet to kick a single FG. The calls for his job were virtually immediate this year, even though his first attempt was blocked, it was not a fault of his own. TE Jeremy Stevens let a Cowboy through the line to block the kick. Yet the play resonated through the memories of Bucs fans for the past month. Similar to how his career started with the New York Jets.
Nugent has an excellent preseason his rookie year, but missed his first FG attempt of the regular season, with the ball not coming anywhere near the posts! Jets fans would never forget this, and cheered when Jay Feely was signed to replace the kicker who injured himself after his first Xtra Point of 2008.
It matters not, as Shane Andrus is the new Bucs kicker, a product of the Indianapolis Colts who needed a kicker while Adam Vinatieri recovered from an injury. He was very solid for the Colts in 2006 to present, with a stint in New York for the Giants. Andrus is 29 years old, so he is not going to have to deal with rookie type problems, although similar to Matt Bryant, getting a kicker so late in his life does not give you more than about 4 years of kicking prime time. Colts fans on our fellow SB Nation blog were very impressed with Andrus, suggesting any team looking for a good kicker should go after him.
The Bucs did.