Roberto Aguayo has not been a good kicker this year. While his kickoffs have been pretty much flawless, he’s only hit four of his eight field goal attempts, and three of his four extra points. None of those kicks were long-range attempts. The sole saving grace has been his game-winning field goal against the Panthers — though we should perhaps emphasize that that kick would not have been necessary had he made two earlier in the game.
Still, though, special teams coordinator is out and about, trying to explain Aguayo’s misses. Here’s what he told Alex Marvez of Sporting News.
“I think the easiest way for people to understand it is that you’re talking about a fine motor skill applied at a high rate of impact,” Bucs special teams coach Nate Kaczor told Sporting News. “Being able to do that consistently the exact same way every single time, that’s what separates the really good ones from the rest of them. He’s still working on being repetitive with his swing and getting his plant foot down in the right spot and those technical things.”
Which is true enough, though there’s obviously some variation in specific game circumstances. But this makes it sound like Aguayo has only just started kicking the football: he’s been a kicker for about a decade now, and had the entire offseason to do nothing but get those fine motor skills exactly right.
In fact, if we look around the league, we see rather few kickers who’ve had trouble transitioning the position of their plant foot to the NFL. Right now, Roberto Aguayo is the single least accurate kicker in the NFL (tied with Patrick Murray, who only attempted two kicks this year), and he hasn’t even attempted a kick from beyond 46 yards.
All of that doesn’t mean Aguayo is a bad kicker, though. Eight kicks is a terrifyingly small sample, and even the best kickers have periods where they miss a few more than usual through sheer random luck. And Aguayo’s draft status means the odds of him getting cut this year are minuscule, so if he’s actually a good kicker, we should see his end-of-season stats reflect his actual quality a little more closely. Or maybe this is his actual quality, and the Bucs did worse picking him than anyone imagined. We’ll see.