It sure was a surprise when general manager Jason Licht drafted kicker Mat Gay in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft.
Fans were a bit shocked and maybe even confused as to why they would select a kicker when the offensive line could’ve used some added depth.
With that being said, Gay has been nothing short of fantastic for the Buccaneers this preseason. The rookie has made two game winning kicks in as many weeks, set the record for the longest field goal ever made at Heinz Field, and is likely on pace to become the team’s kicker for the foreseeable future.
There has been one minor issue with Gay tho, according to Bruce Arians. And that has been the consistency for Gay on short distance kicks. We saw him miss a 37-yard field goal earlier in the game, but he bounced back to kick the game winner from 21 yards out.
When speaking to the media on Monday following practice, Arians stated that the last two days of practice have been much better for Gay in making those short distance kicks.
“I’d rather him just keep making them and learn by almost missing. It’s just like almost losing – you learn a hell of a lot more from almost losing than you do from losing,” Arians said. “I like the way he bounced back, but that one spot on the field has been a problem and I was hoping he’d fixed it. He seemed to have fixed it yesterday and today.”
With one game left, you have to think if Gay knocks in a field goal on Thursday from 30-40 yards, the job will be officially his.