Expectations for the rookie kicker out of Florida State were unreasonable the moment he was selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Billed as one of the most accurate kickers in NCAA history, he's missed an extra point and a pair of field goals this preseason.
"I don't know if 'concern' is the right word, but every player on a football team has a specific role and specific job to fill, and they're expected to do their job," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Sunday, via ESPN.com. "Roberto in both the first preseason games -- he's been pretty consistent in practice -- but in both the preseason games, he's missed kicks that he's expected to make."
"It shouldn't happen with me. You just have to fix it and keep moving on. I feel like that's what preseason games were made for, to get the young guys rolling in, to keep working, keep getting better."
Kicking is so much more about muscle memory and mental strength. If Aguayo was nervous before, it could have easily snowballed into the situation we currently find ourselves in. Talent like his just doesn't disappear and it's on the coaching staff to reel in whatever is causing this miniature version of Steve Sax Syndrome.
Aguayo should take solace in the fact that he's not the only big name struggling in the preseason. Top free agent acquisitions like Brock Osweiler haven't wowed and Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in the draft, has been outplayed by Dak Prescott. The NFL is a strange game and allowing the pressure associated with a contract or draft position only makes it worse. Here's hoping the Buccaneers realize this and get Aguayo back on track.