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Roberto Aguayo on Bucs: 'It just never flourished'

Given a new start with the Bears, Roberto Aguayo is putting his wayward experience with the Buccaneers in the rear-view mirror.

"It's unfortunate," Aguayo told the Chicago Tribune of his time in Tampa, which abruptly came to an end when the 23-year-old kicker was released on Saturday.

"What we both wanted, it just never flourished," Aguayo said. "I'm excited to be here with the Bears and I'm excited for this fresh opportunity and a new start."

The final straw for Aguayo came Friday, with last year's second-round pick missing a 47-yard field goal and clanging an extra point off the upright in a preseason loss to the Bengals.

The former Florida State standout struggled mightily as a rookie, missing nine of 31 field-goal attempts and two extra points, with his longest kick coming from just 43 yards.

Aguayo on Monday acknowledged that his draft pedigree didn't make life any easier in Tampa.

"I guess you could say (that). Right now, I'm not going to focus on that anymore. There was a standard that was set with that (draft status)," Aguayo said. "But at the end of the day, I know what I'm capable of and the standard that is held in the NFL. I'm just going to go out here and do what I've got to do here."

After losing his job to veteran Nick Folk, Aguayo now must fend off Connor Barth to keep a spot on Chicago's roster, saying: "At the end of the day, they'll decide."

Few kickers elicit the kind of media attention Aguayo received during a radioactive rookie campaign that played out publicly in mostly ghastly fashion. Case in point: His dismissal from the Bucs can hardly be filed away as a past trifling when the nation is preparing for an inside look at Aguayo's meltdown on HBO's Hard Knocks.

"At the end of the day, I've dealt with the media. I've had highs at Florida State. And dealing with the media coming into the NFL, there were highs, there were lows," Aguayo said. "At the end of the day, I know the type of man I am. I know the integrity and what I have inside me. That doesn't define me as a man. I'm defined by how I keep my head up and keep pushing. That's in the past now. Yeah, at the time it hurt. But there are new opportunities and I'm here now. So this is my next opportunity."

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