With regular placekicker Connor Barth out for the season with an Achilles injury, the Buccaneers are in need of a replacement for 2013.
If the Buccaneers value experience most, they could very well give the job to ex-Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, who connected on 33-of-39 field goals for New York a season ago. Tynes has kicked in two Super Bowls, and he’s hit 81.5 percent of his field goals in nine NFL seasons.
However, Tynes currently has a toe injury, which gave first-year pro Derek Dimke a chance to handle all of the kicking in the preseason opener vs. the Ravens on Thursday. Overall, Dimke did well, connecting on field goals of 29, 35 and 45 yards. Also, three of his five kickoffs reached the endzone.
On Friday, Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano indicated that the two kickers are pushing each other.
“I was pleased with the three made field goals,” Schiano said Friday, according to the Associated Press. “They weren’t gimmes, Someone asked last night if that makes it a more spirited competition, and to me it’s been spirited since the day we got here. So it’ll continue to heat up and, like every other position, that competition at the end will make us better.”
Noted Schiano of the kicking competition, per the AP: “I hope for a very, very hard decision there, and that would mean we’re going to be in good shape.”
Given Tynes’ experience edge, Dimke may well have to clearly and consistently outkick him to win the job, and Dimke didn’t lose any ground in the competition on Thursday. He made the kicks an NFL specialist needs to consistently knock home.