If you’re curious about what went down today in Tampa, when second-round kicker Roberto Aguayo got the boot, you’ll see it on Tuesday night, during the next episode of Hard Knocks.
To the extent there was any doubt about that, coach Dirk Koetter removed it on Saturday when he listed those present for the moment when Aguayo got the word that he would be getting a pink slip: “Me, [G.M.] Jason [Licht], and Hard Knocks.”
Koetter also was asked whether it’s harder to make personnel decisions with NFL Films cameras and microphones present.
“No, it’s not,” the second-year head coach said. “The cameras don’t make it harder. It’s hard because you’re dealing with a person’s career and a person’s life and whether it’s Roberto Aguayo or anyone else that we have to let go — I mean, I see what these guys go through. It’s one thing in any job if you were letting go of a guy that didn’t care or wasn’t trying to give you his best or wasn’t doing things the way you asked him, but that’s hardly ever the case. When these guys are out there and they are trying to do it the way we ask them and they’re giving it their all and it isn’t good enough sometimes, that’s difficult. I just always try to frame it with those guys when I talk to them is this doesn’t affect your manhood and I’ve been fired and you get over it and you learn from it and apply it to your next opportunity.”
Still, having those moments captured on camera for an eventual national audience is far from ideal, for anyone involved. For Aguayo, he was fired for one simple reason. He wasn’t getting it done.
“Anytime you have to let a draft pick go, it’s not something that you look forward to doing, but it’s a production business,” Koetter said. “We’ve been saying it. It’s unfortunate because Roberto is a good kid. He is trying to do the right thing, but again, it’s a production business. I’m sure he’ll get another opportunity and he’s just got to learn from this and move on. This allows us as a team to get behind Nick [Folk]. There’s pressure even in that. It will allow us, as a team, to support Nick and move forward.”
Koetter made it clear that Folk is the guy, but that another kicker will be added.
“[W]e want to have another leg in camp,” Koetter said. “Anything can happen. A guy could pull a hamstring, twist an ankle. As long as we have room, we would like to have another guy that can kick the football. As of right now, Nick is going to be our kicker.”
Koetter acknowledged that he and Licht had been discussing the possible release of Aguayo “for a long time,” and that they decided now was the time to move on.
“The thing that has haunted Roberto in his time here is just inconsistency,” Koetter said. “The team’s I’ve been on – you just don’t have to have that at that position. There’s enough other guys. Once again, it’s unfortunate. This doesn’t make Roberto a bad guy. He’s a terrific guy and we wish him the best. But at this point, we’re moving forward with Nick [Folk] and are happy about it.”
Koetter is right. When it comes to kickers, the supply grossly outweighs the demand. Also, there’s no issue with getting a guy acclimated to schemes or strategies because he has, literally, one job. One role. And if one guy can’t do it, someone else can.
If it’s not Folk, the Buccaneers will find someone else. And they’ll keep looking, indefinitely, until they get the kind of consistency that they thought they’d be getting for the next 15 years or more by using a second-round pick on Aguayo.