The Buccaneers thought they had settled their kicking position for years to come when they traded up in the second round of the 2016 draft to select Roberto Aguayo.
Aguayo was terrible as a rookie, however, and Nick Folk didn’t take long to beat him out this summer. Folk wasn’t any better once the regular season started, however, and the team shifted gears again on Monday by signing Patrick Murray to replace Folk. It’s Murray’s second stint in Tampa after holding the job in 2014 and he doesn’t think that the team’s inability to find a long-term answer at the position is a sign that the spot is cursed.
“I think if you buy into things like that, they’re easy to believe,” Murray said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “But I don’t buy into that thinking.”
He also doesn’t buy into the notion of talking to sports psychologists or mental coaches, something Aguayo did when he was struggling. Murray does consult with a medium, however.
“She’s helped me tremendously with a lot of different things and maybe it’s just getting me to talk has helped me, getting stuff off my chest and being able to really kind of feel that positive energy,” Murray said. “This woman happens to be really Irish-Catholic. Very, very deeply into her faith. She worked at my gym and there are things she has mentioned that I have told nobody and there are things that she said would happen that have happened. It’s validation for me. And maybe it is speaking about my feelings and having her respond. Getting into a dialogue and then having something validated that allows me to feel the way I feel. And maybe that’s just all I needed.”
Murray said he believes he is a “better man” and a “better kicker” than he was when he was last with the Bucs. The team will settle for the latter if it means an end to leaving points on the field in close losses.