Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams coach Nate Kaczor thinks that second-year kicker Roberto Aguayo will bounce back after a rough rookie season, according to Mark Cook of The Pewter Report.
The Buccaneers traded up to take Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, an incredibly unorthodox move.
The 23-year-old Aguayo, who played college football at Florida State University, was selected by Tampa Bay with the 50th overall pick. However, the results of Aguayo’s first year were less than optimal.
The Florida native made just 22 of his 31 field goal attempts in 2016 and did not make a field goal longer than 43 yards. He also missed two extra points.
Still, Kaczor feels that Aguayo’s increased maturity will allow him to rebound.
“I would say like most second year players, he’s probably in a different place mentally from maturity and seeing what the NFL looks like under the covers, so to speak,” Kaczor said.
Kaczor went on to acknowledge the difficulty of the acclimation period of a young pro athlete.
“There’s a big learning curve for any pro athlete to come and go through their first year, particularly at a young age. I would just say, as a human being, as a football player, that he is in a different place in terms of maturity,” he said. “Not saying that he’s mature yet, but obviously that’s a work in process. I think he is on the way to becoming a more mature football player, which usually helps development.”
Kaczor also discussed the psychological aspect of gaining a comfort zone in professional sports.
“Helping players play with confidence and playing within our scheme and developing schemes that can help them play fast and with confidence, that’s our job and part of our job,” he said.
The Buccaneers will open their season on the road against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m. ET.