Roberto Aguayo Contacted 'Mental Coach' After Missing Multiple Kicks with Bucs

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) reacts to a missed field goal during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Through two preseason games, Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo isn't living up to expectations as a second-round draft pick.

After missing an extra-point attempt in his first game, the Florida State Seminoles product missed two field-goal attempts in Week 2.

Fans are already turning on the 22-year-old player, reportedly "showering him with boos" when he missed three of six attempts at Tuesday's joint practice with the Cleveland Browns, according to Mitch Sanderson of The Score.

"The first miss came on his first attempt of practice at 35 yards out. After making the next two attempts, he backed up to 45 yards and shanked it. He attempted a 45-yarder again and missed, with the ball sailing wide left," noted ESPN.com's Jenna Laine.

"He's struggling," coach Dirk Koetter said, per Laine. "He's struggling a little bit right now. He's gotta work his way through it."

According to Roy Cummings of 620 WDAE on Monday, the rookie kicker is already talking to a variety of people to fix his problems, including former kicker Ryan Longwell. He has reportedly spoken with a "mental coach" as well because his "confidence has been shaken 'a little bit.'"

On the other hand, Laine noted this isn't uncommon for players from his high school:

JennaLaineESPN @JennaLaineESPN

For the folks making a big deal out of @_RobertoAguayo seeing a mental coach: every athlete at @IMGAFootball works with a mental coach.

Still, there remains a concern, as Aguayo explained the problem is mental instead of physical, per Cummings:

I'm just focusing on relaxing and sometimes not thinking about it too much. When you're overthinking like, 'Ok, I have to do this and this and this,' you get too many thoughts in your head. Sometimes you have to sit back and relax and just kick it. That's the mindset going into practice and throughout this week.

The kicker also said the issue "shouldn't happen with me," per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Aguayo is probably more surprised than anyone by his lack of success considering his confidence at the scouting combine. When asked about his transition to the NFL, he replied, "To me field goals, it's easier. The hashes are closer. Growing up I always thought, wow, NFL is much easier than high school, let alone college," per Chase Goodbread of NFL.com.

It turns out playing at the next level is tougher than he could have predicted.

While a few missed attempts during the preseason usually aren't concerning for kickers, there is added pressure for Aguayo to perform, as Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus noted:

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

Everybody misses kicks eventually, but if you're a kicker taken in the 2nd round you need to be money. Aguayo's missed 2 chip shots already

The Buccaneers selected the kicker with the 59th overall pick of the 2016 draft, ahead of many notable prospects, while avoiding plenty of other positional needs.

On Monday, Laine reported Aguayo nailed a pressure-packed field goal from 50-plus yards out that allowed his teammates to get out of practice early.

Tampa Bay is hoping Aguayo can be as consistent as he was throughout his career with the Seminoles. In three years, he never missed an extra point (198-of-198) while hitting 88.5 percent of his field-goal attempts. He hit two field goals as a freshman in Florida State's win over Auburn in the national title game before becoming a consensus All-American in 2014.

It's too early to judge his NFL career, but if he doesn't correct his kicking issues, his spot as a second-round pick could make him a massive disappointment.

Β Β Β Β 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for year-round sports analysis.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.