HBO 'Hard Knocks' 2017: Best Buccaneers Episode 2 Storylines, Moments, Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2017

TAMPA, FL - JULY 30: Kicker Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers works out during Training Camp at One Buc Place on July 30, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The life of an NFL kicker is tough.

HBO's Hard Knocks reminded fans of that reality Tuesday evening when it chronicled the plight of Roberto Aguayo, who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut Saturday after he missed an extra point and a 47-yard field-goal attempt in their 23-12 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.  


"We're gonna release you." #HardKnocks takes us inside the moment that Roberto Aguayo learned he had been released by the Bucs. https://t.co/0ytpxEmi6y

Before the Bucs let Aguayo go—the Chicago Bears subsequently claimed him off waivers—he was the subject of debate in the front office and razzing on the practice field. 

That much was clear within the first five minutes of the season's second episode, when defensive tackle Chris Baker was seen heckling Aguayo and fellow kicker Nick Folk as they struggled to varying degrees. 

At one point, Baker could be heard shouting "wide left" at Aguayo before the 2016 second-round pick promptly pushed one right. 

"What did I tell you?," Baker exclaimed following the miss. 

Aguayo recovered to nail five straight attempts at a subsequent practice, but prosperity was overlooked and proved fleeting. 

"No one talks about you when you make your kicks," Aguayo astutely observed before the team released him. 

"It's never easy, but it's got to be done," general manager Jason Licht concluded. 

Pewter Report relayed more soundbites from the meeting that took place just before Aguayo received word that the team was moving on: 

PewterReport @PewterReport

"It's a bigger mistake to keep holding on to him," Licht said about Aguayo. "I think Folk is our f'ing kicker," Koetter said.

Kickers weren't the only ones jockeying for jobs. 

There was also the matter of the backup quarterback gig, which veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Tulane signal-caller Ryan Griffin are vying for. 

Fitzpatrick wasn't exactly sharp, as he finished 6-of-13 for 45 yards and an interception while rushing for a six-yard score against the Bengals. He fared better than Griffin, though, who suffered a sprained AC joint and a major setback in his quest to be the second-stringer, per the Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman: 

Greg Auman @gregauman

"Hard Knocks" says it's "practically impossible" for Ryan Griffin to win the backup QB job, out a few weeks with shoulder injury ...

Defensively, linebacker Riley Bullough remained a source of gold after he made a positive impression in the series debut. In addition to stuffing the run effectively, the former Michigan State standout made his voice heard at the second level, as ESPN.com's Jenna Laine noted:   

JennaLaineESPN @JennaLaineESPN

“Play fast and f------ violent.”…”They stay the f--- down here. They stay the f--- down here.” - @RileyBullough

On the lighter side, NFL Films continued to feature the evolving relationship between wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson

This week, that meant eavesdropping on a conversation all too familiar to basketball fans who live on social media. 

Sitting on the sidelines at practice, Jackson—who hails from California—told Evans he preferred Kobe Bryant to LeBron James, citing the Black Mamba's ability to take free throws with a torn Achilles as one of the qualities that endeared him to the five-time champion. 

Evans, however, opted for James and stuck to that decision even after Jackson told him he didn't like that the four-time MVP had to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his first championship, as Pewter Report's Trevor Sikkema noted: 

The Artist Fomerly Known As Man Bun @TampaBayTre

DeSean Jackson: LeBron had to go somewhere else to win a championship Mike Evans: ... Yeah but that's what you about to do (laughs)

There was also some focus on cornerback Brent Grimes and his outspoken wife, Miko, who let the expletives fly in trademark fashion during her time on camera. 

Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch believes the lack of a filter makes her an ideal candidate to shine as this season progresses: 

Richard Deitsch @richarddeitsch

Miko Grimes is a dream for the director of Hard Knocks.

If Tuesday's episode was any indication, there should be much more Miko in Hard Knocks' future as the start of the 2017 season fast approaches. 


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