Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs journal: Roberto Aguayo 'money' in practice

TAMPA — The Bucs' kicking battle likely will continue until final cuts are made Sept. 3, but Roberto Aguayo had a strong Friday, going 7-for-7, including a 54-yarder and three other kicks through the "skinny" goalposts, as the competition heats up with veteran Nick Folk.

"He was lights-out," coach Dirk Koetter said of Aguayo. "Best day of training camp, best day in a long time. He looked great. … Usually, out of 10 kicks, it's a one-kick difference, but (Friday), Roberto was money on both ends."

Aguayo, who connected on an NFL-worst 71 percent of his field goals in 2016 as a rookie, was pleased to have a strong day that he can possibly build off with a week remaining before the preseason opener at Cincinnati.

"I was hitting the ball well (Friday), and I've just got to keep it rolling," the former FSU standout said. "I'm feeling good about it."

A strong start to Aguayo's preseason will help with his confidence, with the kicker battle one of the most high-profile competitions of training camp.

"Whatever he ate for breakfast (Friday), he better eat it every day," Koetter said.

Bad landing, good catch

Josh Huff nearly saw his best catch of camp turn into his worst.

The most experienced of seven players vying for the team's No. 5 receiver job, Huff made a diving catch on a deep pass Friday morning but landed on the ball, rolling over in pain and needing a few minutes with trainers before he was able to walk off on his own.

"Just landed on the ball, got the wind knocked out of me," said Huff, who joined the Bucs in November after he was waived by the Eagles.

Huff spent a month on the team's practice squad before being promoted and playing in the final three games, totaling three catches for 41 yards and six kickoff returns for 72 yards. Having a full offseason to get more comfortable in the offense has been a big help for this season.

"I've made some plays, made some mistakes, but that's what training camp is for, to knock out the rust and get going for the regular season," he said. "(Offseason) helps a lot. I'm way more comfortable than I was two months ago, way more than back in November when I came."

Rotating in rest

DT Chris Baker and DE Robert Ayers were held out of workouts, and Koetter said he will be careful not to overwork his experienced players to help the chances of them getting through camp healthy. "Some of the guys who have played a while, we need to protect their body," Koetter said.

Giving back

LB Lavonte David, a national spokesperson for Big Brothers Big Sisters, took time after practice to talk with 20 "Big and Little" pairs and go through a "Play 60" football clinic with youth participants in the program.

"This is as important to me as football," David told the group after practice. "Football isn't my main goal in life. My main goal in life is to give back and reach out to the youth as much as I can. … I care, your mentors care, and you have somebody you can lean on and talk to who's not going to judge you."

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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