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#pounditMonday, May 16, 2022

Adam Vinatieri offers to help Roberto Aguayo

roberto-aguayo

The expectations surrounding Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo are tremendously high, and the oldest active player in the NFL knows just how difficult it can be to live up to them.

Adam Vinatieri, who is 43 and entering his 21st season as a pro, started out rough his rookie season with the New England Patriots. When asked earlier in the week about what Aguayo has been going through during training camp and the preseason, Vinatieri offered to help.

“He can give me a call anytime he wants to,” he said, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “There’s a brotherhood with the specialists. There’s not many of them and we don’t get any respect, so we have to show a little respect for each other. We have to help each other out if we have the opportunity.”

Aguayo converted 88.5 percent of his field goal attempts in three seasons at Florida State. He is famous for never missing a kick inside 40 yards during his collegiate career, but he has already missed an extra point and a 32-yarder this preseason. Aguayo also went 3-for-6 during a joint practice with the Cleveland Browns this week.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced that Aguayo has been working with a mental coach to help him get over the hump.

“This happens to a lot of players,” Vinatieri said. “He was a fairly high draft choice. They’re going to give him a little bit more leeway with that, maybe. Sometimes you have to work through some things, and the mental side of kicking is definitely there.”

Vinatieri thought he wasn’t going to get any leeway his rookie season, and he ended up being one of the most clutch kickers in NFL history. He has four Super Bowl rings and three game-winning kicks in the Super Bowl, but Vinatieri missed three field goals in his second career game with the Patriots and another each week after that. He says former Pats coach Bill Parcells basically told him he was in danger of being cut, and fortunately he settled down.

Assuming he stays away from Mike Tomlin, Aguayo has more than enough time to turn things around. Acknowledging that his struggles are mental can only help. He should consider taking Vinatieri up on the offer.

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