Kicking Woes Fixed?
It’s not a secret that over the past three years the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled in the kicking game. It has caused the Buccaneers to lose several meaningful games. This has also put a dark cloud over franchise quarterback Jameis Winston. When the kicking game is poor and the Buccaneers are losing, the blame is usually put on the starting quarterback. What did Tampa Bay do to help the situation though?
In a surprise move, they cut punter Bryan Anger. He was a Pro-Bowl caliber punter and the Buccaneers showed him the door. Could he be the issue for the kickers? Anger is the common factor in every Buccaneers kicker the past three seasons. Is this the issue fixed with Anger being cut in Tampa?
The Buccaneers next move was to sign Bradley Pinion. The ex- 49ers punter/kicker will be handling the kickoffs and punting duties for the Buccaneers. He signed a four-year deal with Tampa Bay in the off-season. Head Coach Bruce Arians made the decision for Pinion to kickoff and punt in hopes that Cairo Santos will be able to dedicate more focus on just making extra points and field goals in 2019. This is huge for the Buccaneers special teams unit. Pinion was the holder for Pro Bowl kicker Robbie Gould in San Francisco.
Cairo Santos is the present and the future kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He worked hard to come back from injury with the Kansas City Chiefs. He is a career 83% field goal kicker and went 9 for 12 last season on split time with LA and Tampa. I believe this percentage will only rise, given the changes that Arians has made for the special teams unit. Special teams will finally be special again in Tampa Bay and fans will be able to rejoice in seeing our kicker hit game winners this year. Finally, we will be more shocked if they miss an attempt than make it.