“Can I check that earl fer ya?”
I know what we all were hoping and wishing for as the seconds ticked away close to the end of Tampa’s second preseason game. We were all hoping that somehow, someway that Matt Gay was going to get a chance to kick a 65 to 70-yard field goal. Then the Bucs offense ruins it by advancing the ball far enough, to where it was only a 48-yard attempt. In the regular season that would have been just fine. In a game where the final score really means nothing, it was a let down that he didn’t get that record attempt. So as Matt Gay lined up to attempt the letdown 48-yard kick, it crossed my mind that I had absolutely no doubt, if the line held, he would make the kick. Of course, he did just that. That confidence in a kicker is something that hasn’t been around this area for a long, long, time. I think it left town with the guy that used to come out to your car at gas stations and ask “Can I check that earl fer ya?” Well, probably not that long ago, but a long time ago, that’s for sure.
Undaunted by past failure in the draft
One of the signature complaints we all have heard over the years Jason Licht has been here. Is that he wasted that 2nd round pick on the sure bet kid from FSU, Roberto Aguayo. That high draft pick never panned out and was a complete, fall on your face failure. Undaunted by the criticism, again Licht went out in this year’s draft and again spent a draft pick on a kicker that probably could have been had as an undrafted free agent. Only one other kicker was selected with a draft choice in this years NFL Draft. The criticism of Licht’s taking kickers with draft picks, especially high ones wouldn’t have been warranted had the player panned out because we all know we have lost many games in the last 5 years because of bad kicking.
Hit the highway, and good luck to you
It feels good to be able to say, Cairo Santos, clean out your locker, pack it up and hit the highway. No offense, or ill will towards Santos, he himself is a pretty good kicker and will catch on somewhere at some point. But, his services are no longer needed at 4201 North Dale Mabry Highway. Gay was 2 for 2 the first of which was a chip shot 32 yarder, and of course, the second one, a 48-yard game-winner with time almost expired. He drilled it, it was never in question, and I never doubted him for a second. Gay would have to lose a leg in an unfortunate Wood Chipper incident to not win out at the position. He looks like he’s been kicking for ten years already, calm, cool as the other side of the pillow. Looking like the 5th round pick is going to be worth it, and some. Fans are very happy to see this kid take charge, Jason Licht is so happy, he’s got to sit on his hands to keep from waving to everybody.
Have a seat Mr. Gay, and stay awhile
Even if Gay never gets his shot at a 65-70 yard field goal. A chance to break the current record of 64 yards, set by Broncos kicker Matt Prater on December 8th, 2013 versus the Titans in a 51-28 pounding of the “previously known, as The Oilers” team, at Mile High. Even if he never lines up for it, the fact that it’s well within his wheelhouse means that he could line up for it, one day. Having that option in your tool belt as a head coach isn’t one that too many coaches have the privilege to. Welcome to Tampa Mr. Gay, hopefully, you will be living here for a very long time.
– facts of the field goal record attributed to Wikipedia