With the early solid success of Matt Gay, just about everyone, who has no say so in the decision, has settled on Gay as our starting kicker. You will forgive Cairo Santos if he doesn’t clean out his locker just yet. Bruce Almighty Arians backed up that line of thought Wednesday when asked about the kicking situation.
“Yeah, it will work – Cairo will get the first long one this week and see how that works out. It’s going to go down to the wire.” – Bruce Arians
I like to see that the competitors are getting an equal chance to win the job, that it’s not just being handed to Matt Gay on early success, and the fact a draft pick was spent on him. Let’s not forget that Santos has played well for the Bucs in his fairly short time here. So it’s right that he be given equal opportunity to keep the job.
The Bucs are in a very sweet situation at the position. Not one, but two legit kickers battling for a position that has been a weak spot on this team for a long, long, time. It’s why Jason Licht has not been afraid to spend draft picks on a position that is usually filled by teams with undrafted free agents. Only two kickers were actually chosen in this years NFL Draft, Cleveland was the other team that chose one. He realizes just how many games have been lost because of weakness at the position. Hats off to Licht for continuing to go after the fix, despite the amount of flack he has received for drafting kickers so high.
Personally, I believe that although it hasn’t been said, Gay already has the job. It would take a complete meltdown by Matt for Santos to win the spot. If all things are equal, Santos makes all his kicks, Gay continues to make his, Matt Gay will win out. Both players have a pretty strong leg. Gay’s leg though seems to be a little bit more of a cannon. It’s a good thing to have such strong competition at any position, but especially for the Bucs, it is a tremendous thing to have such strength, where weakness has been the status quo. Go Bucs!!