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Former Bucs’ kicker Martin Gramatica backs Roberto Aguayo

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Yesterday’s kicker thinks the Tampa Bay Bucs did just fine in drafting tomorrow’s.

Martin Gramatica, the one-time kicker for the Bucs, supports the efforts of former FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo. Gramatica stopped by practice on Thrusday to tell him so.

“Anytime a kicker gets drafted, all us kickers get excited,” Gramatica said. “You can appreciate what the Bucs have done, especially knowing that you can have a kicker for 10, 15 years.

“If he stays healthy and does what he can do, then the Bucs are set with a kicker when 99 percent of the time teams are looking for a good kicker, so when you have one you can lock up for a while, I think it’s a great idea and a great choice,

“Like you were saying earlier, he’s not your typical kicker. I go to play on Sunday, kicked and went to play golf. When he’s out here, the guys see him out here, that’s huge because you don’t see that a lot. There’s a lot of guys that do their thing and then leave, where in his case, he’s here and he’s part of the team. That’s what you want. You want a guy who wants to be part of the team and be with his teammates. I think it’s a great choice.”

Aguayo is familiar with Gramatica.

“The first time I talked to him was the national championship game back when I was at Florida State and got some tips from him and how he dealt with some situations,” Aguayo said. “Sometimes your swing isn’t where you want it to be and talking to him, I got some pointers. It was good finally to meet him in person and meet his children and he’s a great guy. I remember me and my dad and my brother and my mom watching him on TV and making a lot of kicks. One thing that’s cool is that him and his brother were two great kickers and me and my brother are going on that same path. He was a great. He’s a legend here in Tampa as a kicker and I hope to be as successful as him or maybe even more so.”

Gramatica said it doesn’t matter that Aguayo was drafted in the second round.

“You can tell he’s a perfectionist, so it doesn’t matter if you get drafted or you’re a free agent,” Gramatica said. “He’s going to put pressure on himself just to be great, regardless of where he gets drafted. The pressure is more of what people talk about as far as the outside, but the internal pressure is the same whether you get drafted or you’re a free agent. Actually, sometimes being a free agent is a little more pressure because you can get fired right away, but I think in his case he wants to be great, so you can tell that he works hard to be great, so it doesn’t matter where you get drafted. I think he’s going to do great.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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