Roberto Aguayo gets best of Nick Folk to open Bucs minicamp

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers really do have a kicking battle going on. On Tuesday, the first day of mandatory minicamp, it was Roberto Aguayo who got the best of veteran Nick Folk.

Midway through practice, both lined up for five attempts, increasing the distance with each kick. Folk went first and made his first four attempts. His fifth and final kick, from 54 yards out, bounced off the right goal post.

Aguayo went next and made 5-of-5. He drilled the final 54-yard kick.

"It's been close," Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said. "They've been going five kicks a day and usually it's one here or there. That's the difference though over the course of the year between an 85 percent kicker and a 74 percent kicker."

Last month, on the first day of OTAs, Folk easily had the edge. The two practiced with narrow uprights, and Aguayo missed three out of four attempts from 35-40 yards out. Folk made all of his. Granted, the narrow goal posts measure 8 1/2 feet, versus the 18 1/2 they'll see in games, but it seemed like a bad omen for Aguayo.

The second-round draft pick struggled in his rookie season last year, making 71 percent of his field goals, the worst in the NFL. Folk made 87 percent of his field goals last year and his career average is 81.3 percent. He went 3-for-3 on field goals of 40-plus yards, an area Aguayo struggled with, going just 4-for-10 last season.

In his 10-year career, Folk has made 72.1 percent of his attempts from 40-plus yards. He's also made 59 percent of field-goal attempts from 50-plus yards, just a shade below Connor Barth. That's why they signed him to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million.

"Roberto got the best of it today and looked good and [kicker] Nick [Folk] looked good," Koetter said. "Nick's was a little bit short. Roberto hit five clean ones, so that's what competition is."