Dion Lewis’ injury setback isn’t only frustrating news for his fantasy owners in leagues that drafted early; it’s also aggravating in that it takes the New England Patriots’ backfield a step backwards in terms of role certainty from week to week.
“We’ve talked to him. He knows what he has to do. He’s working through it,” said Koetter, directing all questions about possibly bringing in another kicker to general manager Jason Licht. “I wouldn’t think that’s an option, but that would be a question for Jason.”
Koetter was asked if he believes Aguayo’s struggles are mental.
“I think so and I think he believes that,” Koetter said.
Roberto Aguayo has missed two field goal attempts and one extra point conversion attempt through the first two preseason games.
Aguayo admitted Monday that indeed, his confidence has been affected.
“I’d say a little bit, but in times like this, it builds you up so down the road in the future, you’re a lot stronger, ya know? You’ve got to have times like this where you struggle a little bit,” Aguayo said.
On Monday, Koetter put him on the spot at the end of practice and said that if he made a 50-yarder, the team could go home early. He made it, and his teammates celebrated with him. They also let him break the huddle. “I haven’t had that feeling in a long time … a game-winning kick,” Aguayo said.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said it gave him a huge boost.
“It was big for him because he got to see what making his kicks can do for his team, how it can energize us when he makes his kicks.”
“He’s a rookie. He was drafted as a kicker, so a lot of expectations come with you being the guy,” said McCoy, who was selected third overall in the 2010 NFL draft and didn’t have a breakout season until 2013.
“With me not struggling right away with injuries, not living up to expectations, who better to go talk to him?” said McCoy, who tore the biceps in both arms his first two seasons and ended up on IR. “I just go and encourage him and say, ‘Hey listen, just stay the course. Just stay the course.”
Despite the boo-birds, several fans waited for Aguayo after practice to get his autograph and to offer words of encouragement. “We watched you all the way back at Florida State,” said one fan. “We have a lot of faith in you.”
Meanwhile, former Bucs kicker Patrick Murray, now with the Browns, went 4-for-4 on his kicks during the joint practice session. The Bucs waived him in May, two and a half weeks after drafting Aguayo.
Rodgers said that this will be a one-shot deal for the preseason; he’s not expecting to play in the finale at Kansas City.
Rodgers hasn’t played in either of the first two games, but Packers associate head coach Tom Clements said that even a two-time MVP quarterback, who is entering his 12th NFL season (and ninth as a starter), could use the work.