Roberto Aguayo grew up watching Martin Gramatica kick for the Buccaneers and now, the Buccaneers' second-round draft pick hopes to follow in his predecessor's footsteps. Gramatica attended the Buccaneers' OTA practice on Thursday and was able to meet Aguayo for the first time, though the two had been in communication previously.
READ: TAKEAWAYS FROM PRACTICE
"It's awesome to meet him finally," Gramatica said. "I've talked to him on the phone a couple times so to actually meet him … the best thing I've been hearing from everyone is how humble and how hard of a worker he is. That's a start. Once you've got a guy like that, the rest… and he's proven it. What he did in college - you can't do what he accomplished in college without working hard so I'm glad that he's a Buc. We're going to have a great kicker for a long time."
Gramatica stood with his two children on the sideline watching practice when Aguayo noticed him in the corner of his eye. Aguayo walked up to introduce himself and the two spent the next half hour chatting.
"He's not your typical kicker," Gramatica added. "I've played with some that would kick and go to play golf. He's out here and the guys see him out here – that's huge. You don't see that a lot. There are guys that do their thing and then they leave where, in his case, he's here and he's part of the team. That's what you want. You want a guy that wants to be a part of the team and wants to be with his teammates. I think it's a great, great, great choice."
Leading up to the draft, Aguayo said that he grew up a Buccaneer fan because of Gramatica. It makes sense as the two have a lot in common. Both are Spanish-speaking kickers and both were draft picks, which is becoming less and less common for players at that position. Gramatica has been there, though, while Aguayo has yet to kick a field goal in the NFL. The rookie hopes that one day he'll be able to match the career Gramatica had.
"He's a great guy," Aguayo said. "I remember me and my dad and my brother and my mom watching him on TV making a lot of kicks. The one thing that's cool is that him and his brother were two great kickers. Me and my brother are going on that same path. He is a legend here in Tampa as a kicker and I hope to be just as successful as him, maybe even more."