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Monday, October 5, 2015

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

October 6, 2015 - kicker Connor Barth re-signed
"The move comes after the team released rookie Kyle Brindza, who had been the team’ starter through their first four games. Barth, a seven-year veteran, spent most of his NFL career with the Buccaneers. He was the team’s kicker from 2009 to 2012 after playing with the Chiefs his rookie season. Barth, who spent last season with the Broncos, has connected on 116 of 136 field goals in his career, 83 percent of his kicks. He’s missed just four times when attempting kicks shorter than 40 yards, converting on 63 of 67 attempts. " - Buccaneers

October 5, 2015 - kicker Kyle Brindza released, tryouts pending
The Bucs are reportedly trying out Connor Barth, Billy Cundiff, Kai Forbath and Randy Bullock on Tuesday.

October 4, 2015 - kicker Kyle Brindza's struggles continue
"In the past two games, Bucs kicker Kyle Brindza has missed five field-goal attempts and two extra-point attempts. His immediate future? Given his lack of production, Brindza is approaching it realistically. 'I’m living day to day right now,'’ Brindza said. 'It has to get better.' Sunday, it got worse. Against the Panthers, Brindza made a 42-yard field goal, but was wide right on a 29-yarder just before halftime that could have cut Carolina’s lead to 17-13. Brindza said he slipped after planting his foot, but added that was no excuse for the miss. He was wide left on a 43-yarder early in the third quarter after the Bucs recovered a Cam Newton fumble on the Carolina 25-yard line. On the Bucs’ final touchdown with 58 seconds remaining, Brindza was wide left on the extra-point attempt. 'Any day can cost you (your job), whether it was last week, this week,' said Brindza, a rookie from Notre Dame. 'My philosophy right now is get better each day. Today’s a horrible day, just like last week. I have to somehow get over this.' Last week, Bucs coach Lovie Smith stood by Brindza. Sunday, he was less convincing. 'We’re not going to start kicking people off (the team) in the press conference after the game,' Smith said. 'We’re disappointed in Kyle’s play today. We have to do a better job with extra points, with field goals when we need them. Those were critical parts of the game. We need to get more production from there'." - Tampa Tribune

September 4, 2015 - kickers Connor Barth & Patrick Murray released
"A week ago, Connor Barth and Patrick Murray, the past and present of Bucs kickers, were battling for the team's starting job. On Friday, both were cut loose, with the job going to rookie Kyle Brindza, who was acquired by trade from the Lions on Monday and kicked field goals of 57 and 55 yards in Thursday's preseason finale against the Dolphins, locking up the job in a whirlwind week. 'When you talk about his ability, I feel a lot better going with someone that has something that's rare, that very few people have,' coach Lovie Smith said of Brindza. 'I think it's safe to say he has a strong leg that probably is rare. We feel good about that. It's more than just having a strong leg. You have to have some accuracy, too. It's good to get in those situations and hit both of those field goals, and for kickoffs, too'." - Tampa Bay Times

September 1, 2015 - punter Michael Koenen released
"Koenen was due to make $3.25-million this season as one of  the NFL's highest-paid punters, but ranked 32nd in the NFL in average punting and 29th in net average last season. The Bucs could still add another punter waived by another team this week, but for now, the job belongs to Jake Schum, who was signed last week and averaged 51.3 yards on four punts in Saturday's game. His preseason average is the second-highest in the NFL. Koenen, 33, has been the team's punter for the past four seasons -- among current players, only tackle Demar Dotson had more games with the team (70) than his 64. The Bucs hinted at the move Saturday, when Koenen played only one snap -- as holder on a missed field goal -- and Schum and Karl Schmitz each had four punts." - Tampa Bay Times

August 31, 2015 - kicker Kyle Brindza acquired in trade from Detroit
"The Buccaneers traded the tight end to the Lions, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday. The trade was later confirmed by the Bucs. In return, the Bucs received backup kicker Kyle Brindza. Brindza will have a brief shot at earning the duties in Tampa as the Bucs' kicker-go-round continues. The team signed veteran Connor Barth last week.This trade is a case of both Tim Wright and Brindza being on the roster bubble, likely to be cut as teams get down to 75 players before Tuesday." - NFL

August 30, 2015 - punter Karl Schmitz released
"The Bucs also waived punter Karl Schmitz. He was competing with Jacob Schum and Michael Koenen, but Schmitz never really looked better than Koenen while Schum had a very good night against the Cleveland Browns, averaging 51.3 yards per punt. Intriguingly, Koenen was not asked to punt last night -- the Bucs used that game solely to eliminate one of Schmitz and Schum, it seems." - Bucs Nation

August 26, 2015 - kicker Connor Barth signed
"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' placekicking job is up for grabs for the second year in a row, and the competitors are awfully familiar. On Wednesday evening, the Buccaneers announced that they had agreed to terms with veteran kicker Connor Barth, who had been released by the Denver Broncos earlier in the day. The team confirmed that agreement while noting that the official announcement would come on Thursday after a contract had been signed. At that point, the team would need to make a reciprocal transaction to keep the preseason roster at the prescribed limit of 90 players. Barth's return to the Buccaneers creates a sequel to last year's kicking battle, when rookie Patrick Murray won the job over the veteran incumbent, who had missed the previous season due to injury. Barth later signed with Denver and made 15 of 16 field goal attempts over five games and another two of two in the playoffs. Murray won the job a year ago with a strong training camp and preseason performance (two of two on field goals in preseason games) and justified the team's decision with a very good rookie campaign. The former All-America at Fordham made 20 of his 24 field goal attempts, including his last 13 to finish the season, marking the longest active streak in the NFL." - Buccaneers

August 10, 2015 - punter Karl Schmitz signed
"The Bucs' competition for their punting job is now three-wide, with the team on Monday signing Karl Schmitz, waived by the Broncos last week, to challenge veterans Michael Koenen and Spencer Lanning. While Koenen and Lanning have both been starting punters in the league -- Koenen for 10 years, including four with the Bucs, and Lanning the last two with the Browns -- Schmitz has a different background. The 28-year-old hasn't kicked in a game since 2008, when he played collegiately at Jacksonville University. He was one of four punters trying out for the Bucs on Monday." - Tampa Bay Times

June 9, 2015 - punter Spencer Lanning claimed, Andrew Wilder released
Continuing to use their position first in line for waiver pickups, the Bucs have claimed punter Spencer Lanning, who was waived over the weekend by the Browns. Lanning, 27, will compete with veteran Michael Koenen for the team's punting job this fall. Lanning had been Cleveland's punter the last two years and was cut after the Browns dealt a 2017 seventh-round pick to the 49ers to acquire three-time Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee. The team also announced it has waived Andy Wilder, who had been signed in March as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Arizona. Lanning averaged 44.3 yards per punt last season, which ranked 22nd in the NFL, with a net average of 39.2 yards, which ranked 17th. The Bucs and Koenen ranked 32nd and 29th, respectively, in those categories. Lanning played collegiated at South Carolina, and his first look in the NFL came as a rookie in 2011, when he went to camp with the Bears and now-Bucs coach Lovie Smith. Lanning is due to make $585,000 this season, and would only be a restricted free agent next spring; Koenen is due to make $3.25-million in each of the next two seasons." - Tampa Bay Times

May 28, 2015 - kicker Brandon Bogotay signed
"The 6-3, 207-pound Bogotay played three seasons (2009-11) at Georgia, though the primary kicking duties throughout that span were owned by Blair Walsh, who has since gone on to earn All-Pro status with the Minnesota Vikings. Bogotay appeared in 14 games overall, converting one of three field goal tries and all seven of his extra point attempts. The San Diego native also kicked off 29 times, producing eight touchbacks. Bogotay spent one season at Grossmont Junior College in El Cajon, California and earned Southern Conference first-team honors before transferring to Georgia. Bogotay first entered the NFL as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns in April of 2013 to compete for the kicking job with Shayne Graham  (the Browns eventually went with Billy Cundiff). He was waived at the end of the preseason. Though he did not find a new NFL home in 2014, Bogotay participated in the Buccaneers' 2015 post-draft rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis." - Buccaneers

May 2, 2015 - long snapper Courtland Clavette signed
"Former Reynolds football standout Courtland Clavette agreed to a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. Clavette is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound inside linebacker at Brown University. He was signed by the NFL team as a long snapper." - Citizen-Times

April 16, 2015 - punter Chase Tenpenny released
"Tenpenny was signed to a futures contract shortly before the end of the 2014 season, having entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers. And now the Bucs have cut the former Nevada Wolfpack player without ever even working him out.... The Buccaneers still have two punters on the roster in Northern Arizona's Andrew Wilder and veteran Michael Koenen." - BucNews

March 19, 2014 - punter Andrew Wilder signed
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed a third punter. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports the team has added Andrew Wilder, a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Northern Arizona. He joins Michael Koenen and Chase Tenpenny as the team's ball-high-in-the-air-kickers.... New Bucs punter Andy Wilder ranked in top five in I-AA each of his last two years at Northern Arizona. 44.5 avg as senior, 46.3 as junior." - Bucs Nation

December 30, 2014 - punter Chase Tenpenny signed to futures contract
"Former Wolf Pack punter Chase Tenpenny has signed a futures contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A futures contract is like any other in the NFL, but it does not take effect until the start of the next league year. It's a way for a team to claim a player's rights. Tenpenny had a great senior season at Nevada back in 2013, averaging 44.5 yards per punt. That was tied for the 11th best in the country. He went undrafted but signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Chargers during the offseason. He made three punts during the preseason, averaging 41.7 yards. He was then released before the regular season began." - KOLO

November 18, 2014 - punter Jacob Schum released
"Bucs punter Michael Koenen bounced back Sunday with a 41.3-yard average and two punts downed inside the 20, and a day later, the team waived punter Jacob Schum from the practice squad, taking away a potential challenger for his job." - Tampa Bay Times

November 13, 2014 - punter Jacob Schum signed to practice squad
"With punter Michael Koenen ranking last in the league in punting average and net punting, the Bucs have brought in some competition, signing punter Jacob Schum to the practice squad after a workout Thursday at One Buc Place. Schum, who played collegiately at Buffalo, was on the Bucs' roster from January to late May, then spent the preseason with the Jets before being cut. The Bucs signed him the same day they signed current starting place-kicker Patrick Murray. Schum had a modest average of 39.0 yards as a senior at Buffalo in 2011, but had just one touchback in 61 punts." - Tampa Bay Times

August 29, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth released
"Barth is the most notable of the team’s cuts, with the team opting to keep kicker Patrick Murray instead. Barth was scheduled to make $2 million this season with $1.15 million in roster bonuses. He missed all of last season due to tearing his Achilles tendon. Barth spent four seasons with the Bucs. His best came in 2011, when he made 26 of 28 field goals (92.9 percent). He is the most accurate kicker in team history, making 84.3 percent of his attempts. In 2012, he set a single-season record with six from 50 yards or more." - Sports Talk Florida

August 24, 2014 - long snapper Jeremy Cain released
"The Bucs cut 12 players from their roster Sunday, including long snapper Jeremy Cain, with Andrew DePaola in line to win the job entering the season. 'Andrew maybe is a little bit better in coverage, but you can't really -- both guys did a good job," coach Lovie Smith said. 'Jeremy Cain played in the league a long time as a snapper. He's a good football player. We just feel like, where we are right now, this gives us our best option'." - WPTZ

August 21, 2014 - kicker Patrick Murray
"Murray, a 23-year-old who was among the first players signed after Lovie Smith was hired in January, is challenging veteran kicker Connor Barth. 'I think he's a kicker that belongs in the league,' Smith said Thursday after practice. 'He's got talent, he can boom it, he's been consistent. … I think there's room for him in the league. There's 32 kickers, and I think he belongs in one of those spots.' Murray came to the Bucs as a kicker and punter, having excelled at both at Fordham. He earned All-America honors as a punter in 2011 and as a kicker in 2012, bringing a strong leg and confident personality to training camp. 'He can do everything: He can punt, he can kick off, he can kick onsides and he can kick the field goal with accuracy,' special teams coordinator Kevin O'Dea said. "He's done a great job for us. He's earned his reps. Nothing's free here. If we didn't have confidence in him, he wouldn't have opportunities to work in the games'....  Smith made it clear that for Murray to make the team, there must be more than financial savings — Barth, who missed last year with an Achilles tendon injury, had 18 field goals of 40 yards or longer in 2012, tying him for the NFL lead. 'Patrick has to beat him out. He has to take the job from Connor,' Smith said. 'He has to knock the champion out. And there is a difference between the two. No, he's got to knock the champion out and that's hard to do'." - Tampa Bay Times

August 6, 2014 - kickers Bironas & Fera workout
"Joe has learned from a reliable source that former Titans kicker Rob Bironas (2005-2013) was at One Buc Palace for a workout this morning. Bironas was a Pro Bowler in 2007, and was cut by the Titans in March. He was scheduled to earn about $3 million this season. Rookie Anthony Fera out of Texas, a punter and kicker, also joined Bironas for the workout." - JoeBucsFan

July 30, 2014 - Connor Barth full-go
"On his status after coming off an injury last year: 'I’m full-go. I can do anything. I think I’ll do some kicking off this year – in the preseason at least. It feels great. That was the biggest thing for me was seeing how I’d be doing on kickoffs because that’s a lot stronger of a technique. But it feels great. Everything is right on target and I’ve been one hundred percent since back in April and March. So I was just coming back out here and really just getting my timing down and putting the pads on – just getting used to that whole thing again. But it feels fantastic. I’m just happy that everything feels strong. And that’s the main thing – hopefully it will stay strong'.” - Sports Talk Florida

June 10, 2014 - punter Kirby Van Der Kamp back for another tryout
"This week, the Buccaneers will conduct their final three days of practice before training camp, and six more free agents will get a chance to earn a roster spot. Tampa Bay's three-day mandatory mini-camp begins on Tuesday and will include the following players who are participating on a tryout basis... Van Der Kamp, who actually was one of the those tryout players during rookie camp and is back for a second attempt, is looking for his first NFL contract.... Van Der Kamp (6-3, 201) held down the punting duties at Iowa State for four years, beginning with a 2010 season that earned him first-team Freshman All-America status.  He finished his Cyclones career with 289 punts, the most in Big 12 history and a gross average of 42.4 yards per kick.  His career totals also included 99 punts downed inside the 20 and 71 blasts of 50 or more yards." - Buccaneers

May 20, 2014 - punter Jacob Schum released
"David Hunter, Jacob Schum and Brett Smith all joined the Buccaneers this offseason, the first two as reserve/future signings in early January and the last as an undrafted free agent a little over a week ago. Schum and Smith both took part in Tampa Bay's rookie mini-camp this past weekend." - Buccaneers

May 15, 2014 - punter Kirby Van Der Kamp invited to rookie camp
"Van Der Kamp was informed by his agent that he is on a few team's short lists, but the first bite on the line came from central Florida. That is where Van Der Kamp is headed to participate in a rookie camp slated to last from May 15 through May 18. Van Der Kamp said that because he is the football version of a southpaw — left-footed— he has a distinct advantage in NFL tryouts. 'They are bringing in a lefty … because lefties are hard to prepare for and have a little different flight to the ball,' Van Der Kamp said. 'I have got to come in and perform consistently and hopefully get invited back on that performance'.... In preparation for what could be a summer full of NFL tryouts, Van Der Kamp has been taking steps to improve his consistency, which he said is a paramount trait for a placement oriented, directional-type of punter such as himself. Van Der Kamp said he has gotten away from the field a bit to keep his leg fresh but has been undertaking power exercises and has enrolled in a yoga class to increase his flexibility. He also sought out a coach, Darren Bennett, who played in the NFL from 1994-2005 and was named to two pro-bowl teams as well as the NFL 1990's all-decade team." - Iowa State Daily

May 14, 2014 - long snapper Andrew DePaola signed
"The team signed long-snapper Andrew DePaola, who had been in camp with the team previously.... DePaola is a Rutgers product who competed in camp under Greg Schiano, and will get the same chance to battle for the long snapper position with Jeremy Cain. Andrew Economos, the Bucs' long-snapper since 2006, is still a free agent." - Bucs Nation

May 10, 2014 - kicker Dylan Lynch signed
"Former Jacksonville University kicker/punter Dylan Lynch is set to begin the next stage of his football career. Lynch was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent late Saturday night. The Jacksonville, Fla. native leaded the PFL in scoring with 8.5 points per game which also ranked 21st nationally and fourth amongst placekickers. On the season he set a school record with 94 total points connecting on 11 of 19 FG’s and 61 of 61 PAT’s. Lynch ended his career making 92 of 94 PATs attempts, including 64 straight. Lynch was a second team All-PFL selection in 2013 and was also named one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Fred Mitchell Award." - JU Dolphins

April 28, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth confident
"While no could have blamed him for questioning whether he’d ever regain his pre-injury form, Barth insists the thought never entered his mind. 'You never want to think like that. I’ve always had a positive attitude. I always feel I can come back strong from things,' Barth said. 'Fifteen years ago, maybe yes my career would have been over,' he added. 'But the technology now, and the way these doctors can do different surgeries, I honestly think it’ll be stronger than it’s ever been'.... 'It was tough. I never missed a game all the way back to high school,' Barth said. 'But I got a year off to rest my leg. I guess that’s the positive thing out of it'.... Barth, who proclaimed he’s “completely healed,” is excited to be back on the field during off-season workouts. He also participated in last week’s voluntary minicamp." - Ottawa Citizen

April 6, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth cleared to practice
"#Bucs kicker Connor Barth officially cleared to return to action after an Achilles injury last summer." - Pewter Report

March 28, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth update
"Another treat the crowd got was seeing kicker Connor Barth. Barth suffered an Achilles injury during the offseason of 2013 and missed the entire year.... 'It was tough,' Barth said. 'I had never missed a game since freshman year in high school so to go from a pulled muscle to a season-ending injury was tough. It gave me a year off to think about things, to rejuvenate and hopefully build on a great 2014 season.' Barth said he started getting into his kicking groove in December and is now making kicks from 61 and 62 yards." - The Lakeland Ledger

March 18, 2014 - long snapper Jeremy Cain signed
"For the first time in seven years, the Bucs are making a change at long-snapper, with news Tuesday that veteran Andrew Economos likely won't be returning in free agency and the signing of former Bears long-snapper Jeremy Cain.  Economos, 31, would have been the most tenured Bucs player on roster had he returned, but agent Jack Real said such a return was unlikely. Then on Tuesday afternoon, the Bucs signed Cain, who played for Lovie Smith with the Bears in 2004-05 and has stayed in the league since with the Titans, Jaguars and a return to the Bears for two games last season. Cain, 33, is 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, having played his high school football at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale before going to Massachusetts. He has a background as a linebacker, with 21 tackles over his eight seasons in the NFL. The Bucs also signed snapper Patrick Scales after the end of the 2013 season -- Scales has gone to preseason camp with the Ravens (2011-12) and Jets (2013) but has never played in an NFL game." - Tampa Bay Times

March 11, 2014 - kicker Lawrence Tynes released
According to the league’s official transaction wire, the Buccaneers released Tynes Tuesday. That’s a quiet end for a guy whose season ended because of a MRSA infection, and whose status was under review by the league and the NFLPA. That doesn’t lend any clarity to his dispute over whether he should have been placed on injured reserve or the non-football injury list last year, however." - NBC Sports

March 5, 2014 - kicker Lawrence Tynes could soon learn status
"Tynes, who was placed on the non-football injury list by the Bucs last season after developing a MRSA infection in the big toe of his right kicking foot, filed a grievance insisting he should’ve been placed on injured reserve. The Bucs agreed to pay Tynes his one-year, $840,000 salary last year, but the NFI designation means the Bucs control his rights for another year. Agent Ken Harris said he did not know the status of Tynes’ grievance, but Pro Football Talk said a ruling on his status could come as soon as Monday.  Both the Bucs and the NFL believe Tynes should still be under control of the Bucs but the NFL Player’s Association contends he should’ve been on I.R. and thus a free agent. The Bucs have four kickers on their roster, including Connor Barth, who missed all of 2013 after tearing his right Achilles in a charity basketball game just before training camp." - Tampa Bay Times

February 3, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth recovering
"It was supposed to be a charity basketball game for the Wilmington Police Recreation Association, but for Wilmington native and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth it because a nightmare. During the game Barth tore his right Achilles tendon. The injury happening just weeks before training camp was schedule to open.... Now, seven months removed from the injury, Connor is back on the field kicking -- most recently hitting a field goal from 61-yards. 'If anything, I am working on my form now,' said Connor. 'So, if anything I will be better than I was before with my accuracy, and focusing on the little things. I always tell my dad that I am not going to miss next year. I am not going to miss because that is what I need to do. I need to prove the point that I am the same guy'." - WECT

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