TAMPA BAY – The Buccaneers thought they finally found their kicker after Ryan Succop’s excellent 2020 season.

But, here we are, wondering if he’ll hold on to his starting job in 2022.

That’s because of two main reasons: Succop’s dramatic drop in effectiveness and Jason Licht’s comments in March stating that he expects second-year player Jose Borregales to compete with Succop in camp.

“I think he will compete,” Licht said at the combine. “We love what [Ryan] Succop has done for us the last couple years, but Jose [Borregales] has a strong leg and has been consistent for us all year in practice. Now, practice and games are two separate things. But I am excited to see what he does this year in camp.”

On Tuesday, Bowles backed up Licht’s comments.

“He will get the opportunity, yes,” Bowles told reporters when specifically asked if Borregales will get the chance to compete against Succop this summer.

The Buccaneers really need Borregales to push Succop in camp. An ideal situation would be for Borregales to win the job. Yes, Succop was great in 2020, but the Buccaneers couldn’t rely on him as much in 2021. Four of his five 2021 misses came from the 30-49 yard range.

His lack of leg power was the primary culprit to Succop’s struggles, which is something that was detailed during his exit from Tennessee. That’s not an uncommon issue for a soon-to-be 36-year-old kicker to experience.

Borregales gives the Buccaneers someone who can hit the deep shots, but he’s obviously very inexperienced in regard to the NFL. The former Miami Hurricane is a former Lou Groza Award winner, however, so it’s obvious the moment isn’t too big for him. 

Will this competition be too big for him? It’s doubtful. But like with all things in the NFL: only time will tell.

Featured image via Kyle Zedaker/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports