The Buccaneers announced late on Monday that the team has released K Mike Nugent and CB Marcus Hamilton and signed K Shane Andrus to a deal.
Andrus was brought in for a tryout with the team on Monday along with Brandon Couto according to Steve Duemig of 620 WDAE. Andrus emerged as the victor.
After going undrafted out of Murray State, Andrus signed a free agent contract with the Colts and actually handled kickoff duties in the season opener. During the 2009 preseason, Andrus led the Colts with 19 points by connecting on 5-of-6 field goals as well as four PATs.
Nugent beat out Matt Bryant for the kicker position in training camp. In fact, the battle appeared one-sided since Bryant was unable to kick in any of the four preseason games due to a right hamstring injury.
Since taking over the starting spot, Nugent has struggled going 2-of-6 on field goal attempts with a long of 37. Fans of Nugent shouldn’t feel bad for him because he still will receive his base salary of $2 million.
Morris didn’t hide his true feelings when discussing the six points that were left on the board after Nugent’s two misses.
“Kickers aren’t really my expertise, but we missed them,” Morris said. “The only thing that really matters about a kicker is the result. When you go out there, you either make it or you miss it. The operation looked good, the snap looked good, it was down in time and we missed the two field goals. It was a windy day, and again I’m not going to sit here and make any excuses. Their kicker made kicks in the wind and ours has to make kicks in the wind. Mike [Nugent] is aware of that and he needs to go out and make kicks.”
Nugent’s struggled led to the team bringing in some new kickers to try out for the team. Morris claimed it was all part of the process of becoming successful in the NFL.
“We evaluate everyday,” Morris said. “We have kickers coming in today to work out. You have to evaluate your team everyday, you have to evaluate where you are going everyday. If you have an opportunity to get better, then you try to. That’s just where we are right now. We have to evaluate every single day.”