TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are searching for their next kicker, and accuracy is the top priority.
The Bucs cut kicker Kyle Brindza on Monday, after the rookie went 1-for-3 on field goal tries and 2-for-3 on extra points in a loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The rookie, acquired in a trade that sent tight end Tim Wright to the Detroit Lions on Aug. 31, went 6-for-12 on field goal attempts and 6-for-8 on extra points after winning the job late in the preseason.
"We want to go with the big leg that can also put it through," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said Monday. "As we look for our next kicker, first, it's about being able to hit field goals and extra points. Yeah, we would also like for him to put it out of the end zone on kickoffs. But we're not just looking for a kickoff guy. We're looking for a guy who can hit field goals and be accurate with it first. First priority is that."
Brindza never became consistent in that area. The Notre Dame product was given a second chance after he went 1-for-4 on field goal attempts with a missed extra point in a loss to the Houston Texans in Week 3. Still, his troubles continued Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, where the crowd booed him when he missed field goal tries of 29 and 43 yards.
Smith said he didn't regret giving Brindza another opportunity to prove himself. But the coach knew it was time to move on.
"He deserved another shot," Smith said. "I don't think you move on from a player based on one performance. But when you see it becoming a trend going a certain way, then you have to react to it. And that was the case.
"Kyle has a strong leg. But in our league, points are valuable. You can't miss five out of seven field goals, two extra points. We just can't afford to be in that position anymore. So I feel like we saw something we didn't like two weeks ago, and yesterday's game told us the direction we need to go."