Well, it was fun while it lasted for Aldrick Rosas.
The rookie spent the first few days of his first NFL training camp as the only kicker on the Giants roster. That changed Tuesday, when the Giants signed Mike Nugent, a 13-year veteran with 158 regular-season and postseason games on his résumé.
“When I got signed, they said we want to bring a young guy in, and they said we were going to have two kickers,” Rosas said. “I always knew in the back of my mind, ‘Just keep working on what you need to work on.’”
Nugent takes the roster spot opened when rookie safety Jadar Johnson left camp and retired.
The Giants at first seemed content to see if Rosas, who has never kicked in an NFL game, could handle the assignment without on-site competition. Rosas, who kicked at Southern Oregon, in his first opportunity in camp on Monday went 4-for-4 on field goals.
“We thought at some point in time we were going to add a kicker to create some competition, we just weren’t sure when we were going to pull the trigger,’’ Ben McAdoo said. “We thought it would be a good idea in the spring to get Aldrick all the kicks, get him a good foundation underneath him and then provide competition in camp.’’
The pressure is now ramped up with the arrival of Nugent, 35, who has kicked for the Jets, Buccaneers, Cardinals, and, for the past seven seasons, the Bengals. His career numbers: 236-of-292 on field goals (80.8 percent) and 344-of-355 on extra points. Nugent has hit 11-of-28 of his field-goal attempts from 50 yards or more and has had touchbacks on 30 percent of his kickoffs.
Last season, Nugent played in the first 13 games for the Bengals before he was released in mid-December after struggling, hitting 23-of-29 field goals and missing six extra points. He missed five extra points in a four-game stretch.
“I can’t sit here and say, ‘Oh, I wish I had more time,’ or anything like that,’’ Nugent said. “I think it was something that was, at the time, it was probably what I deserved.’’
Rosas went 4-for-4 on his kicks Tuesday, hitting from 30, 37, 42 and 50 yards. Nugent did not kick.
“Just having Mike out here, there’s an extra guy I can talk to, look at, try to emulate what he’s doing,’’ said Rosas, who was cut last year after competing in camp with the Titans and now must do battle with the vastly more-experienced Nugent.
“I’m really excited to get out there and just do my thing and apply what I’ve learned over the years,’’ Nugent said. “At the end of the day, it’s kind of like a golf tournament: It’s not so much about how everyone else does, it’s about how you do.’’