Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 4/28/14
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Connor Barth says he never doubted he would kick again for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The seventh-year pro missed all of last season after tearing the Achilles tendon in his right foot during a charity basketball game. He's recovered from the injury and confident he'll perform as well as ever in 2014. Barth is the most accurate field goal kicker in franchise history, converting 84.3 percent of his attempts since joining the Bucs in 2009. He was hurt last summer, shortly before the start of training camp, leaving the team scrambling for a replacement. And 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." The former North Carolina standout was headed toward the second season of a four-year, $13.2 million contract when he was injured during a charity basketball game in his hometown of Wilmington. He began kicking again in October and by January rebuilt strength in his right leg to the point he was hitting 61-yard field goals. Barth made a club-record 92.9 percent of his field goal attempts in 2011, when he hit 26 of 28. He set a team single-season mark with six of 50-plus yards in 2012, and led the NFL with 33 field goals of 40-plus yards over those two seasons. The 28-year-old said it was difficult sitting out a year ago, when the Bucs struggled to a 4-12 record. "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." The Bucs signed Lawrence Tynes as a replacement, but the veteran kicker who helped the New York Giants win two Super Bowls never got on the field for a game. He sidelined by an ingrown toenail on his kicking foot early in training camp, then was diagnosed with a MRSA infection in August. The team eventually brought in Rian Lindell, who had been released by Buffalo, to handle the job. Barth, who proclaimed he's "completely healed," is excited to be back on the field during offseason workouts. He also participated in last week's voluntary minicamp. He said there's a positive vibe in the locker room, and that new coach Lovie Smith has a lot to do with it. "It's just different around here. I think we're going to have a good year," Barth said, noting that in six seasons with Tampa Bay and the Kansas City Chiefs he's yet to be part of a team that's made the playoffs. "We have a lot of really good players. We've just got to put it together."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker