the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, August 27, 2012

Second Kicking Competition Concludes: Shayne Graham over Randy Bullock

The Texans' kicking competition ended unexpectedly yesterday. Rather than coming down to what was shaping up to be a very tough decision it was determined by an injury.

Head coach Gary Kubiak made the following comments in a press conference:
You know what guys, I’m not in a good mood today and that’s the number one reason. Let’s get this over with. We lost Randy (Bullock). Randy is going on IR. I just found out 15 minutes ago. He has torn a muscle somewhere in the groin area. I don’t know all the specifics. Obviously, it’s going to be a long process back, so it’s been a disappointing last half hour for me and for us to find this out. It had been bothering him for a couple of weeks and he continued to kick through it. He’s very tough and he kicked very well last night. He came in here today, black and blue. We ran some tests on him and so it’s a sad situation. He’s going to kick in this league. He’s going to kick a long time. He’s going to go on IR this year and thankfully we’ve got Shayne (Graham), who has done a hell of a job, too. He was pushing him neck and neck to kick for us. It’s a tough deal.”

I don’t like dodging things that way. I feel bad for the kid. It’s sad. I just got through visiting with him.

[Shayne Graham]’s been real consistent. Heck, he’s made every kick he’s had in the preseason and made another (53)-yarder last night. He’s kicked off well for us. He’s a guy, who throughout the course of his career has been a very, very accurate kicker inside of 40 [yards]. He’s done a heck of a job. Like I said, it was right down the middle between those two guys. I think we would’ve been proud with either one of them. I think this situation obviously calls for Shayne to move forward and be our guy. We expect him to do well.
Last week both kickers had weighed in on the ongoing competition. Rookie Randy Bullock commented:
My resume speaks for itself, but at the same time, that's college. At this point, I've got to build myself a new resume and I feel like I'm in the process of doing that, being able to compete with a guy that's been doing this for this long. I know I'm constantly under the microscope. There's a guy who's been doing it for a long time. If I'm not on top of my game, it'll show. The mental aspect of it, it's tough. But you've got to grind and be focused in and be ready to go whenever it's your opportunity to go.
Veteran Shayne Graham elaborated on what it's like to compete against a fellow specialist:
When I line up for a field goal, I don't line up saying 'I'm going to make this so I can win a competition'. You line up because you're a competitor and you want to make your kicks. I don't count his reps, I don't count my reps, I just line up and keep my focus on making my kicks because that's really the only thing I can do to better myself in any situation. As a player, you do what you're asked, and you let the coaches make their decisions. No matter what their perspective is, this is the situation I'm in, and when I put my cleats on and line up, put my pads on, it's to do better for myself and to perform well for myself and to do what I can do to help this team. Whatever decisions are made beyond that are out of my control.

We get along really well. There's times when he asks advice on certain things because there's a lot of things. He's known the college side for four years. As far as individual kicking, I really can't help him on a technique side because we're different. We still look at each other as a friendly competition. We don't have any animosity toward each. We don't do things behind each other's back. We don't give bad advice hoping to screw each other up. So we get along great, and it's a good working relationship. But we also know that it's high stakes, and we're playing for the same thing.

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