the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NFL Week Two: Randy Bullock Has a Rough Go

Bad kicking days occur with less and less frequency, so when one does happen, everyone takes notice. Yesterday was one of those days for Houston kicker Randy Bullock in the game against Tennessee. In the end, his stat line was 2 of 2 on extra points, but 0 of 3 on field goal attempts.
"I don't think I have ever had a game like this. It was frustrating, but at this point all I can do is move forward and come back for more work this week. It is going to be tough because I missed a couple, but at the same time (I have) to be mentally tough and move forward. It is part of it. And part of my job is to have a short memory and move forward."
He missed a pair of 50 yarders, one late in the first quarter and another in the second quarter. His final miss came at the end of regulation with the game tied. His 46 yard attempt hit the upright. But that last was actually far more involved than that.
"The end of regulation in the Tennessee-Houston game was one of the strangest sequences in football history, including four FG attempts, a successfully iced kick, an iced miss, a nullified block, and a doink off the upright. The ultimate Mike Munchak sequence began with the Titans coach inexplicably letting the clock tick down before Randy Bullock's 51-yard attempt. He called timeout just before Bullock put it through the uprights. Good job! On the next attempt, Michael Griffin came across for a block, but the play was whistled dead—Tennessee had jumped early. For the third attempt, Munchak was allowed to call another timeout, since a play had elapsed since his first. So he did. Bullock missed the iced attempt. Finally, on the only kick that actually mattered, Bullock struck the left upright."
Bullock's thoughts during that final sequence of kicks and timeouts and penalties:
“You can’t worry about all that kind of stuff. When you get caught worrying about it, that is when they will call timeouts. There wasn’t a whole lot going on right there. I have never actually had an opportunity to attempt so many field goals at the end like that. But it happened, and all you can do is learn from it and move forward.”
In the post game press conference, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak responded to how concerned he was regarding the placekicking:
“Anytime, you’re 1-for-4, am I right? But they were long field goals. Two of them were 50 I think. And the last one, obviously he’s got to make that and close the game out. He’s a young player, and you don’t want to look at that type of a start as a young kicker. But we do have confidence in him. I think he’s got plenty of leg. He’s kicking off well. Obviously had a chance to go 2-for-2 in game winners, and that can really help your confidence. So, he’s got to bounce back. He’s got to be a pro and bounce back. He’s our kicker and we have the confidence in him to do that.”
On Monday, Kubiak expanded on the road ahead:
“We’ve got confidence in Randy. We’ll see if we can get him a little bit closer. But we expect him to step up and be strong here and work through this and do a good job for us.... You watch your locker room as a coach and I know our guys respect Randy. He’s a worker. He’s not some guy who comes in here and kicks his few balls and calls it a day. He works really hard at what he does and he’s young. We’re going young with him and we’re going to stand behind him. He’s got a job to do. He’s responsible for his job. But we’re going to give him a lot of help. His teammates are going to support him. I’m going to support him and we’ve got to get him going in the right direction here.”
Bullock, in his second year in the NFL and his first of kicking in the regular season, now faces the challenge of moving forward. His co-specialist has a little more pro experience... punter/holder Shane Lechler, in his first year as a Texan but his 14th in the NFL, offred the following thoughts:
“It’s a very, very tough thing to do, is to turn the page. I mean I know. I deal with it. I don’t know of a professional athlete that’s not hard on himself, that doesn’t deal with it. It’s kind of like a book, man. Turn the page. Can’t read the same one. Don’t let that one mess up your next kick. And I have all the confidence in the world with him. I hold with him. He kicks all the time in practice. He’s money all the time. And he just had a rough go. And that’s part of this game. That’s part of the situation. That’s part of being a little bit young, and that’s part of it. And having that happen. I can only imagine it’s going to help out.”

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