the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Houston Texans Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


September 29, 2015 - kicker Randy Bullock waived, Nick Novak signed
"Bullock has missed two extra points in the Texans' first three games and missed a 43-yard field goal on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bullock is the only kicker this season to have missed more than one extra-point attempt. During the past two seasons, Bullock was 66-for-66 on extra-point attempts.... Novak spent the 2011-14 seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Novak, who is in his eighth season, has only missed one regular-season extra point in his career -- it was blocked. He made 84.6 percent of his field goal attempts in 2014." - ESPN

September 6, 2015 - long snapper Jon Weeks signs 4-year extension
The Texans have signed veteran long snapper Jon Weeks to a four-year, $3.9 million contract extension through the 2019 season. The deal includes $330,000 guaranteed in the form of a $250,000 signing bonus and $80,000 guaranteed of his base salary for 2016. Weeks’ base salaries are $825,000 for 2016, $825,000 for 2016, $900,000 for 2017, $915,000 for 2018 and $930,000 for 2019. Entering his sixth season, Weeks is one of the most reliable long snappers in the NFL. The former Baylor player has never missed a game, playing in 80 consecutive career games since joining the team in 2010." - Houston Chronicle

May 2, 2015 - punter/kicker Will Johnson signed
Undrafted punter/kicker Will Johnson from Texas State was signed following the draft.

December 24, 2014 - kicker Randy Bullock named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
"Following his career-best, franchise-record and NFL season-high six field goals in Houston's 25-13 win over Baltimore on Sunday. Bullock is the fourth Texan to be recognized by the league as AFC Player of the Week and the first Texans special teamer to win the award since wide receiver/return specialist Jacoby Jones in Week 4 in 2009.... Bullock scored a franchise-record 19 points and made field goals from 35 yards, 25 yards, 30 yards, 20 yards, 39 yards and 33 yards. The third-year player out of Texas A&M is 30-of-35 on the season, besting his previous career-high of 26 made field goals." - KHOU

December 21, 2014 - Randy Bullock kicks six field goals in 25-13 win over Ravens
"Randy Bullock set the Texans franchise record with six field goals on Sunday, going 6-for-6 with makes of 20, 25, 30, 33, 35 and 39 yards. Bullock, the 2012 fifth-round draft pick, is 30-of-35 on the season. Four times previously a Texans kicker had made five field goals – three times from Kris Brown and once from Shayne Graham. The Texans’ offense struggled mightily in the red zone, going 1-for-7, setting up Bullock’s chances." - Houston Chronicle

September 28, 2014 - kicker Randy Bullock hits from 41, 55 & 50 yards
"Kicker Randy Bullock drilled all three of his field goal attempts in Sunday's win over Buffalo, and that trio of scores came in the second half. The 41-yarder gave the Texans a 17-10 advantage with 6:14 left in the third quarter, while his career-long 55-yarder pushed Houston's lead to 10 with 9:21 remaining in regulation. The 50-yarder gave the home team a 23-17 lead that would hold up as the final. With each contest, his confidence level has grown. 'I think each game I get under my belt it gets easier and easier," Bullock said. "I have made a lot of strides. I just need to continue to work and continue to get better'." - Texans

September 27, 2014 - punter Shane Lechler will play this week
"According to John McClain (Houston Chronicle), Houston Texans punter Shane Lechler will be punting on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Lechler was questionable all week after injuring a hip flexor last Sunday on a blocked punt against the New York Giants. After resting the entire week Lechler made enough improvement over the week to be a full go for Sunday." - Scout

September 25, 2014 - punter Shane Lechler injury update
"Lechler sounded like a guy who wants to play and probably will, but he backed off of saying he will, deferring that decision to his head coach. 'I’ve had multiple things happen in 15 years,' Lechler said. 'Stuff happens. I've fought through it, and I’ve played the next week.' Lechler hesitated to discuss specifics of the injury. 'It's something that I'm not willing to discuss, which side,' Lechler said. 'It's me. I'll be ready.' He was then asked again if he'll be ready and replied: 'I feel like I'm going to give it my best shot. If it's the best thing for this team, I'm going to do it'." - ESPN

September 23, 2014 - four punters worked out, fifth one signed
"The Texans have signed rookie kicker/punter Chris Boswell to their practice squad. Boswell did a terrific job of punting in preseason after the coaches decided to give Shane Lechler some rest. Lechler suffered a hip flexor injury in the 30-17 loss to the New York Giants and may not be able to play in Week 4 against Buffalo. Boswell punted 15 times and averaged 44.3 yards in preseason, including six inside the 20. He provides insurance in case Lechler can’t play this weekend. The Texans worked out four punters – Matt McBriar, Zoltan Mesko, Brian Moorman and Kasey Redfern – on Tuesday, but signed Boswell." - Houston Chronicle

September 22, 2014 - punter Shane Lechler injured
"Coach Bill O’Brien had no update on punter Shane Lechler’s condition, saying only that 'any of these guys that have what I would term as soft-tissue type injuries – hamstrings, hip flexors, quad strains – every one of them is day to day.' O’Brien suggested it was too soon to know if the Texans would need to sign a replacement for Lechler, who suffered a hip-flexor injury on the punt he got blocked in the fourth quarter. 'Maybe you bring some guys to take a look at in a workout, or maybe you have someone in your team that has done it in the past,' he said. 'But we’re not at that stage yet where we have to decide because Shane, being the pro that he is, he’s going to let us know how he feels and what he can do'." - Houston Chronicle

September 21, 2014 - a Texans first for punter Shane Lechler
"Six-time All-Pro Shane Lechler completed a 10-yard pass to rookie Alfred Blue during Houston’s first offensive series out of punt formation. It was the first pass completion by a punter in Texans franchise history. Lechler, who played quarterback at East Bernard High School, has completed three passes during his NFL career. The previous one was on November 4, 2012, while with the Oakland Raiders. Matt Turk attempted Houston’s previous pass attempt by a punter, an incompletion, on December 1, 2008 at Jacksonville." - Texans

September 4, 2014 - kicker Randy Bullock
"Bullock said the competition with Chris Boswell, who was cut when the roster was trimmed, 'absolutely' pushed him to compete harder. 'Here’s a guy that has a good leg, is a good teammate, I believe the competition helped him,' Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said about Bullock. 'I think he’s a better kicker now than he was on April 7 when we started with these guys. I think with any good kicker in this league that is what you’re looking for is consistency. Consistency obviously, with PATs, consistency with what your range is as a field goal kicker and consistency in clutch moments. That’s what you’re looking for. Randy has been in all kinds of situations here over the last few months, including OTAs and things, and I believe he’s ready to kick for us this year'." - CSN Houston

August 29, 2014 - kicker/punter Chris Boswell released
"Boswell, a local product of Rice University, got time kicking and punting for the Texans, but with veteran Shane Lechler at punter and incumbent kicker Randy Bullock looking good on field goals Boswell would have had to have an outstanding preseason to make the roster. Boswell missed two extra points, when they were from 33 yards per a preseason test rule, in the Texans first home game against the Falcons, but kicked well on field goals going 2 for 2 in the preseason." - CBS

August 28, 2014 - final preseason game
"Boswell kicked a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter Thursday night to give the Texans a three-point lead over the 49ers. Bullock added a 52-yarder in the second quarter for a six-point advantage during the Texans' final preseason game, which ended as a 40-13 blowout defeat to San Francisco at NRG Stadium. What stood out for Boswell, though, was his punting. Again. As a senior at Rice last year, Boswell punted once for 42 yards. Through the first three preseason games and the first half of the 49ers game, Boswell had punted 12 times. He finished with five punts for 230 yards (46-yard average) with a long of 47. Entering Thursday's game, Boswell had 10 punts with a gross average of 43.4 yards and a net of 40.1. He put five of them inside the 20. His first punt against San Francisco was for 47 yards and backed up the 49ers at their 8. He also had a 43-yarder to the Niners' 21. Unfortunately for Boswell, the regular punter is Shane Lechler, one of the best in history." - Houston Chronicle

August 21, 2014 - kicker Randy Bullocks leads
"Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Thursday that Bullock is leading rookie Chris Boswell in the battle to become the team’s placekicker. Boswell missed two extra-point attempts during a home victory against Atlanta last Saturday and was sometimes off target in Wednesday’s practice against Denver. Bullock kicked a 'game-winning' field goal in Wednesday’s workout against the Broncos and has been sharp throughout training camp. 'Randy is in the lead,' O’Brien said. 'Randy has made some good kicks'.” - Houston Chronicle

August 16, 2014 - kicker Chris Boswell misses two extra points
The Texans’ special teams were excellent Saturday. Except for undrafted rookie kicker Chris Boswell, who missed two extra-point attempts. Boswell, who is trying to unseat Randy Bullock, failed twice on 33-yard attempts, as the NFL experiments with longer point-after kicks during the preseason. 'I still think it’s a competition,' Texans special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky said. 'That’s what we’ve been waiting for. We wanted to see them during a game, but that was just one game. We will evaluate it, work on it this week, and we will get another opportunity against Denver'.” - Houston Chronicle

August 9, 2014 - no kicks in preseason opener
"The worst thing coach Bill O’Brien didn’t see were his two kickers, Randy Bullock and Chris Boswell. They never attempted a field goal or an extra point. 'It’s frustrating that you can’t have a situation where a guy can at least (attempt) a PAT,' O’Brien said. 'Again, we have to do a better job of making sure we score some points or put (the kickers) in positions where they can kick field goals, wherever it may be from, to have a battle.' Zero-for-zero times two answers few questions." - Houston Chronicle

July 31, 2014 - analyst talks kickers
John Harris, Texans Analyst: "This is going to shock many, but you know what, so be it (it'll be one of the last times I'll talk about kickers, presumably). Randy Bullock (No. 4) and Chris Boswell (No. 2) have shined kicking field goals on a daily basis. Through three days of the FG kicking competition, I can only remember two field goals missed - one by each. Both have bombed kicks from 50 yards and deeper and most of the kicks are right down the middle. I know, I know, there isn't much pressure on kickers in training camp and no live rush up to this point. Regardless, I don't often talk nice about kickers, but they deserve some kind words." - Texans

July 29, 2014 - coach talks kickers
Head Coach Bill O’Brien on on if he is pleased with the kicking battle) “I thought Boz (Chris Boswell) kicked well. I think Randy (Bullock) and Boz have kicked well. I’d say that Randy, the competition has helped Randy. I think he kicked pretty well the other day. Boz, I thought he hit it pretty good today. There’s not live rush yet, so you know, they’re basically kicking on air. It’s a two-step rush, but there has been improvement there.” - Texans

June 14, 2014 - OTAs kicking update
"Friday was the first time that Randy Bullock and Chris Boswell kicked for everyone to see. They worked on kick-offs and like we noted in our Day 10 OTAs notes, Bullock is ahead of Boswell in terms of leg strength and ability to hang the ball up in the air enough for coverage to get down the field.  The field goal portion of the kickers has not really been put on display yet, but that will be seen soon enough when training camp starts." - State of the Texans

May 17, 2014 - kicker Chris Boswell recovering from appendectomy
"Chris Boswell is taking it slow this week because he’s recovering from a recent appendectomy. 'That’s why he hasn’t been able to kick full force yet,' coach Bill O’Brien said, 'but he’s going to be fine. He’ll be able to kick in the OTAs. Again, it’s about competition on the roster. After the draft we try to find some guys that fit that mold of being able to compete and he was one of those guys.' Once Boswell begins working against the incumbent, Randy Bullock, O’Brien said, 'It will be the same way we would work any position, just try to make sure everybody gets reps. I’m not saying the reps will be equal, but everybody will get a shot. When you get your opportunity you’ve got to make the most of it'.” - Houston Chronicle

May 13, 2014 - kicking competition
Randy Bullock will have competition in 2014. The third-year kicker will be challenged by undrafted rookie Chris Boswell from Rice. While the Texans haven't released their entire list of undrafted rookies, at Monday's Houston Texans Charity Golf Classic, general manager Rick Smith was asked specifically about the signing of Boswell. 'He’s got a big leg,' Smith said. 'He came and he did a really good job at our pro day. We had our local workout. He was a very impressive man in that environment'.... 'I think he actually is working out with Randy a little bit, so he knows his competition,' Smith said. 'They know each other, and it will be fun to watch.' As far as head coach Bill O'Brien is concerned, the kicker position is like any other on the team, in terms of competition. 'The whole goal in the draft process and free agency is to try to create the most competitive roster you can create,' O'Brien said. 'Where guys go out there every day, and they know that they have to go out and compete and perform and play to the best of their ability. So at any point, at any position, whoever we brought in, that’s the mindset'." - Texans


May 10, 2014 - kicker Chris Boswell signed
"After 256 picks and the Texans leaning heavily on defense and drafting five players from the SEC they looked close to home for their first undrafted free agent. Rice kicker Chris Boswell was signed shortly after the end of the draft." - CBS Houston

Also: Lamar long snapper Chris Maikranz to tryout at minicamp.

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