In this weeks’ edition of Player Spotlight we look at the impact of Houston Texans kicker Randy Bullock. Bullock’s impact on this year’s Texans team could be a huge one depending on whether or not the Texans can fix their redzone deficiencies.
Second year kicker Randy Bullock has made a great impression throughout training camp and in the preseason. Going into this year there was a lot of questions that came about when the Texans decided not to bring in a veteran kicker to compete against Bullock. If there was ever any doubt that Bullock was going to be the guy this spoke volumes. Bullock missed all of his rookie season when he was placed on IR with a severe groin injury. Bullock was very unimpressive coming into training camp last year as he looked out of shape and his leg didn’t look nearly as strong. He and veteran journeyman Shane Graham competed last year and it was obvious that he (Bullock) wasn’t ready for the workload that was ahead of him. Let alone the fact that he had an injury that he was trying to play through. Fast forward to the 2013 season and Bullock has shown what the Texans knew he could do all along, and that is being accurate and showing leg strength in his kickoffs. Last year the Texans were near the bottom of the league in touchbacks due to Graham not having the leg strength to kick the ball out the endzone.
This season could be a very special one for Bullock as he could present the type of impact on a team that could be a mirror image of Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. With the way the Texans have been over the last several years it’s a given that they will at times get too conservative in the redzone and have to kick a field goal opposed to punch it in for the score. Gary Kubiak is no stranger to allowing his kicker to put up points if his offense doesn’t execute which makes Bullocks role on this team all the more important. As much as we dislike the idea there could be times in this season that Bullock will be asked to win the game or help keep the Texans within striking range with his kicks. For those that play Fantasy Football I tend to always pick the Texans kicker because I know based on how they run their offense in the redzone there is sure to be times when they don’t get six but come away with three. This makes my kicker almost guaranteed to be in the top 10 or better in points every season.
There is no mistaken how important Bullock will be this year. He has looked great so far in the preseason and has shown excellent leg strength on his kickoffs as well as lengthy field goals. In the game versus the New Orleans Saints when the Texans vanilla offense stalled it was Bullock’s leg that kept them in the game. Bullock went 5 for 5 in kicks he attempted going 2 for 2 on extra points and 3 for 3 on field goals ranging from 21, to 48, and his longest being 55 yards. After watching the woes of last season with Graham and his lack of leg strength, Bullock has been a breath of fresh air and great promise of having that position solidified for the future.