The Houston Texans have to be the most patient organization ever when it comes to the kicker position in the NFL, or at least this season, it seems.
Kicker Randy Bullock, who is in his first year of game action, hasn’t been worth the fifth-round pick that was spent on him during the 2012 NFL Draft as of yet.
Granted, he does have 13 converted field goals this season, but he’s also missed eight for a 61.9 conversion percentage, which is good enough for 31st in the league. His percentage is only higher than Kai Forbath of the Washington Redskins, who is at 55.6 percent (5-of-9).
Bullock, this season, has made five field goals from 20-29 yards (5-for-5), one field goal from 30-39 yards (1-for-1), seven from 40-49 yards (7-for-11) and none from 50-plus yards (0-for-4). Bullock is the lone kicker in the league who has no conversions from 50 or more yards with four or more attempts.
One positive is Bullock has gone 13-for-13 in extra point attempts. The bad part with that is the Texans have only scored 13 touchdowns, which is probably a big reason they are 2-6 overall.
What can the Texans do to better the team at the kicker position?
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported Monday the Texans have working out Neil Rackers, Shayne Graham and Justin Medlock for possible competition to Bullock.
Last season, Graham was the Texans’ kicker with 138 points. He was 31-of-38 in his attempts in 2012. Graham was 4-for-9 from 50-plus yards last year and 7-for-9 from 40-49 yards. Overall, he was 31-of-38 on the season, as his longest field goal was 51 yards for a percentage of 81.6.
For his career, Graham is 245-for-368.
So the question is what should the Texans do now?
If they really think Bullock is their future, then they should just use this season to work out the kinks, because let’s be honest, this team isn’t playing past Week 17 and there is no AFC South championship in sight.
If Houston is tired of this Bullock kicking project, then they should just cut their losses now and go with Graham, because in my opinion, Graham is a better kicker overall.
We have to realize it takes time for young kickers to improve in the NFL, but again, this is a business, and I wouldn’t blame the Texans if they had a new kicker next week. This is a lost season with a lot of learning ahead with a young quarterback leading the way anyway, so if they extend that luxury to the kicker, so be it I guess.
Would it be all wrong to let the young kicker have a full season of kicks before they cut their losses with him, in what is already a waste of a season? The answer to that question is tricky.
Houston waited a year for him to heal last season and they aren’t seeing any return for their time invested, so the elephant in the room is are they willing to wait out this season to see the final product? Two seasons is a lifetime in the NFL and from the product I’ve watched this season it could be time for a change.
In the grand scheme of the NFL, I wouldn’t blame the Texans one bit if they sent Bullock walking this week, because Bullock has been bad, bad enough to cut their losses.
Maybe he can work things out if given another chance, but it seems like a long ways away for that improvement to show up in 2013.