One of the rarely mentioned training camp battles we have to look forward to is the battle as to who will be the kicker for the Houston Texans in 2014.
Bullock is entering his third season with the Texans, though last year was basically his on-the-field rookie season since he was injured for the entire 2012 season.
In ’13, Bullock, a product of Texas A&M, was 26-for-35 in his field goal attempts, converting 74.3 percent of his kicks. His longest was a 51-yard field goal. He was perfect with extra points, going 26-for-26.
Here is a breakdown of Bullock’s field goal attempts from last season:
• 20-29 yards: 7-7
• 30-39 yards: 5-5
• 40-49 yards: 12-17
• 50+ yards: 1-5
So he can make the shorter kicks like most kickers can do in the NFL, but when the money is on the line and careers are made, Bullock last season didn’t get the job done, missing five kicks of 40-49 yards and four kicks of 50+ yards, just 20 percent from that distance.
It wasn’t what you can describe as a great or even good season for Bullock – it was OK and nothing special – but that is why the Texans have brought in some new competition for Bullock this training camp.
At Rice this past season, Boswell made 66.7 percent of his field goal attempts at 14-for-21. Here is a breakdown of his field goal attempts from last season:
• 20-29 yards: 4-4
• 30-39 yards: 2-2
• 40-49 yards: 6-9
• 50+ yards: 2-6
His longest field goal of the season was 56 yards for the Owls, with that kick coming against Kansas, a game where he made three field goals.
He missed a 52-yard field goal against Tulsa and two 50-yard field goals against Houston but made a 50-yard field goal against New Mexico State.
This competition will be interesting during training camp and the preseason for the fact I believe it will come down to who has the most consistency with field goals 40 or more yards, because those are the field goals that can make or break a team in the win column, and something that Bullock wasn’t that great at last season.
Competition is always good, and maybe this will bring out the best in Bullock this season, because at times last year it was easy to see he had none, and he should in his body of work.
Thoughts on this upcoming training camp battle? Who do you want to win and why?