Joey Slye was released from the Carolina Panthers and now is the Houston Texans starting kicker.
With his recent struggles in the preseason ending his time in the powder blue and black, Joey Slye comes to replace Ka’imi Fairbairn. Fairbairn pulled a leg muscle right before the final preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which starting Safety Justin Reid handled kickoff duties.
Slye was known for his big leg (he once attempted a 65 yarder against the New Orleans Saints and missed it by inches) and it often helped Carolina when the game wasn’t on the line. In 2020 alone he struggled to hit crucial kicks late in games. Not to mention the fact that he’s missed seven extra points in his first two seasons in the NFL is also something that needs to be watched.
With the special teams being the best unit on this Houston Texans team, should Texans fans be worried about Slye?
The answer is yes- Houston Texans fans should be cautious with Joey Slye to start the season.
The last thing Tim Kelly and Frank Ross (Special Teams coach) need are points left on the field. A missed extra point is critical as it may lead to having to go for a touchdown late in the game instead of a field goal. Or look at the season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Dallas makes those kicks, the game is most likely over and Dallas wins.
No one knows how well the offense will operate without Deshaun Watson and a new identity of run first, pass second will sure take some time getting used to. After leading the league in passing last season, Houston is carrying five running backs on its roster in hopes of being more physical in games.
Slye’s struggles to make the clutch kicks are hopefully just a Carolina thing- and maybe the NRG Stadium dome will help Slye for at least half the season when Houston has a home game. Time will tell on his production, but caution should be exercised if he gets out a hot start early. Will Slye be dependable down the stretch?