Lechler, Bullock already showing worth

Lechler, Bullock already showing worth
August 26, 2013, 8:00 am
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Shane Lechler wanted to punt last week against the Dolphins but with a sore hamstring on his plant leg, the Texans elected to sit him.

It was worth the wait.

The veteran punter, in his first season with the Texans after 13 in Oakland, didn’t waste much time showing why he’s considered one of the greatest punters in the history of the NFL.

After the Texans’ first drive stalled on the New Orleans’ 46, Lechler sent a beautiful punt that hit the two-yard line and ricocheted sideways to pin the Saints deep in their own territory.

“It’s always good to get out there and luckily both punts went great tonight,” said Lechler, whose second punt went 60 yards. “If one would have gone wrong, then I would have been in here saying ‘ah it’s good to knock the rust off.’ But they worked out good and I was glad to get out there with the guys.”

Lechler said he felt completely healthy pregame and during the Texans’ 31-23 loss to the Saints.

And Lechler wasn’t the only special teamer who impressed on Sunday. Kicker Randy Bullock was 3-for-3 on field goals. He made a 48-yarder and a 55-yarder. He also sent several kickoffs deep into the end zone for touchbacks.

“I’m very comfortable out there,” Bullock said. “It’s just confidence that carries out there. You can do it in practice, you can do it in a game. So that’s kind of the mindset I try to go out with when I get on the field.”

Bullock, who has been working with Lechler as his holder even while Lechler hasn’t been punting, said he often picks the brain of the veteran punter. For 13 years, Lechler held for Sebastian Janikowski, who he considers to be one of the greatest kickers of all time. Lechler said at this point in Bullock’s career, he’s more accurate than Janikowski was when he was this new in the NFL.

Lechler took the place of Donnie Jones (now with the Eagles) and Bullock took the place of Shayne Graham (now with the Browns) this season.

“It can do a lot,” All Pro Duane Brown said of the Texans’ special teams. “People don’t realize the effect special teams has on winning football games. And Randy has done a great job all preseason, getting him close to his range. I think he had a 55-yarder tonight and that’s awesome. And Shane’s pinning guys in the 10-yard line and we feel our defense can stop anybody with that field position.”