Will cold, wet, windy weather affect Graham?

Will cold, wet, windy weather affect Graham?
November 9, 2012, 12:00 pm
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(US Presswire)

Cold. Wet. Windy. That’s the forecast for the Texans’ Sunday night showdown against the Bears at Soldier Field.

It looks like the temperature will dip into the 30s on Sunday night with at least a 60 percent chance of rain. And that doesn’t bother Texans kicker Shayne Graham all that much.

“That’s been my whole career,” he said. “I’ve played 12 years in cold weather cities. I played in Cincinnati for a long time.

“We played in remnants of hurricanes. I’ve played in Chicago, in that stadium, when they had blizzard conditions, white-out snow and 70 mile-per-hour gusts.”

Graham is 13-for-15 this season and is a career 86 percent field-goal kicker, which ranks him fifth in NFL history.

The Texans and Bears both come in with 7-1 records, atop their respective divisions, so the importance of field goals and perhaps even a last-second field goal could be huge but Graham claims the weather isn’t an issue.

Graham said he uses his past experiences to know how to prepare. He might bring longer stubs for his cleats. If the ground is wet, he won’t be as aggressive running to the ball for a kick to make sure he doesn’t slip.

“Some of it’s experience, some of it’s common sense,” he said.

Graham also said there’s no way to prepare for certain weather conditions without being able to practice in them. Graham has made all six career field-goal attempts against the Bears, including all four at Soldier Field.

As far as the wind, Graham said it’s like shooting a sniper rifle. When you miss the target, you see where the cross-hairs were and how much you’ve missed by. Then, you adjust. Graham threw out the term “Kentucky windage” for those familiar with shooting lingo.

“The next time you shoot it, you’ll be right on the spot,” he said. “Really it’s all about execution. No matter what the environment is like.”