Just call him Coach Lechler.
Shane Lechler, entering his 17th NFL season, has enough experience to earn that title.
"A guy like Shane Lechler, he could coach for us." Bill O'Brien said Jan. 7. "He's a very bright guy who understands a lot of different situations and special teams play."
Being a six-time All-Pro, seven-time Pro Bowler, and owning the best gross punting average in NFL history (47.5) does give Lechler credibility among his teammates. It may have been why O'Brien had Lechler take on a bigger role during the past season.
"We do a neat thing on Saturday mornings where we have a special teams meeting run by Shane Lechler and at the end of his meeting, he has a player stand up and talk about their personal story," O'Brien said during his radio program last season. "I think that's a pretty cool thing. I learned a lot from that about the players."
Now that it's the offseason, Lechler has spread his coaching talents to other sports. The homerun derby winner of this year's J.J. Watt Softball Charity Classic manages his daughter's softball team. It's one of his favorite things to do, according to Lechler.
"We'll play four or five games in a day and it will take everybody in the ballpark at least until the fourth game till they figure out who I am," Lechler said in an interview on Texans All Access. "When we write up the lineup card if I won't put my name on it, I'll go the entire tournament without anybody knowing. I can just be Dad and Coach and that's my favorite part of it."
In March, Lechler, who was an unrestricted free agent, signed his second contract with the Texans. Since joining the team in 2013, Lechler has totaled 266 punts for 12,533 yards (47.1 avg., 39.1 net), pinning 85 punts inside the 20-yard line. He holds franchise records for punting average in a career (47.1), single-season (47.6 in 2013 and 47.3 in 2015) and single-game (58.9 on 11/10/13 and 54.5 on 10/9/14).
Punter Shane Lechler, as a Texan, Raider and Texas A&M Aggie is profiled here in photos.