Randy Bullock, the lone kicker on the Texans roster, practiced kicking field goals in Friday's open practice in training camp. Bullock, who was placed on injured reserve in August 2012 with a groin injury, said it felt good to be back at full strength.
"It feels good to be back and honestly, I didn't notice the crowd," Bullock said Friday. "I was more focused on what I was doing but it feels good to be back."
Bullock was perfect in his longest attempt at 51 yards, but missed two from 49 yards that hit the upright posts. Those attempts were the only field goals Bullock missed during a team session in training camp this offseason.
"I think it went pretty well overall," the second-year kicker said. "There were a couple kicks I missed off the uprights so there are little things I need to fix but it's nothing that can't be fixed. We went over and worked a little bit after that, same area and with a different result. It was a little bit disappointing. You only get a certain number of opportunities and I got to make those count. That's on me."
A high achiever on and off the field, the 22-year old earned his bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M during the offseason. On the football field, Bullock holds the career scoring record for the Aggies (365 points) and set a season scoring record in 2011 (142 points), ranking him second in Big XII history. Bullock has high standards for himself for the 2013 season as well.
"Make your opportunities count and that's one thing," he said. "That's our goal to be 100-percent inside 45, 50 yards. That's a tough goal to do. There's not many guys in the league who do it. That's a goal that we've set for ourselves."
This week in training camp, Bullock has been working on kickoff drills. Last season, the Texans ranked 27th in the league in kickoffs that resulted in touchbacks (31.5%). Bullock hopes to improve on those numbers in 2013.
"We had a kickoff period, I think two days ago," Bullock said Friday. "Kicked off very well, kicking them into the endzone several yards deep, a few touchbacks and all that. That's one of the big areas we want to try to continue to improve on to help our coverage a little bit this year."
Bullock credits six-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler for helping to push him both physically and mentally this offseason. Spending the 2012 season watching the Texans' former kicker Shayne Graham, the league's second all-time most accurate field goal kicker, has helped Bullock learn how to prepare for each game and take care of his body before and afterwards. Unlike most rookies, Bullock has had the opportunity to watch his predecessor for an entire season up close before having to step out onto the field. Now that he is healthy, he is anxious to go out and put his teachings to the test.
"I feel good. I feel healthy. I feel stronger and better than I was last year so I'm excited for the season."