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Old 04-24-2012   #1
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Default Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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Free-agent kicker Neil Rackers, who played for the Texans the last two seasons, visited the Washington Redskins on Monday.

Rackers, who turns 36 in August, set a Texans record with 135 points last season, connecting on 32-of-38 field goals. In 2010, his first season with the Texans, Rackers scored 124 points, including 27-of-30 field goals.

The Texans do not have a kicker on their roster. They could try to re-sign Rackers, a 13-year veteran, sign another veteran free-agent or draft a kicker for the first time in franchise history.
If he signs, then it looks like we will be drafting a K , or grab one off the scrapheap.
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Old 04-24-2012   #2
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

So if Denver liked someone then we like someone. And if we liked someone Washington now likes someone.
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Old 04-24-2012   #3
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

He'll be back
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Old 04-24-2012   #4
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

Man, that lease program we had with Shanahan when he was HC of the Broncos is really beginning to bite us in the ass.

Now we gotta' send our players to him in Washington. Anybody here want to re-sign Rackers or take our chances with a rookie from the draft?
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Old 04-24-2012   #5
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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Man, that lease program we had with Shanahan when he was HC of the Broncos is really beginning to bite us in the ass.

Now we gotta' send our players to him in Washington. Anybody here want to re-sign Rackers or take our chances with a rookie from the draft?
I would much rather have Rackers re-signed for minimum money than go with a rookie. I really like Bullock (assuming we can draft him), and I think he will be in the league for many years, but in the playoffs I want a veteran kicker. If a playoff game comes down to a field goal, then I don't want a rookie making that kick if I can avoid it.

Rackers was really good last year and the year before. During his two years with the Texans, he has made 86.7% of his FGs. He's 22/22 from less than 30 yards, 21/22 from 30-39, 9/15 from 40-49, and 7 of 9 from 50+. He's 83/84 on XPs, and he registered 11 tackles on special teams. He's 35 and still has some tread left on the tires, and I think we could use him for a few more years.
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Old 04-24-2012   #6
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

I'll take Rackers back over a rookie. But if Rackers isn't back, and it looks like theres a good chance he won't be, I think we should definitely draft one.
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Old 04-24-2012   #7
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

Apparently the Texans have met with Randy Bullock, the All American from A&M.

I have a feeling we pick him up in the later rounds and at the very least, let him compete with Rackers if he comes back.
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Old 04-24-2012   #8
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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I would much rather have Rackers re-signed for minimum money than go with a rookie. I really like Bullock (assuming we can draft him), and I think he will be in the league for many years, but in the playoffs I want a veteran kicker. If a playoff game comes down to a field goal, then I don't want a rookie making that kick if I can avoid it.

Rackers was really good last year and the year before. During his two years with the Texans, he has made 86.7% of his FGs. He's 22/22 from less than 30 yards, 21/22 from 30-39, 9/15 from 40-49, and 7 of 9 from 50+. He's 83/84 on XPs, and he registered 11 tackles on special teams. He's 35 and still has some tread left on the tires, and I think we could use him for a few more years.
I think we should re-sign Rackers (if we have the coin to do so) AND draft a guy to sit and watch for a season. I don't want our next playoff run to be determined by the leg of a rookie...Rackers is the guy who is built for that duty right now, and the rookie could benefit from being on the team for a year and watching/learning/practicing with Rackers.

We need to remember Hartmann, too. Although he is mainly a punter, he has also kicked FGs before (not for us, but still...you get the drift). I just don't know if his knee can withstand the torque on FG kicks though. And, what about his t rue accuracy as an every-game NFL kicker? He has kicked before, though, and I think he's an emergency option.

What if Hartmann became the punter AND kicker? Has that ever been done on an NFL team before? A guy being the punter AND FG kicker for a whole season, intentionally? Hmm.....
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Old 04-24-2012   #9
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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I think we should re-sign Rackers (if we have the coin to do so) AND draft a guy to sit and watch for a season. I don't want our next playoff run to be determined by the leg of a rookie...Rackers is the guy who is built for that duty right now, and the rookie could benefit from being on the team for a year and watching/learning/practicing with Rackers.

We need to remember Hartmann, too. Although he is mainly a punter, he has also kicked FGs before (not for us, but still...you get the drift). I just don't know if his knee can withstand the torque on FG kicks though. And, what about his t rue accuracy as an every-game NFL kicker? He has kicked before, though, and I think he's an emergency option.

What if Hartmann became the punter AND kicker? Has that ever been done on an NFL team before? A guy being the punter AND FG kicker for a whole season, intentionally? Hmm.....
We signed a punter that has been pretty good, so I don't think it's automatic that Hartmann is on the team next year. It probably depends on how he comes back from his injury and if they have them compete in the pre-season.

I don't really like the idea of a rookie kicker sitting and learning for a year. If you are re-signing Rackers it's probably for a multi-year deal, and he's not coming back to play tutor for 1 year I don't think. Not to mention the extra roster spot that could be used.

If we go with a rookie kicker I think they'll be the man from day 1 and we'll have a trusty vet on speed dial.
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Old 04-24-2012   #10
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

Neil Rackers is a middle of the pack kicker at best. I wouldn't sign him if my home stadium was outdoors. But, a rookie kicker might cost you a game...
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Old 04-24-2012   #11
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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I think we should re-sign Rackers (if we have the coin to do so) AND draft a guy to sit and watch for a season. I don't want our next playoff run to be determined by the leg of a rookie...Rackers is the guy who is built for that duty right now, and the rookie could benefit from being on the team for a year and watching/learning/practicing with Rackers.

We need to remember Hartmann, too. Although he is mainly a punter, he has also kicked FGs before (not for us, but still...you get the drift). I just don't know if his knee can withstand the torque on FG kicks though. And, what about his t rue accuracy as an every-game NFL kicker? He has kicked before, though, and I think he's an emergency option.

What if Hartmann became the punter AND kicker? Has that ever been done on an NFL team before? A guy being the punter AND FG kicker for a whole season, intentionally? Hmm.....
I would have to imagine it's happened, especially back in the 50's and 60's. There have been some other interesting cross overs by QB's, I believe Randall Cunningham holds the record for longest punt, and didn't Flutie do a drop kick? (Maybe that was in college)

Maybe Schaub can kick, he definately has the speed of a punter or kicker!!! Wow, what a threat, we could have the Schaub Wildcat, and then he could punt and kick. Imagine 4th downs, is Schaub gonna punt, or throw, hell maybe he runs. Or Houston lines up for a FG, again is Schaub gonna kick, throw, or run for 18 inches. Quadruple Threat Guy!!!!!

As for Hartmann, I love him, but can he stay off the juice?
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Old 04-24-2012   #12
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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I think we should re-sign Rackers (if we have the coin to do so) AND draft a guy to sit and watch for a season. I don't want our next playoff run to be determined by the leg of a rookie...Rackers is the guy who is built for that duty right now, and the rookie could benefit from being on the team for a year and watching/learning/practicing with Rackers.

We need to remember Hartmann, too. Although he is mainly a punter, he has also kicked FGs before (not for us, but still...you get the drift). I just don't know if his knee can withstand the torque on FG kicks though. And, what about his true accuracy as an every-game NFL kicker? He has kicked before, though, and I think he's an emergency option.
Hartman is suspended the first 3 games of the year, so that's not an option. The Texans signed Donnie Jones, punter from STL, to a minimum deal this offseason. He's expected to be our punter for at least the first 3 games.

Having a second PK on the roster is just not feasible in today's NFL. That roster spot has to be used elsewhere, so he either wins the job in camp, or he gets cut.

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What if Hartmann became the punter AND kicker? Has that ever been done on an NFL team before? A guy being the punter AND FG kicker for a whole season, intentionally? Hmm.....
It has been done before, but it didn't catch on. If that guy goes down in a game, you have no natural backup. The punter and PK are natural backups for each other.
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Old 04-24-2012   #13
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

The rookie kicker would be on the PS, though. Called up only if needed. This stashes him away, and the likelihood of someone claiming him off our PS would be rare because the team claiming him would have to sign him to their active roster (which means they are using a rookie, a rookie they didn't have the guts to draft themselves, to be their starting FG kicker).

As to the situation with the punter, he can be cut after the 3rd game. Which I think is what ends up happening if Hartmann is 100% by then.
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Old 04-24-2012   #14
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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Neil Rackers is a middle of the pack kicker at best. I wouldn't sign him if my home stadium was outdoors. But, a rookie kicker might cost you a game...
You should go check out field goal percentages for kickers in the NFL. 86.7% over the last 2 years (as pointed out by Dutchrudder) is definitely not middle of the pack.
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Old 04-24-2012   #15
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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The rookie kicker would be on the PS, though. Called up only if needed. This stashes him away, and the likelihood of someone claiming him off our PS would be rare because the team claiming him would have to sign him to their active roster (which means they are using a rookie, a rookie they didn't have the guts to draft themselves, to be their starting FG kicker).
Umm, if the Texans use a 6th on a guy like Randy Bullock, they will need to keep him on the roster. Subjecting him to waivers is risky as plenty of teams could have drafted him, but he wasn't there at X pick. Getting him for nothing on waivers would be a steal for another team. Keeping a kicker on the p-squad is a waste as well, and he is always available for another team to sign away. Kickers just aren't that valuable, which is why teams only carry one in the regular season. Either we draft one or re-sign Rackers, and then get an UDFA or two for camp.

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As to the situation with the punter, he can be cut after the 3rd game. Which I think is what ends up happening if Hartmann is 100% by then.
Hartmann should be ready to kick in camp, so the team will evaluate him there. He will be competing for the job against Jones. One of them will win it, but I won't be surprised if Hartmann is cut during the 4th week of preseason. Punters are a dime a dozen.
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Old 04-24-2012   #16
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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Umm, if the Texans use a 6th on a guy like Randy Bullock, they will need to keep him on the roster. Subjecting him to waivers is risky as plenty of teams could have drafted him, but he wasn't there at X pick. Getting him for nothing on waivers would be a steal for another team. Keeping a kicker on the p-squad is a waste as well, and he is always available for another team to sign away. Kickers just aren't that valuable, which is why teams only carry one in the regular season. Either we draft one or re-sign Rackers, and then get an UDFA or two for camp.

I'm confused. You start off by countering that it's risky to put a 6th round FG kicker onto the PS...but then you say kickers just aren't that valuable. If they're not that valuable, then how could a 6th round rookie FG kicker that was passed over for nearly 6 full rounds be in danger of being claimed by a team who already HAS a FG kicker???

To further the confusion, this would mean that a team would have to cut its veteran FG kicker to make room for our PS guy...which defies the logic you just set forth: i.e. the whole "Teams wouldn't keep two FG kickers on the roster, let alone the PS roster."

I don't foresee a team taking a gamble on our PS FG kicker for the very reasons set forth: (1) That particular team didn't think enough of him to begin with, why would they now? Especially when other veteran FG kickers are on the street and have more veteran experience than the rookie. And (2) The team claiming our PS guy would have to have cut their own guy or lost him to season-ending injury in order to get our guy from us. What are the odds of this happening?



Hartmann should be ready to kick in camp, so the team will evaluate him there. He will be competing for the job against Jones. One of them will win it, but I won't be surprised if Hartmann is cut during the 4th week of preseason. Punters are a dime a dozen.

I forgot to mention that Kubiak "found" Hartmann off the street last year. Hartmann, IIRC, was just a punt and kick teacher/coach for a clinic for punters/kickers. He wasn't on a team. He wasn't on a PS of any team, either. He was JAG--Just Another Guy--at the time. I wouldn't put it past Kubiak to go the UDFA route on a kicker, or the Street FA option as well.

We could let Rackers walk, stick with Jones as the punter, and find a street FA kicker for the first three games and use Hartmann from game 4 onward if we wanted to. Or use an UDFA or street FA guy all year and let Hartmann walk. Lots of options at FG kicker, IMO.
My responses, above.

I think Rackers is done here. Or he would have re-signed and called it a day. He's going to get more from Redskins or some other team, and we're going to take our chances on either a drafted guy, a UDFA, a street vet, and/or Hartmann (I know, I know...he's suspended. But still, there's 13 more game after the first 3 games).
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Old 04-24-2012   #17
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

I'd be shocked if Kubiak picks up some kicker just off the street unless it was a kicker with a good college or NFL history.

You can do that with Punters, but Kickers are more important. They put points on the board.
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Old 04-24-2012   #18
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

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My responses, above.

I think Rackers is done here. Or he would have re-signed and called it a day. He's going to get more from Redskins or some other team, and we're going to take our chances on either a drafted guy, a UDFA, a street vet, and/or Hartmann (I know, I know...he's suspended. But still, there's 13 more game after the first 3 games).
As far as the "Draft a kicker and stick him on p-squad" thing goes, here's a list of the 2011 kickers from last year: http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/pl...t/fieldGoalPct

Sort by FG% and look at the bottom half. Most of those guys are making near minimum money with nothing guaranteed on their contracts. It's easy to find at least one team that could sign a kicker that is put on waivers. Baltimore, STL, Pitt, NYJ, Arizona, etc. A few of those teams could be looking to draft a kicker as well. Bullock may be gone before our pick in the 5th, and then we will be back to the FA or UDFA scrapheap to find a kicker for our Super Bowl run. That's why I'm thinking it would be good for us to trade out of the 1st, and pick up a 2nd plus an extra 4th/5th to spend on a kicker.
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Old 04-24-2012   #19
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

Hartmann's got a ... what?... 4 (?) game suspension coming up, he's coming off an injury, and we signed an experienced guy already to take his spot. I don't expect Hartmann to be back.

I'm surprised Rackers wasn't already re-signed. He's a good kicker. I don't see him as a middle of the pack kicker at all. There are a lot worse options out there.

With Kubiak's fear of rookies, I find it hard to believe that we'll draft a rookie kicker and let the fate of games ride on his shoulders. I think Kubes prefers a vet in those situations and Rackers is a guy who's been in a lot of pressure filled situations in his career. Although maybe this whole running down the field and making the tackle thing has the coaching staff nervous about his sanity.
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Old 04-24-2012   #20
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Default Re: Texans kicker Rackers meets with Redskins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rey View Post
I'd be shocked if Kubiak picks up some kicker just off the street unless it was a kicker with a good college or NFL history.

You can do that with Punters, but Kickers are more important. They put points on the board.
I agree. This just might be the year of having to compromise or settle for less-than-ideal solutions.

This year's Texans have the expectations upon them of AT LEAST repeating 2011's outcome...but right now, they are experiencing some challenges:

1. Dreessen, an underrated and reliable TE option, is gone. In an ideal world, Dreessen stays and Kubiak doesn't sweat the details of what to do with our TE situation.

2. Winston and DeMeco cost too much for what they were providing: Winston was paid royally for being a great run blocker but a poor pass protector, and Meco was paid royally for being a 2-down LB at best. So cap problems dictated we jettison them and find replacements for RG and ILB.

3. The "face of the Texans D," Mario Williams, who was generally a great weapon to have on an already dangerous Wade Phillips defense, left town. Although it was anticipated, it doesn't help us in the sense that now we're trying to fill a LB spot once held by our franchise guy.

I could go on and on, and I know I'm preaching to the choir on this one (not saying you, nor others, don't know all this, I'm just re-hashing it for posterity's sake).

The point is that beggars cannot be choosers. We might be at a point where Rackers has to walk and Kubiak and Coach Joe are scanning the classified ads looking for filler material. That's where we all agree that a guy in the draft AND having to start him from day 1 is perhaps the best choice out of all choices right now.

And that's why I am hesitant to lean that way: I'd rather be able to re-sign Rackers and "at best" be able to draft a guy and transition him into the starting lineup for 2013. Kickers last a long time, but their first year is shaky which is why teams don't draft a kicker unless he's a Mason Crosby type of kicker. In fact, teams rarely draft a kicker at all. But, beggars can't be choosers...and so drafting a guy and making him K1 form Day 1 might be our only choice.

We'll probably have two or three FG K for camp anyways. A mix of vets and maybe that rookie we could take in late rounds of the draft.
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