HOUSTON -- On sports radio and on social media, the story of Texans kicker Randy Bullock is being described as either a dilemma, a crisis, or the case of a fragile psyche that might need mending.
But to the Texans, and the kicker himself, it was just an off day in a promising professional career after a stellar collegiate campaign.
Bullock, 23, missed as many field goals in the Texans win over Tennessee on Sunday as he did his entire All American senior season at Texas A&M where he went 29 for 33 and won the Lou Groza Award as the best placekicker in college football.
That’s what Texans fan James Lumpkin pointed to when asked about the kicker’s difficulties on Sunday, missing two 50-yard field goal attempts and the potential game winner that would have avoided overtime.
"He ain't perfect. You know what I'm saying. Everybody makes mistakes,” Lumpkin said. "They need to cut him some slack, give him a break."
"You know it's going to be tough just because you missed a couple but at the same time you’ve got to be mentally tough and move forward,” Bullock said after the game. “That's part of it and that's my job to have a short memory and move forward."
Bullock, selected in the fifth round by the Texans in the 2012 NFL Draft, missed most of his rookie season with a groin injury. But prior to the Tennessee game this season he’d gone 6 for 7 on field goal attempts, including a 55-yard shot and kicked the game winning 41-yarder against the San Diego Chargers that a week ago had the city hailing him as a local hero.
Coach Gary Kubiak said Bullock will continue to be the Texans starting kicker and that they have full confidence in his field goal abilities and his booming kickoffs that regularly sail out of the end zone.
Bullock had his detractors on the radio and social media by Monday morning, but Texan diehards like Lumpkin said Houston should rally behind the local star who started his record-breaking kicking career at Klein High School.
"Oh yeah he's gonna be OK,” Lumpkin said. “I'm with him 100 percent and everybody else should be with him too. If they're a Houston fan they need to stick with him."