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Joe Marciano gives the rundown on Texans’ special teams

Posted by Nick Scurfield on May 15, 2012 – 5:15 pm

Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano joined “Texans All Access” on Tuesday on SportsRadio 610, giving insightful comments on the competition spots in the special teams unit.

The entire interview is worth a listen — Marciano also discussed the upcoming “First Down Dads” event on June 9 — but here’s a snapshot of what he said:

The Texans have two kickers on the roster, Randy Bullock (rookie fifth-round draft pick out of Texas A&M) and Shayne Graham (11-year veteran, signed on May 8). Marciano made it clear the job won’t be given to Bullock. “He has to compete to make the team first,” Marciano said. “If he can beat Shayne out, then I think he’s going to be very good for us.” Marciano said he’ll chart every kick Bullock and Graham make this offseason, similar to the competition between Neil Rackers and Kris Brown in 2010 that lasted through the preseason. “Over the long haul through the OTAs and training camp, there’ll be somewhere in the vicinity of 130-150 kicks that we’ve charted, and let the best man win,” Marciano said. Marciano also praised Bullock’s strong-mindedness, calling him “almost unflappable, almost unbreakable.” And he went out of his way to throw in this at the end of the interview: “There’s a reason why there was six kickers franchise tagged this year. I mean, that’s unheard of. I think the reason is, when you’ve got one, you better hold on to him. So if Bullock comes through for us, which I think he might, we’ll have one for a long time.”

The Texans also have two punters, Donnie Jones (eight-year veteran, signed March 30) and Brett Hartmann (undrafted in 2011, torn ACL in Week 13). Hartmann is suspended for the first three games of the 2012 season and still rehabbing from his injury, and Marciano said he won’t be able to work until training camp. “Brett has a lot of upside,” Marciano said. “As an undrafted free agent punter, to come in and do what he did last year without having the OTAs and having to break some bad habits and trying to train him to be an NFL punter, I think he still has upside. He’s a tremendous kickoff guy. Let’s not forget that. I mean, he’s the best kickoff guy I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been around doing this a long time – 1986 was my first year in the NFL. I’ve never see a guy kick the ball through the uprights and hang the ball 4.6 seconds. I have never seen that.” On Jones, Marciano said he had a fourth- or fifth-round grade on him coming out of LSU in 2004 and that “he’s proved to be an NFL-caliber kicker.”

With the Texans having four players at the two positions and Hartmann having the ability to punt and kick off, the Texans could end up with several different kicker/punter combinations. “(Hartmann) could be one of the guys, Graham could be the other,” Marciano said. “Hartmann could be one, Bullock could be the other. Donnie Jones could be one. You don’t know how it’s going to shake it out.”

Kick Returner
Asked about fourth-round draft pick Keshawn Martin’s return skills, Marciano said wide receivers Juaquin Iglesias and Trindon Holliday are also in the mix to return kicks for the Texans in 2012. The “sleeper of the group,” he said, is Davin Meggett, an undrafted rookie running back from Maryland and the son of former Pro Bowl returner Dave Meggett. “When I first got in the league, his dad torched me back in the day,” Marciano said. “His dad was a dynamite returner. He can do both punts and kickoffs.” Marciano said Holliday, one of the fastest players in college football history, “can be a dynamite returner in this league,” adding: “I would hate to play against him. But the thing about him here, he has to make it as a receiver. We don’t have the luxury just to carry an extra guy (solely as a returner).”

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Posted in Nick Scurfield | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Joe Marciano gives the rundown on Texans’ special teams”

  1. By Lazarus on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    Marciano needs to end his infatuation Trindon Holliday. He just seems scared to open up against NFL-quality athletes.

  2. By chris moore on May 17, 2012 | Reply

    it’s doesn’t matter who they have i think there are all going to be a thiret to anyone who get’s in there way were going to run all over them look out here come your next super bowl 47 champ’s of world move over green bay move over new enland and move over ravens & here come the texans

  3. By Gene Pittack on Jan 13, 2013 | Reply

    Texans have really proved themselves this season. Way to go Joe!

    Best of luck in 2013
    Gene Pittack
    Bunker hill pal

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