Thursday, October 24, 2013
Lechler on the holder/kicker connection
By Tania Ganguli
HOUSTON -- Raiders kicker a Sebastian Janikowksi's field goal percentage has dipped to 63.6. That will be a career low if it holds up.
The biggest change for him on the field this year? He doesn't have Shane Lechler holding for him anymore.
"I'm not saying I knew it was going to affect him a little bit, but me and him are really close together on and off the field," said Lechler, now the Texans' punter. "It was one of those things where there was a big comfort level between me and him on and off the field. I knew what he was thinking, I knew when to have the ball snapped. If there was a breeze I knew when to hold the ball and not snap it and hold the deep snapper for a second or two. There's just a bunch of small things that we learned together over the 13 years."
Lechler is adjusting, too, in his new environment. He hasn't held for a right-footed kicker since college. And although his punts have been awe-inspiring, he believes he and the rest of the field goal trinity are still working out the kinks in their chemistry.
Texans kicker Randy Bullock (who was in grade school when Lechler was in college) has made seven of his 12 field goal attempts, 70.6 percent this season. Four of those misses came in the Texans' first two games.
"I don't know how many thousands of snaps I've taken for John (Weeks, long snapper) trying to get this thing ironed out," Lechler said. "We're getting good, we aren't great at it yet. He's snapped all his life, but I haven't held for a right footer in a long time. It's one of those things, I'm the middle man and I've got to make sure that's sharp every week."