Until it finally happened.
And the results since then have been record-breaking!
Texans Season-In-Review shows that Keshawn Martin set the franchise record for fair catches w/ 24. Broke the record set by Keshawn in 2013— Jayson Braddock (@JaysonBraddock) February 24, 2015
Wait... no, that's not awesome at all. This isn't the Land of Milk and Honey that we were promised. This isn't the light of the end of the tunnel. This isn't the proverbial touchdown at the end of the punt return.
Keshawn Martin's fair catch record only serves to highlight just how bad the return game was for the Texans. If they were bad under Marciano, they got worse without him.
Houston Texans Kick/Punt Return Statistics In 2014
Kick Return Yards Avg - 21.1 (31st) - down from 24.6 in 2013 (24th)
Punt Return Yards Avg - 6.1 (31st) - down from 8.6 in 2013 (14th)... plus a touchdown!
These are dismal results for our first year without Marciano. If you didn't know, Bob Ligashesky was retained by Bill O'Brien after serving as the interim special teams coordinator in 2013.
Ligashesky's crew didn't fare much better in defending returns either.
Houston Texans Kick/Punt Coverage Statistics In 2014
Kick Return Yards Allowed Avg - 26.0 (25th) - up from 25.7 (28th) in 2013
Punt Return Yards Allowed Avg - 12.4 (31st) - up from 12.3 (28th) in 2013
So what does this mean? As much as we loved to pin our special teams troubles on one man and (rightly) called for him to be replaced, there has to be some blame put on the talent of the back end of the roster.
Key failures in the middle parts of our draft hauls (Shiloh Keo, Trevardo Williams, Sam Montgomery, et al.) have left much of the team's ST crews to be manned by undrafted/street free agents for many years now.
Add it all together and you have an idea as to why the Texans have been consistently bad in field positioning for many years now.
Thoughts on this, Texans fans? How long will Martin's fair catch team record last?