From 2014 to 2018, the Texans employed Shane Lechler as their punter. Lechler is a former All-Pro who will go down as one of the greatest punters of all time. He was cool. The type of man you aspire to be when you are 40 years old. Billy goat gray goatee. Back pocket blue jeans dented and imprinted from hockey pucks of snuff. A liver swirling in yellow belly Banquet original. Floppy Kacey Musgrave hats. Pearl snap shirts and leather bracelets. A real cool guy. He just wasn’t good though.
From 2014 to 2018, the Texans’ punting unit ranked lost 6.1, 15.1 (31st), 13 (30th), and 10.7 (28th) expected points per season according to Football Outsiders. The Texans’ special teams unit finished in the bottom of the league year after year. No changes were ever made. The punter couldn’t be questioned.
Last season, Lechler lost his job to rookie UDFA Trevor Daniel. Lecher was sad and upset about something that should have happened a long time ago. After years of awful punting units, the Texans finally changed their punter, and guess what? The punting unit became immediately and substantially better. The Texans’ punting unit added 4.5 expected points last season. Wow. Crazy. Who knew punting the ball as far as you possibly could to the detriment of your coverage team was a bad thing?
Yet today Aaron Wilson reported the Texans are bringing in Marquette King for a visit.
I have no qualms with King, who is a fine punter. I have qualms with the Texans looking to add competition to a spot that doesn’t need it. Daniel is a second year player. He’s on a cheap deal. He was very good last year and should get better. The Texans still have $41 million in cap space according to Over the Cap, and they are out here looking to push Daniel, instead of, you know, trying to find interior pass rushing help, or adding a quality pass catching third down back, or flipping the tires on another physical, sideline-dwelling, first down snagging wide receiver, or grabbing another cornerback for a room that can use additional talent.
The Texans should have added punting competition three years ago. Not this year, not after the season Daniel had. They would be better off looking to improve the roster in different ways than this one.