March 24, 2018

Mid Season Report Card: Special Teams

This is the section of our SOTT Mid Season Report card and we will run through every position group for the Houston Texans. We focus on the special teams in this post and give our thoughts on the position group.


The Special Teams

Shayne Graham: We have been very impressed with his field goal accuracy, which is why he is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. The only issue is his leg strength on long field goals and especially kickoffs. Currently, he is 13-15 in field goals (51 is the long) and in 48 kickoffs he only has 11 touch backs, which sets the special teams up for coverage the majority of the time. He is steady but hopefully his poor kickoffs don’t hurt the Texans later down the road.


Donnie Jones: Talk about another surprise for the Texans, Jones has been another solid addition via free agency. The best attribute Jones brings is consistency and being solid in all of his punts. He is a middle of the road punter but he has come up with some clutch punts to pin teams deep in their own territory.


Alan Ball: Many people called for him to be cut during preseason but he has been impressive on coverage teams, especially as the gunner on punt team. Ball has also brought an attitude to the team and showed it against the Baltimore Ravens when he took Cary Williams’ helmet and threw it at his feet after a slight scuffle.


Shiloh Keo: On all special teams units, Keo was pretty quiet up until the Buffalo Bills game when he was named special teams player of the game. Before that game, Keo has been quiet and inconsistent in blocking and coverage. Now named a captain, it is surprising to see what his teammates think of him. Now he needs to live up to that honor the second half of the season.


Bryan Braman: Playing at pro bowl level, Braman has been impressive on special teams. Braman missed the first couple games of the season with a hamstring issue, but since returning there has been no one better in coverage. Fast and relentless in pursuit, Braman is a special teams monster that is an important piece to their coverage teams.


Jesse Nading: One of the smarter players on the team, Nading has been quiet on special teams and was a big factor for Joe McKnight’s kickoff return for a touchdown on Monday Night football against the New York Jets. He plays two positions on defense and is on the majority of special teams. He needs to have a few standout plays to move up his grade.


 This is the last position group in our Mid Season Report Card series. Be sure to check out the rest of the report cards that came out earlier this week and covered the other positions groups. 

You can follow Patrick on Twitter.  He is the Editor of State of the Texans.


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