The world is changing in Detroit. Everything you love as a Detroit Lions fan is gone. Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay and now Matt Prater. The potential Hall of Fame kicker who created so many great memories in Detroit is now with the Arizona Cardinals.
This left gaping hole in both the Lions special teams and the hearts of Lions fans who loved them some Matt Prater. Fear not, though, the Lions have signed a new kicker. His name is Randy Bullock—okay, maybe fear a little bit. Bullock has been in the league in for 12 years and he’s now on his sixth team. There’s definitely cause for concern. There’s a real 2014 feeling happening here.
Maybe it’s not all bad. I don’t know Randy Bullock all that well, but I know someone who does. I reached out to our pal John Sheeran of Cincy Jungle to tell us abut Bullock's last four years with the Bengals. Here’s what he had to say:
How reliable has Bullock been during his time in Cincinnati?
“In terms of pure accuracy, I always considered Bullock to be pretty decent. If you need a 41-yarder made during the middle of a game, he’ll make it virtually every time. Unfortunately, Bengals fans can name more clutch misses he’s had than clutch makes. That’s going to be part of his legacy around here. Overall, without factoring in clutchness, I think he’s a pretty average kicker.”
Where is Bullock automatic from?
“One thing I think Bullock has going for him is on extra points. Some kickers around the league have gotten the yips on PATs but Bullock has never missed more than two in a season with the Bengals. His accuracy within 30 yards is pretty standard and he’s almost just as accurate from 30-39 yards as he is from 40-49 yards.”
Where should Lions fans be concerned to see Bullock kicking from?
“Like most kickers, anything beyond 50 yards is a pure coin flip. I suppose with eight games indoors in Detroit he might be better from a season-long standpoint, but Bullock just doesn’t have a ton of leg strength for him to accurately kick it 50+ yards. He’s made some in the past, but you can noticeably tell it’s asking a lot from him, and it’s rarely a precise attempt from that distance.”
Bullock has always felt like a temporary solution, why do you think he caught on in Cincinnati?
“He originally was signed before the 2016 season ended because Mike Nugent got the yips and the team couldn’t sustain that anymore. Bullock finished that year very well and ended up beating out fifth-round pick Jake Elliott in a training camp/preseason competition leading up to the 2017 season. From then on, Bullock’s never been too terrible for them to seriously look at other options, so they just got complacent in a sense. Unfortunately, Bullock missed three of his last five field goals last year and with Austin Siebert already on the roster, they pulled the plug on Bullock. It was a forgone conclusion that the team would not retain him this offseason.
On a personal note, most Bengals fans gave Bullock a really hard time when he was struggling. I know kickers are the butt of many jokes but some even used his weight against him. I always found this unappealing and I hope even if he doesn’t work out in Detroit, his new fanbase will not stoop to that level.”