I am flying for most of the day. In the meantime, I wanted to share an interview I did with Ryan Plackemeier:
Can you evaluate your season? I think this year I am doing a lot more to help out the team. Last year the stats looked better, but I think this year, I am putting the ball inside the 20, keeping the ball away from Devin Hester, and Dante Hall for the most part except one last week. That was my best punt last week, 55 yards, and he returned it 56. What Bruce (DeHaven) and I are really trying to work on is becoming an NFL punter and really trying to help out the team. You can’t really look at your stats. You have to ask did I do what I want to do. And for the most part, I think I have hit more punts this year than I did last year.
Where are you at in that progression? Always trying to get better. Chicago game really was a plus for me in that I only averaged 35 yards, but Hester did not have a punt return. That is huge if you saw what he did the next week. A lot of pluses and a lot of things I am starting to see that are helping the team. Forget about stats. What can I do t o help my team win this football game?
How do you feel about your job as a holder? Holding, I have been happy with it. It’s always an adjustment. We had a hiccup last year with Rack (Derek Rackley) when he first came in. The Arizona game with the bobbled punt. But Boone (Stutz) is good. He has a lot of talent. We are working everyday.
Has there been a big difference with the increased velocity of Stutz? I think the velocity only makes a difference on the punts. On field goals, it is accuracy. I think we kind of told him too much at first. I think we have to just let him snap it. He has a lot of talent, he is here for a reason, and so we are just going to let him do what he does.
Mike Holmgren talked about you maturing more in the locker room? As you get to know guys better, you learn when you can talk and when you cant’ talk. That is something I had to learn last year. You have to take guys who are leaders – like Leonard Weaver, a great man of faith – guys like him and even Josh, who is a great leader, just see what they do, how they act. When guys see you are trying to help the team and be a good teammate, it helps out I guess.
Did they haze you the same way they are hazing Mebane? Not as bad. Tobeck had a lot of fun with me when I first go there. Camp he had a couple of things I don’t know if can repeat them for the newspaper. But Tobeck, he is my insurance agent now so I guess we are good friends.
What happened on that Dante Hall punt? I got chipped by one of their guys. And then one of our guys came by and didn’t expect me to be there because he was running after Dante Hall. He didn’t mean to hit me, he just didn’t see me. I have been hit, but not like that. Bit my tongue.
You got a concussion? If that’s what Mike says, then yeah, I had a concussion. A minor concussion. I’ve had headaches for the rest of the week. I just have to kind of wait it out.