August 18, 2004

Snap Into It: Houser doesn't mind being overlooked

It's nothing personal but New Orleans Saints long snapper Kevin Houser would like it just fine if he doesn't have any more interviews the rest of the season.

"99% of the time you want to be noticed but not for things that pertain to football. I know if the media wants to see me after the game it's usually not good."

Houser knows the long snapper's job along with the offensive line is probably the most thankless job in football.

"My job is a lot like the lineman. The offense can't make great plays without the big guys but there are other people that get the notoriety. You just do your job everyday."

Even though to the casual eye it might not look like the kickers do much in practice. Houser says its not true and other players don't dislike the special team guys because they don't do anything during training camp. It's just a myth he says.

"I wouldn't say that. We're out here 30 minutes before everyone. We run the look team for the defense. Then we run field goal as a team. Then we go over things if something wasn't right. Then Mitch will punt."

Even though the fans might not notice him, Kevin says the coaching staff does make him feel appreciated.

"After a field goal Coach Haslett makes it a point to come up and say nice job. They at least make us feel like a part of the team."

Houser, from Ohio State, is in his 5th season with New Orleans and said the only real difference this year for him is Todd Bouman will be the holder on kicks for John Carney.

"Todd's the holder as of right now and we'll see how that works out. Mitch (Berger) has proven to be a great holder. We're trying something different but if Todd doesn't work out. We can always go back to Mitch."

Even though kickers and punters in general are known to be sometimes on the odd side and occasionally superstitious, Houser laughed at that but doesn't count himself in the same category and didn't want to be called a head case.

"You calling me a mental case(laughing)? No, all the guys are professional and they stay focused but sometimes they want a certain routine. Sometimes you need it. Basketball players have routines for free throws. Kickers have them and snappers too. It's a way to prepare to do your job."

Of course Houser wouldn't mind at all if he does his job this season and no one really notices at all.

by Ralph Malbrough

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