On why he thinks he was not with a
team until now:
"I'm not sure. We talked to a lot of people and most of them said the same thing, that they felt I could still punt well enough to be in the league, but hinted, because of my age, that they wanted to see if there was a younger guy that they could find who could be there longer. That's the feeling we got. Nobody told us that they were not interested. They said to stay ready and they felt that if they needed me, I could come in and punt."
On whether he thought that his
career could be over:
"Sure, all the years that I have played I have never thought that I had it made. I never expected a spot. I feel as though I can still do it well enough to play, but that's no guarantee that I would still get a chance. So, that was a big reason too, why I signed."
On how is punting now, compared to
how he punted before his injury in 2002:
"The numbers seem to be pretty much the same. Usually I chart my practices, as I have always done. The last few years with the Rams the numbers have stayed the same. The punting I have done in the last few months seems to have been the same. I just need to get out there with the helmet and the pads on and hit them the way I feel that I should hit them or have hit them."
On how he has stayed in the same
"I just have a routine that I go through. I don't know if there is any one answer. There's no secret. You work out and practice punting and pretty much hope that when you punt the ball, it goes well enough to do it at this level. Again, I don't know why it is, but I take it seriously, I love to do it and fortunately the ball still goes well. Because of that, I still want to play."
On whether he looks at this
opportunity as a last chance or an audition for another team:
"I didn't really talk to Andy about that at all. In my mind, I feel that if I come here and punt well these two weeks, maybe I will have a chance to play here, if [P] Dirk [Johnson] is not ready and if he is ready, I am pretty sure that they will go with him because he's their guy. Hopefully I can punt the way where I can get a chance somewhere else. But, it is a different situation for me. It's obviously not one that you want to be in, as far as being somewhere where you feel that you can compete to be the guy, but this is where I am and I am happy that I am here."
On whether he had any other career
plans during the offseason:
"No, I had a workout with the Jets after I was released by the Rams. They were close to signing me, but they decided not to. Again, from the way I practiced, I felt that I still could do it, so I wanted to give myself another chance to do that. Again, you have to go out and display that you could do that, but I have not thought about not playing anymore. I still felt that I would like to try again."
On what separates young punters who
can perform in practice and not the games with veteran punters:
"I am not sure. You will see a guy practice punting well and you feel as though there is not a reason that he shouldn't do it in a game. There are probably a number of reasons for it; I don't think there are one or two things. I think that most guys that punt really well in practice will be able to do it well in a game. But there is not real answer. There are not one or two things. You only get those few chances in a game. You can punt real well all week in practice and pregame and feel good and be good, but if you don't hit those few in the game well, that's all that counts. That's the hard part."
On how experience factors into
"With anything, if a guy has punted a ball 5 or 6 years or another guy has done it 10 or 15 years, just the fact that a guy has done it longer, has more reps, muscle memory is ingrained more. Any person would probably be better at something that they have done much more, especially with punting. It's a very repetitious thing. Usually a guy that has done it longer will do it better. Most guys that punt real well when they are in their early 20s will punt even better in their early 30s. A lot of them don't know it. When I talk to the young guys I say, ‘you don't know it yet, but 5 years from now you will be even better.' It's just because you've done it more. You feel more comfortable."
On trying to beat George Blanda's
record for oldest player in league history:
"I would certainly like to do that. I don't know if that could happen. I'm sure that my desire to want to punt, 5 years from now, will still be the same. Hopefully, I will be physically able to do it and I will get the chance to do it. I don't know if that will happen, but yeah, if you love it as much as I do, I certainly would. If I never got a chance to play, I would be a guy to go to a park every Saturday with a bag of balls and still punt because I like to do it."
On how hard it was not being at a
training camp this year:
"It was real tough. I had a similar situation back in 1997. I actually did not get signed till week 4 or 5 by Tampa Bay. It was interesting that back then it was the same thing, back then I was told, ‘you're 35, you're old and we want to see if the young guys can do it.' That was really tough because I didn't know if I would get another chance. I was pretty depressed and thrilled I got a chance to play. I've gotten 8 seasons since then and told myself that if this ever happened again, I would never let myself get down. That helped although I was very disappointed that I was not signed to compete in camp. Now I am signed and I have my chance, so it's good."
On what his typical day was like
"Pretty much I did all offseason what I would normally do in an offseason. I took a few weeks off from punting. Around the end of April you start back again. I just practice as though I was signed. I would go out 4 times a week, sometimes 5, hit a certain number of punts, workout and do everything the same. You are not doing it with a team in an organized fashion, but I try to do everything, as much as I could, the same. I knew I needed to do that to have the best chance of getting signed."
On where he went:
"I live in Long Island, New York and there are a few nice fields. There is Manhasset High School, the town I live in Hofstra, where the Jets practice is only 10 minutes from my house and they have nice fields there. Those two places and the University, Hofstra, I worked with some of the college kids there, so I was luck to have those places to practice. Also here, when I was in town, people of Truman High School in Upper Bucks County allowed me to use their field. That was a big help."
On whether he will be nervous on
"I will be a little anxious. I mean I have done it so many times that it is almost like I'm not nervous because I know that I can do it. I just can't wait to get out there and do what I know I can do. But I still have to go out and display it. It's always exciting to get back out there again. I have always felt that way. It's never been the same old, same old for me. I really enjoy it every time I get the chance to get out there."
On this being his 5th
team and 2nd team that he has played for twice:
"That is correct. I was with the Rams twice and this is my second time here."
On what happened with the Rams last
"Well, I got released I think in week 10. We played the Bills and gave up a couple of long punt returns. Up to that point, our punt team had done very well. I was a little surprised that I was released on a Friday before a game; usually it is earlier than that. But the fact that around 2 weeks earlier I was leading the NFC in punting and thought I was punting well, but they thought that they needed to do something to shake things up because our special teams was not playing well. I certainly did not agree with it, but they made the move they thought they needed to make."
On talking to a few of the Eagles
about their experience winning the NFC championship game last year:
"I was real happy for all these guys and the city because there may be some cities that are equal, but I don't think that it is possible for a city to have more passion for his team than Philadelphia does for the Eagles. I always tell the young guys that the people here can't wait for them to play well. I was lucky to win two Super Bowls in New York playing with the Giants, another great city. I tell the young guys that if they win a Super Bowl down here, they have no idea how great it will be. I was really happy that the Eagles were in it and almost won the game."