Ben Graham - In his own words

"I was in the movies with my wife, we saw 'Wedding Crashers,' and when we got out, I had messages on my phone.

"My wife was a little teary because it's been hard on her and the kids (the move), but to this point it's all worked out. Micah (Knorr) is a good punter and I'm sure he'll do well wherever he goes. Now that it's up to me to do the job. Once the first week was over, I kind of realized how cut throat it is.

"The punting is something that I've done for awhile now, but the holding is the thing that probably means the most to me because Mike Nugent, the first draft pick, wants to make all of his field goals and it's an important job so I worked really hard.

"I've been talking to Darren Bennett a lot about [punting in the NFL] and he said it's a great gig if you can get it. It's easier on your body (than Australian Rule Football) and you still feel part of the team. You're coming on to try and put the oppositions offense as far back as they can go.

"We play 120 minute of non-stop football (in Australia), here it's 60 minutes of stop-start football and it takes twice as long. So the game is different. I can only concentrate on my job and it's very individual. You have to concentrate on your job and don't worry about anyone else here.

"It doesn't matter if you're a 31-year old rookie or a 23-year-old rookie. I'm just trying to cut my teeth on this game and so far, so good. We have three preseason games under our belt and one to go.

"I just had to make sure that everything I did from the minute I got off the plane was the right thing so they could put their trust in me to do the job.

"My (AFL) teammates played their last game and they won by one point to secure a playoff spot. After the game I got a lot of messages from the boys. I haven't really gotten a chance to speak to anyone in Australia yet apart from my parents.

"We have two weeks before the season starts so there's a lot to cover between now and then."


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