Mawae the center of attention

There is a reason that Kevin Mawae is a Pro Bowl center and has been ever since he joined the New York Jets. He exemplified the traits that make him so special in 2004, playing through a broken hand.

Can't snap with your broken right hand?

That was no problem for Kevin Mawae last season. The Pro Bowl center learned, quickly, to snap with his left hand for several games.

"That's got to be up there with something pretty special," said Jets head coach Herman Edwards.

Try doing something you have done for as long as you can remember with your off-hand. Something as simple as cutting a tough piece of meat will tell you how difficult it is. Even brushing your teeth with the wrong hand can land toothpaste all over the bathroom walls.

Imagine trying it in your profession with millions of fans screaming, depending on you.

Quarterback Chad Pennington was also impressed.

"That's pretty amazing what he did," said Pennington. "He shows up every Sunday. It doesn't matter the situation. It's unbelievable to see a guy out there with one hand, and it's not even his dominant hand, snapping the football, blocking, running out on the edge."

Mawae has started 171 games in a row and ranks third among active players behind Brett Favre (205) and Will Shields (191) for the most consecutive starts in the NFL.

"I'm just out there having fun," says Mawae. "I play with intensity, and I play non-stop. When you love the game so much, unless you're just absolutely injured, then there's nothing that can stop you from playing. I've got to be maimed and not able to walk to not be on the football field.

"Guys rely on me. Guys know that I'm here every week. You see a guy like Brett Favre, and with somebody like that, your team can count on you and you take a lot of pride in that."

Following are the players with the longest active consecutive-start streaks:

PLAYER TEAM POSITION CONSECUTIVE STARTS
Brett Favre Green Bay Quarterback 205
Will Shields Kansas City Guard 191
Kevin Mawae New York Jets Center 171
Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay Linebacker 144
Jon Runyan Philadelphia Tackle 128


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