Long Snaps with Bryan Pittman: Dealing with Disappointment
Houston Texans’ long-snapper Bryan Pittman returns for more thoughts on life both on and off the gridiron.
JCF: So I’ve gotta ask: How are you feeling now that pretty much any hope for the playoffs is gone?
BP: It’s a downer. I mean, the reason you play the game is to win championships and now we’ve pretty much ruled that out for this year. It’s hard to deal with it, especially because I’ve never been to the playoffs in my five-year career. On the bright side, we are progressing. It’s the first time it’s been early December and we were still in the playoff hunt.
JCF: Well since you bring it up: What’s the stronger emotion inside you right now: Frustration over another disappointing season or hope that the future will be brighter?
BP: I’d say at this point it’s about even. I’m frustrated, but I can see the potential for this team. That’s a good feeling to know that we’re headed in the right direction.
JCF: In your opinion, what’s missing right now?
BP: We’ve got talent, we’ve got the personnel, we’ve got the players… we’re just not consistent as a team. And if you’re not consistent, you’re not going to win.
JCF: So where does that consistency come from? Does it come from playing together more, better practice habits, or what?
BP: I think it’s a collection of all those things. It starts with the players and their dedication to the gameplan, and working out, and being prepared for the games. The coaches have to do their part as well. The whole organization is a part of it.
JCF: In the free agency era of the NFL, we’ve seen a lot of teams go from worst to first. I know patience is necessary, but why not the Texans? Why can’t this team do that?
BP: Good question. Why not the Texans? I mean, I feel it’s our turn. We deserve a shot. But why not us? Because we haven’t earned it. We haven’t gone out there and produced like a playoff team should and that’s why we’re not a playoff team.
JCF: Do you feel like the pieces are here and they just haven’t come together yet, or is there a key component to success that this team is missing?
BP: I think the pieces are in place. I mean, I’ve never been on a team that’s dealt with this many injuries before. I know injuries are part of the game, but when you have 20 guys on injured reserve with a quarter of the season left, I mean that’s a big blow to your team’s confidence, and your team’s ability to be a winning team this season.
JCF: Okay, I’m going to ask you to put on your GM hat for a minute. Let’s fast-forward to April and the NFL draft. The Texans are up next and they’ve got their choice of a good running back, offensive linemen, or defensive back. Which do you choose and why?
BP: Umm, I would have to go with a defensive lineman just to keep the tradition going [laughs]. But seriously, it’s hard to say. I mean we’ve never drafted an offensive lineman high in the draft. It really is hard to say. But I think I’d go with either a running back or defensive lineman.
JCF: Well, for what it’s worth, I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed that the O-line is addressed early and often. Okay, last question: How hard is it to get yourself pumped up and motivated for the rest of the schedule now that the team is pretty much out of the playoff picture?
BP: My motivation is I’m a professional and I get paid very well to do what I enjoy doing. I mean, yeah, it hurts and it’s a little deflating to know that in all likelihood we’re not going to be in the playoffs this year, but you’ve got to go about your business as a professional and do what you can to help the team.
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