Long Snaps with Bryan Pittman: Giving Thanks and Praying for Playoffs

Houston Texans’ long-snapper Bryan Pittman returns for more thoughts on life both on and off the gridiron.

JCF: Did you ever imagine being .500 could feel good?

BP: Yeah, it does. It does feel good. You know, being 5-5, you wouldn’t really think we’d be in the position we are, as far as potentially being involved in the playoffs, but we are. We’re sitting at 5-5 and it’s good right now. Usually by November, we’ve pretty much solidified our exit from playoff contention, so being right there in the mix is gratifying. But you can’t get too anxious about the possibilities. You have to keep everything in perspective and understand what it’s going to take to continue to win and to be a playoff contender.

JCF: I assume there’s a different sort of vibe in the locker room these days?

BP: Yeah, it is a different vibe, because in year’s past, that vibe was irrelevant. It didn’t exist. So it’s a new thing for me, too: Late November and still hoping to be in the playoffs.

JCF: Do you ever let yourself think ahead a little bit and contemplate the remaining six games ahead of you? I mean, five of the teams you’ll be facing are above .500 and the other club is Denver which is really rolling right now.

BP: I think about it. I mean, not extensively, but I do think about the possibility of going through each game in my mind and seeing what it would take for us to win and then how it would set us up for the playoffs if we were to win those games.

JCF: And when you run through those games in your mind, what do you see?

BP: I see us winning them all, if we play like we did last Sunday.

JCF: Do you think you have to win five out of six to realistically have a shot at the playoffs?

BP: If we finish 9-7, I don’t realistically think it’s good enough, as tough as our division is. Some teams would have to take a major swan dive into the losing column for that to happen. But I think realistically 5-1 should get us there.

JCF: All right, so with Thanksgiving right around the corner, what are you most thankful for?

BP: I am most thankful for my family and for my beautiful fiancée. And thankful for… okay, I can’t say that — I was going to say the marriage preparation and all that — but I’ll be thankful for that when it’s over [laughs]. I’m also thankful for my health and I’m obviously thankful for what I do for a living.

JCF: I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Patriots. Do you feel like they’re running up the score on their opponents? And I know you strongly dislike them, but does the football fan in you appreciate the fact we could be watching history in the making?

BP: Yeah, I do believe they are running up the score. But on the other side of that, it’s the NFL and if you can’t stop them, maybe you deserve to be scored on. But a win’s a win. This isn’t the BCS. It doesn’t really matter if you blow out your opponent by 50 points.

I definitely don’t want to see them go 16-0. I think the Dolphins have a good record that I’d like to see live out a little bit longer. My detest for the Patriots I guess is the fuel behind that reasoning.

JCF: All right, before I let you go, give me a player we should watch out for this weekend.

BP: I think we’re going to activate Darius Walker this week. If he gets in there, I think he’s going to surprise some people with his ability and what he can do.

JCF: He looks good on the practice field?

BP: Yeah, if he can transfer what he does in practice to the real games, he’s going to surprise some people.

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