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Inside the Huddle with P Steve Weatherford

    <span>              <span style="">Q. You're one of the most consistent punters in the NFL, averaging 44 yards per punt. Last season you placed 20 of those punts inside the twenty yard line. What is the secret to the perfect punt?</span>                 

A. Just a lot of practice. It's a little bit of talent, but a lot of hard work. There are a lot of people out there that can hit the long ball and hit it high. The key to getting in the NFL is consistency. It takes a lot of power to get you to the NFL, but consistency will get you there.

Q. What's more important in a punt, power or accuracy?

A. Accuracy. Power is definitely something that you want to have. There are a lot of guys that can hit the long ball, but you have to have accuracy at all times.

Q. What are some goals that you have for the upcoming season?

A. Every year one of my goals is to win a Super Bowl and make it to the Pro Bowl. We were pretty close my first year in the league, being only one game away. That season just set the bar pretty high for me, and I always use that season as a measuring standard.

Q. You were an undrafted player coming out of Illinois two years ago. If the NFL didn't work out, what was your fall back career?

A. I always wanted to be a chiropractor. It was something that I would've liked to do if football didn't work out for me. Other than that, I probably would've gone back and worked on my wife's farm. They have about 10,000 acres in Pontiac, Illinois. It's something outside, working with your hands, and that's something that appeals to me.

Q. You hold the school record at Illinois for the all-time punting average with 43.5 yards per punt. Greg McMahon, the Saints' special teams coach, was your coach for three seasons in college. How did your relationship with Coach McMahon help you transition to the NFL?

A. He's always been a father figure to me. He's been coaching me ever since I was 17 years old. There's a comfort level playing under him. He's really straight forward. He's never going to lie to you. I know what I'm going to get out of him. He's a very honest and loyal person. He'll never sugarcoat it to you. That's a trait that I really admire about him.

Q. What are your hobbies or special talents outside of football?

A. A goal that I would like to do after football is to complete an iron-man, triathlon. I love being outside, hunting, fishing. Just being outside and spending time with my wife and my 8-month old son.

Q. Did the Iron-Man goal come from your numerous sports background in high school and college?

A. I ran track in college. It was pretty fun, because being a punter, you kind of miss the competitive aspects of sports. You're not really out there drawing contact. Playing four sports in high school, that's something that I miss. That last three years of college I ran track, that was always an athletic outlet.

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