By: Adam Niemeyer (FOX19 Sports)
GEORGETOWN, Ky.—Mike Windt might be one of the new guys on the block, but the rookie long snapper is just as caught up in the Terrell Owens hoopla as every fan at Georgetown College. When Owens walked out of the locker room after practice, headed toward dinner, Windt pointed at him and said, "Look, T.O. is over there."
Yet, beyond all the hoopla surrounding the newest Bengal, and his flashy partner in crime Chad Ochocinco, Windt could be one member in a very important special teams tandem.
Windt and Bengals second-year punter Kevin Huber have done this before. They did it for two seasons at the University of Cincinnati, and now the two best friends have an opportunity to suit up for their hometown team.
"Nothing's new," Windt said. "Nothing changes, especially when you've got the same guy going over and over again. When you snap to the same guy in college then you go to the NFL and you snap to him too, it's pretty much the same thing."
Or is it? Windt has played college football at the highest level before, and has two Big East championship rings to show for it. But the professional game does differ quite a bit from where he was last season in college.
"For my position there's a lot more coaching involved," Windt said. "Scheme work, blocking responsibilities, all that stuff…and you get paid for what you do now and you definitely never did in college. It's nice."
In college, Windt was as close to perfect as you can get. He snapped 395 snaps, and none of those snaps were bad. Not one out of almost 400.
"You don't think about the streak," he said. "You always think about one snap at a time: 400, 4,000, it really makes no difference. As long as you do one thing at a time and you do it correctly every time, your streak will keep going I guess."
For a kid who grew up on the West side, and attended Elder High School, playing for the Bengals has to be a dream come true. "When you're given an opportunity like this by your hometown team, a lot of people notice it. And you just want to make all those people proud, like your parents and your family. It is pretty cool playing for your hometown team," he said.
If Windt starts this season, he'll certainly make a lot of people in this town proud. No doubt the man he's snapping it to will be the most proud. "He was there when I made the decision," Windt said of Huber. "But ultimately the decision was mine. I'm really happy with the decision I made. I feel really, really good with Coach Simmons and Coach Lewis. They're both great coaches and I feel really comfortable with them."