A custom of the NFL week is for a player from each team to hold a conference call with media from the other team. Usually, it’s a quarterback or a big name player of some sort.
But given that St Louis punter Johnny Hekker is from Bothell and the Rams are out of the playoff hunt and all of that, it made some sense to request him this week.
Hekker, who played at Oregon State, recently signed a six-year, $19 million contract with the Rams, keeping him there through the 2020 season.
Hekker said getting the request to be on a conference call was a career first.
And he began it appropriately by answering “Thanks for asking” to the first question he receiver.
Hekker said that while the Rams are out of the playoff hunt, he expects the team to be ready to play this week.
Keeping with the mood of the call, Hekker cited the movie Waterboy and said that as the announcers in that movie proclaim “it’s the last game of the year. Can’t hold anything back now.”
But Hekker said the Rams will take the game seriously and that “we’ve got a lot to gain as far as momentum” going into next season.
Hekker, recall, threw a touchdown against the Seahawks in 2012 and completed a pass out of punt formation late in win at St. Louis earlier this season from deep in their own territory. Hekker was a quarterback at Bothell and said of the plays that “I channel my inner Bothell Cougar”
In fact, he had some interest from schools such as Southern Utah, Western Washington and Central Washington to play quarterback before deciding to punt at Oregon State.
It’s decision that has literally paid off pretty handsomely, given the contract he just signed
“I still pinch myself to this day looking at the numbers,” he said.