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Catching up with...Kevin Huber

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Kevin Huber is the ultimate Cincinnati guy. He grew up here, played football at McNicholas, went to UC and now punts for the Bengals.

Last year, in his rookie season, his 43.2-yard per punt average tied for the second best on the team since 1999.

This year, he's been off to a hot start, including a difference-making performance against Carolina. He swung field position in an ugly game, twice pinning the Panthers deep in their own end.

I caught up with Huber this week to talk a little bit about how he attended the Reds game on Tuesday night (and even won a $100 gift certificate playing the Hollywood Casino Fan Fortune game), how much time he has spent keeping up with UC and where he's going from here with the Bengals.

PDJ: How many Reds games do you get to during the year?

KH: Try to get to as many as I can, a lot more during the summer. As many as I can.

 

PDJ: Do you keep much contact with what's going on at UC?

 

KH: Try to, when they came down here to practice before the game last Thursday I was out there talking with the guys, the punter and kicker, seeing how they were doing, if they needed any help with anything. I try to get up there as much as I can. I haven't been able to get to a game yet, I hope to get to a few before the season is over.

 

PDJ: How much of a connection to you still feel with the coaching change it is a whole different group than when you were there?

 

KH: It's a little hard to connect with the coaches still. I know coach (Kerry) Coombs. The other coaches I have met them, I haven't gotten to know them.

 

PDJ: What do you make of the struggles they had through the first four games?

 

KH: Its hard, they got a lot of good players .They are going to be all right. They had some tough games, some good teams, to be close to a team like Oklahoma, as many mistakes as they did make, the fact that they were still in the game was big.

 

PDJ: How much do you keep track with some of the other former Bearcats in the NFL? They had a big week last week. You played well, Trent Cole had two sacks, Mardy Gilyard with his first NFL catch.

 

KH: I talk to some of the guys. Trent, I didn't know him much, that was my true freshman year. I knew Brent (Celek) a lot better than Trent. It was good seeing Tony (Pike) in Carolina, catching up with him. We were roommates my freshman year. Whenever I know there is a guy there I try to talk with him, try to get in touch with them and see how they are doing.

 

PDJ: How was Tony mentality about his situation down there?

 

KH: He was pretty positive about it. He thought he was in a good situation. He was doing what he can to make himself better everyday. And hopefully one day, he just wants to get that chance to get in there and try to get a spot.

 

PDJ: Where are you at, what are you trying to work on most at this point?

 

KH: My consistency. That has been my knock on myself as long as I can remember. I would always have the one or two punts that kind of gets me every time. I had that two weeks ago. I had the pretty good average going into the game and I had those last two punts that kind of killed me. The biggest thing I am working on is plus-50 hits. The biggest improvement I want to make last week, getting the ball inside the 20.

 

PDJ: Pretty gratifying to have that kind of profound effect on a game from the punting position, don't see that too often.

 

KH: Part of it is the field position I was punting from. A lot were plus-50 hits where I just had to get it down there. The last one in particular, the gunners Morgan (Trent) and Bernard (Scott) did a great job getting down there. Plus, they made it easy all game the weather as it was, Clark (Harris) did a great job getting snaps to me.

 

PDJ: You guys are pretty comfortable in those slow, grinding types of games?

 

KH: When it comes down to it, it's not anything different. We practice those kind of punts and those kind of situations all the time, backed up, you just have to take advantage of where you are and make the best of the field.

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