I interviewed Browns P Reggie Hodges for "The Way We Hear It" last week, days before he became quite a bit more famous after sprinting 68 yards — an NFL record — on a fake punt.
Unfortunately, I didn't ask him about fake punts, but I did get his thoughts on a few other topics that didn't make my story, which can be found at ProFootballWeekly.com and in the print edition of Pro Football Weekly.
• After being released by the Colts in August 2007, Hodges needed a job. " I was looking in the paper, and I was like, 'Who's hiring right now?' " he remembered. He found one with Tomkinson Dodge (now defunct) in Fort Wayne, Ind., selling cars. He enjoyed the job, he said. "I didn't take it as a humbling experience. That's where I was at in my life," Hodges said.
• Hodges credits Redskins P Hunter Smith for teaching him the nose-down, rugby-style kick he has used with great success this season, most notably in Week Six vs. Pittsburgh, when four of his punts were downed inside the Steelers' 10-yard line. The two punters worked on the kick during the summer, Hodges said.
• Hodges said the aiming point for the rugby-style punt, which he employs when trying to pin a team deep, is about the eight-yard line. The punt is known for bouncing straight forward or backward.