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Come On, L.P. Ladou-Who?

some of that in his first NFL stop in New Orleans. Growing up in Quebec, he was a Buffalo Bills fan, so when he played on the playground, he was Bruce Smith. 

"But when I came here," he recalls, "I saw the size of Coach Parcells' defensive ends and I thought, 'Well, I guess I'm a snapper now.'" 

That's why in the offseason before last year, Ladouceur started working on snapping technique for the first time. "I started studying little things," he says. "I changed my workouts to emphasize flexibility. I moved my center of gravity over the ball a little more, instead of holding it arms' length away, and I actually slowed the snap down a little to make it more accurate. In college, they're on you to snap it hard and fast. Slowing it down just a little increases accuracy a lot." 

When he says a little, he means a little. 

"The difference in getting the ball back in .75 of a second instead of .65 is a lot in accuracy," Ladouceur said. "Coach (Bruce) DeHaven (the Cowboys' special teams coach at the time), used to say, 'I'd rather have a point-eight here (holding his hands at mid-chest) than a point-seven here (moving his hands to his shoulder)." 

As a result, says McBriar, there was a time early in the '06 training camp when Ladouceur "just flipped a switch. One day, Bruce (DeHaven) says, 'Well, he's got it then, doesn't he?' And that was it." 

Being a reliable long snapper can bring 15 years of job security, which Ladouceur understands and appreciates. But is it fun? It's hard to imagine little nine-year-old L.P. growing up in Montreal dreaming of some day being an NFL long snapper. 

"No," he laughs, "I wasn't dreaming that. If anything, I wanted to be (hockey stars) Guy Carbonneau or Mats Naslund. Is it fun? It is. I mean, the job itself is monotonous and a lot of repetition. But the fun is being in here," as he glances around the locker room, "being a part of something bigger than you. And it's not just anyplace, either." 

In fact, it was erstwhile kicker Mike Vanderjagt who taught Ladouceur that last year. Flaky as he could be, Vanderjagt told Ladouceur, "Wearing this hat with the star on it, this is special. This is like playing for the Canadiens or the Yankees." 

So L.P. Ladouceur conducts one of the very few interviews he'll be asked for. When your reporter says thank you and gets up to leave, Ladouceur jokes, "See you next year." 

But bank this: If the rest of the 52 men on the roster were as good at their jobs as Ladouceur is at his, there would be no concerns with the Giants coming to town. 

L.P. Ladouceur. I just didn't want the season to pass without someone mentioning him.         

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