PHOENIX – This isn’t the first time deep snapper L.P. Ladouceur has been to the Pro Bowl. In fact, he’s been twice throughout his career.
But he’s not just a guest of punter Mat McBriar this time. Ladouceur tagged along with the former Cowboys’ punter twice before when the Pro Bowl was in Hawaii, getting to play golf and enjoy the scenery.
This time, he’s actually in the game after being selected by the Ravens’ coaching staff as a “need” player for the game.
“This is great,” Ladouceur said at the Pro Bowl headquarters hotel soon after he arrived. “After 10 years, to get a little reward like this, it’s a little cherry on top of the sundae to me. I’m excited to be here.”
Ladouceur is one of eight Cowboys selected in the game, although wide receiver Dez Bryant will not play. But being part of a healthy representation of teammates is the reward of a 12-4 season.
“It’s fun to have a bunch of guys here,” he said. “But we had a hell of a year. I’m looking forward to mingling with them and hanging out this week.”
While it’s been more than a week since the crushing playoff loss to the Packers, Ladouceur didn’t appear to be completely over the close defeat in the NFC Divisional Round, especially considering how the game ended.
“It was tough. We played well the whole game,” Ladouceur said. “The weather was in our favor. It wasn’t that cold. We played well, but stuff happens. The next thing you know you’re in the locker room like, ‘Where did that go?’ But, it was a hell of a game. We competed our butts off.”
It’s unusual for Ladouceur to be mentioned during any game, but he was flagged for a false start on a field-goal snap before halftime, which pushed the attempt back 5 yards. Dan Bailey then missed a 50-yard attempt, giving Green Bay the opportunity to drive down for a field goal.
“I tried to pull those guys offside,” Ladouceur admitted. “It was fourth-and-short and they had shown they were jumping. I just tried to pull them offside and it almost worked. But that’s what happened there.”
Any of his negative moments throughout his 10-year career, however, are completely overshadowed by the model of consistency Ladouceur has been since arriving on the scene early in the 2005 season.
When asked how much longer he wants to play, the snapper quipped, “Until I’m 52.”
Who knows, maybe he wasn’t actually joking. But the 33-year-old Ladouceur, who has three years remaining on his contract, said he’s not thinking about the end anytime soon.
“I’d like to play out my contract and we’ll see what happens from there,” Ladouceur said. “My body feels great. It’s just year by year.”