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Rookie diary: James Casey



Tight end James Casey, drafted in the fifth round (152nd overall) this April, is a former minor league baseball player who joined the Texans as a 24-year-old rookie from Rice. In his eighth diary entry for, Casey gives an inside look at life as a rookie during training camp.*

Camp has been going pretty well for me so far. We're staying in a hotel around the corner from Reliant Stadium; all of the rookies have to stay there. I'm rooming with Anthony Hill, the other rookie tight end, so it works out great. He and I ended up being great friends after the draft, and now we're roommates together, going through the exact same thing.

Every day, we both go home, look over all the plays and scripts and help each other out. Anthony and I have to know a lot of the same stuff, so we ask each other questions and make sure we're both on top of everything.

Anthony is a great guy and he's a really good friend of mine, but it's a strange deal staying in a hotel with a guy and at the same time having a wife that's literally a mile-and-a-half or two miles away. But she still comes by, so when I have a little time off, I get to see her here and there. Like I said, it's a little strange, but you just have to go with the flow.

During camp, the veterans make all the rookies do some form of rookie entertainment at team meetings. Anthony and I both knew we were going to have to do it at some point, so we figured we'd go ahead and collaborate and knock it out at one time. So a couple days ago, we put together a PowerPoint slideshow.

{QUOTE}We spent some time looking on the Internet, Googling images and putting together Houston Texans look-alikes as far as players, coaches and anybody we could think of. We got about 12 guys and put it on the slideshow. It went over really well. Everybody was clapping really hard, and we didn't get booed off the stage, thrown in a cold tub or taped to the field goal post or anything like that, so that was good.

I've been working at long snapper pretty much every day either before or after practice, either going to the Bubble snapping under the net or snapping to Matt Turk and Kris Brown for field goals. I was a back-up snapper in college, but the last time I got a deep snap in a game was in high school. I definitely feel like I'm getting a lot better with practice. I'm becoming more consistent with it, and I feel more and more comfortable every time I do it.

Bruce Matthews has been giving me pointers about deep snaps, and there is nobody better that can give me advice than him. He's a Hall of Fame guy, so anything he says, I definitely remember it, write it down and make sure I keep coming back to it, because whatever he says means a lot to me. I try to take everyone's advice and just keep getting better; that's the way it is for rookies. You watch the veterans, listen to the coaches and try to get better, because they've been through everything we're going through right now.

It's the same thing with playing long snapper or tight end. Watching Owen (Daniels), Joel (Dreessen) and Clark (Harris) go about their business and the little technique things that they do has helped me out a ton. It seems like things are starting to slow down a little bit on offense every day.

Our first preseason game is in three days, and I'm pumped. We've been sitting out here hitting each other for a long time, but I want to go out there and hit somebody else. This is going to be my first live action in the NFL. I might have to calm myself down before it, but I'm ready to go.

We started the game plan for Kansas City last night. For me and for all of the other guys trying to make this team, it's going to be a chance to show everybody what you have been working for and what you have, because we know all the teams around the league will be watching the film.

Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I feel like it's an honor if anybody looks at it at all. Thanks for the support from everybody that came out to the practices, and I'm looking forward to seeing everybody again when they come out to the Saints practices. Hopefully, I can do well in the preseason games and earn a spot on this team.

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