We ask 10 questions of Panthers long snapper J.J. Jansen:
Q. Is there a Ray Guy-like long snapper in NFL history you model yourself after?
The name on the tip of my tongue is Mike Morris, who snapped for a long time in Minnesota. The long snapping position now, this is kind of the first generation of long snappers. Youll see more 10, 15 years from now guys who will be considered like that. A lot of them are still playing.
Q. When you tell people what you do, do you get curious looks?
People know what I do about 30 percent of the time. The other 70 percent of the time theyre asking questions. Theyre stunned Im not the offensive center like Ryan (Kalil). They didnt realize someone different does both jobs.
Q. Do you ever get tired of looking between your legs?
Its become second nature. Im used to it by now.
Q. What led you to it?
My dad did it in high school and I didnt start playing football until I was a sophomore in high school. Our freshman team was undefeated, killed everybody. I was pretty confident I wasnt getting on the field but that was a skill I picked up quickly and nobody else wanted to do it.
Q. Youre a Notre Dame guy. Have you bought into the ACC thing yet?
I always thought the ACC would be a good fit for Notre Dame. I think they got the situation they were hoping for. I know they want to be independent in football. There are a lot of rivalries Southern Cal, Michigan, Stanford, Navy they want to keep so I dont think they were ever excited about getting a full ACC schedule. But as far as the schools are concerned, I think its a really good fit.
Q. So how good are the Irish this year?
I think theyre really good, and for the first time since I can remember, the defense is very clearly leading the way, which is how I think you win national championships. Its why the SEC has been so good. Theyve all had fantastic defenses by and large.
I think the Oklahoma game in two weeks will be very telling. If they can go down there and win they are in very serious consideration (for the national championship). Were six weeks in. There are a lot of teams still right in the mix.
Q. Whats going on when youre not playing football?
Id say my life is like any other 26-year old. Im married. I spend a lot of time with my wife. Were foodies. We go around and try different restaurants.
Q. Any particular favorites here?
Anything on East Boulevard. Were within walking distance there. A couple of our other favorites are Good Food On Montford. We go to the Dean and Deluca Wine Bar. Theres a lot of good places in Charlotte. Thats kind of how we learned the city.
Q. Whats your guilty pleasure when youre sitting around watching TV?
Costco has these sugar cookies. We freeze them. Theyre half chocolate, half sugar cookie. Its like a square with chocolate on one half, sugar cookie on the other. Those frozen, theyre probably my guilty pleasure.
Q. Have a favorite vacation spot?
My wife and I have been to Napa/Sonoma a few times. We go in the offseason. We just went to Charleston for the first time. That would probably be our East Coast equivalent.