As a fourth-year NFL player, Austin Howard has had his fair share of interviews. This year, however, he's taking his media involvement to a new level, as the interviewee becomes the interviewer.
Howard will alternate weeks with Nick Bellore in hosting Jets Huddle, airing Saturday nights at 11:35 p.m. ET on WCBS Channel 2. The "rookie" has some journalism background as a public relations minor at Northern Iowa, but he's still learning some techniques to perfect his craft of asking questions.
"You have to think about what you can say to engage them and how they're responding to your questions, and anticipate what their reaction's going to be," he said.
Despite a learning curve, the 26-year-old tackle finds that the many different personalities and interests of players on the team make the job easy and fun.
"I know a lot of my teammates as they are here at work," he said, "but it's very hard to go out and spend time with each individual teammate you have, and I think this gives me the opportunity to do so. In addition, it will help me work on public speaking and talking on camera."
Bellore, back for his second stint as co-host of Jets Huddle, shared Austin's sentiment that getting to learn a little bit about the 60 other players on the roster has turned out to be the best part of the job.
"You may not be near them in the locker room or on the same side of the ball as them," the linebacker and special teams player said, "but getting to learn about their upbringing, their football experiences and their off-the-field experiences, I think it's pretty cool and a fun way to get to know your teammates."
Might this Jets Huddle involvement serve as a prequel to Howard's post-football aspirations as an on-air talent?
"I don't know because, surprisingly, I really hate the sound of my own voice," he admitted. "I rarely will watch anything that I'm speaking in. So my fiancée and my parents and my family will watch it, and I'll kind of just ask how I did. I think I might DVR them, but it might take me a little bit before I actually can watch the shows."
We promise he's being too critical of himself, as he has a face for TV and a voice for radio.
You can study a roster and learn the heights, weights, jersey numbers, positions, and seemingly everything else about a football player, but on Saturday nights, Howard said, "You'll get to know these players as real people."
Whether you join Austin Howard in recording the show and watching it at a different time or you're up late the night before a big game and just can't get enough of Green & White football, be sure to tune in to CBS for Jets Huddle and learn everything there is to know about your 2013 New York Jets.