OXNARD, Calif. – Training camp has been a little strange for long snapper L.P. Ladouceur. For the first time in his career with the Cowboys, he's not snapping the ball to Mat McBriar.
“The first day we were out here, I was like, ‘This is kind of weird. A lot of the guys I came in with are not here.’ Mat had been the one here ever since I’ve been here,” Ladouceur said. “We had a good relationship and now you have to start new ones with a new kicker and punter, which is fun to do, too. … With Mat, if one night we wanted to go grab dinner, we’d go get diner. Now it’s different. These guys are eight, nine years younger, and it’s different getting on the same page.”
“Oh, they eat,” Ladouceur joked. “They don’t buy.”
There is also a subtle on-field change in Ladouceur’s job because Jones is left footed.
“If you’re looking that the punter, a right footer when they catch the snap, they went the ball over their right leg,” Ladouceur said. “A left footer wants it over the left part of his body. And in our protection, I’m the guard really, so I’ve got to snap at an angle. And you’ve got to make sure when you’re going right, it’s on his left hip. And when you go left, it’s a little outside, so he can walk into it.”
That Ladouceur can snap so specifically should not be a surprise. He has yet to have a poor one in his career.
“I don’t really pay attention to that stuff,” Ladouceur said. “One thing Joe (DeCamillis) is very good about in special teams and bringing guys up to speed is having that-one play mentality. He’s all about, 'Guys, we’ve got one down. We don’t have three to make a first down. We have one down to execute perfectly.'”
Ladouceur, 31, is among the oldest players on the Cowboys roster, and he understands economics could play a part in his future. He is set to make $795,000 and count $950,000 against the salary cap as he enters his free-agent year.
“Obviously I think about that, but of all 32 snappers, I’m not even in the top 10 highest paid,” Ladouceur said. “If it comes down to that, OK. But some guys get a lot more money than me. I’m not worried about that. I’m worrying about this year, playing now and whatever happens. … Obviously they bring in a rookie every year to compete to see if the rookie can take my job and obviously they can’t because I’m confident in my skill. I know I’m better than anybody else.”