“I move from one family to another. It is with this image that tight end Antony Auclair describes his transition from the Buccaneers to the Texans, a change that sees the fifth-year player starting on new ground.
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New bases is first and foremost the idea of having to start from scratch to earn a place in your new team.
Indeed, even if the Buccaneers have repeatedly mentioned that the former Rouge et Or had established himself as one of the best on the circuit in his position to block, Auclair is aware that it is a new organization that he now has to sell his game.
“I move from one family to another. I was really welcomed in Houston. The people are great. With the camp starting, I feel even more part of the family. On the other hand, there is never anything guaranteed, no matter where you go, especially in a sport like football where injuries play a big role. I do not take anything for granted and the main objective for me remains to make the team, because it is never given ”, recalled rightly the pride of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, in interview with The newspaper.
If he mentions injuries, it is because the strong tight end has not been spared in recent years, especially last season.
Auclair feels fresh and ready again following the offseason, where he changed his approach on several levels to improve his chances.
“Before, when my season was over, I didn’t take enough time to recover. I quickly started training hard again. I changed my recipe and it has worked so far. I don’t want to speak too fast, but I feel great. I improved a lot of things on my mental and physical preparation, as well as my nutrition. I had a very good offseason and can’t wait to compete on the pitch, ”he explained.
In Tampa, in a locker room filled with veterans who have established themselves as stars in the Goodell circuit, Auclair did not necessarily speak. It was not his role, but he believes that in Houston, within a young team in reconstruction, his involvement in this chapter may be increased.
“It’s my fifth year, it’s sick how fast it goes! I am 28 years old and we have recruits who are 21 years old. It ages me quite a bit! I feel like a leader this year, like a player who is going to be able to help others thanks to my experience and what I have been through. It’s a role that I want to develop this year, ”he said.
Auclair risks living a somewhat uneasy situation in his first camp with the Texans. All-star quarterback Deshaun Watson is keen on playing a different game, and even though he has joined the team, he still demands a trade. The situation continues to spill ink, especially as Watson allegedly made inappropriate gestures with dozens of masseuses.
“It’s a shame this situation, but I come to the camp concentrating on my business. What will happen will happen. The rest is out of my control, ”Auclair summed up perfectly.
A ring to complete the loop
After four seasons in Tampa, the cut was not necessarily obvious for Antony Auclair. The Super Bowl ring that he went to recover with his ex-teammates, just before heading to Houston, closed a chapter in due form.
Beyond the beauty of the sumptuous jewel of the reigning champions, it was the opportunity to reconnect one last time with his former comrades in arms that made Auclair happy.
“If we hadn’t won the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t have seen my Tampa buddies again. It allowed me to see everyone in the organization again. It’s not just the players, but lots of people you see again, like therapists and media relations managers, with whom you spent four years. It was good to be able to greet everyone, ”he responded.
Auclair jumped into his vehicle to cross the distance between Quebec and Tampa, before doing the same between Tampa and Houston. A good forty hours of driving, but the game was worth the candle.
“It’s a great end to a year which has been quite difficult. I couldn’t see my family and friends for a year. I was also injured, it meant that I missed playing time and it slowed me down at the end of the year. There were obstacles, but we finally won, so the handing-over of the rings helped to finish everything on a positive note, ”he said.
As with his Vanier Cup rings, Auclair will be more of the type to keep his ring indented than to flaunt it in his hand on a daily basis. This does not prevent him from appreciating this vestige of his time with the Buccaneers.
“It’s a beautiful gem! It’s pretty impressive what they did with it. It’s the first time I’ve seen a ring that opens so you can see the terrain inside. It is special. ”