Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

September 9, 2010

Former Maconaquah player Otto excited to begin new NFL season

Kokomo — Mike Otto doesn’t get recognized often when he’s out and about in Nashville, Tenn.

He likes it that way.

“Not too much,” the former Maconaquah and Purdue football standout said of being recognized. “A lot of times it’s ‘man, you’re really big, you must play football.’”

Being 6-foot-5 and tipping the scales at 310 pounds, it’s not easy to keep a low profile, but the fourth-year lineman for the Tennessee Titans prefers that attention go elsewhere.

“We’re not allowed to go out wearing any Titans gear at any time,” Otto said. It’s not a team rule or a coach’s rule, it’s a rule imposed on linemen by the veterans of the unit. “Offensive linemen mentality [is] never bring unwanted attention on yourself for any reason. We get noticed for being really big. Our faces are kind of anonymous.

“I think the mentality of being low key is kind of general [among linemen in the NFL] but the Titans take it to another level.”

Otto explained that the tradition dates back to when the franchise was in Houston. The linemen take more satisfaction in team achievements. Plus, on game days, there’s plenty of excitement to go around.

With the season starting this weekend, excitement is about to hit a fever pitch.

“It’s an incredible time,” Otto said. “It kind of finally feels like all the work that you’re putting in since the previous season is coming together.

“Fans of the game understand the hype and they’re excited because they get to go out and watch it. We feel that same kind of excitement, but it’s on a completely different level because we’re on the field. We feel the energy from the fans. It’s an unbelievable feeling and it’s a whole lot of fun.”

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