Bengals High 5: Five questions with long snapper Clark Harris

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22: Long snapper Clark Harris #46 of the Cincinnati Bengals on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22: Long snapper Clark Harris #46 of the Cincinnati Bengals on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Bengals recently agreed to a rare, in-season contract extension, adding one year to long snapper Clark Harris’ deal. And they did so in a way congruent with the anonymity of a long snapper by announcing the transaction during the bye week.

Harris had been in the final year of a five-year contract he signed in 2013, and his ninth season with the team overall.

As a tight end coming out of Rutgers, he was a seventh-round pick by Green Bay in 2007. Harris spent time with the Packers, Lions and Texans before the Bengals claimed him off Houston’s practice squad in 2009 to replace the struggling Brad St. Louis. And Harris has been with the team since.

There aren’t many — really any — stats associated with a long snapper, but Harris has one impressive one. He’s never had an unplayable snap in 1,189 attempts since joining the Bengals.

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Harris talked about his contract extension, his snap streak and what has become a signature head of hair that extends from the bottom of his helmet to he shoulder pads for this week’s Cincinnati Bengals High 5:

Q: What did that mean to you that the Bengals not only wanted to extend your contract, but did it in the middle of a season which is something really rare for this team?

A: Hopefully it means they like me and want to keep around if they can. We had been talking a little during training camp. Not really any official negotiations, just kind of seeing where everybody was at. It just kind of turned into a quick little contract negotiation.

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Q: Have you, or will you, splurge on anything to celebrate the new deal?

A: No. Well, I have to get my wife a new car, but that's not really a splurge. She just has an old, crappy car that's about to fall apart with no power steering. As you can tell by this key fob that's falling apart (he pulls out a fob held together by white athletic tape), you can tell. And this is probably the best part of the car. The power steering hose exploded so I could probably spend like $1,000 to get it fixed, but I was going to get her a new car anyway so this little extension is nice.

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Q: Are you aware of your streak of snaps without an unplayable one?

A: I've heard of it, but I don't keep track of it. I don't even know what it is, like 1,100-something. There's a few where (punter and holder Kevin Huber) has probably saved me, especially on field goals. He's an awesome holder. He does a great job back there. I mean I don't study holders, but I'd say he has to be at the top of the league. I can't say for sure that he's saved me, but you can see on film he's had some good snaps on some off snaps. And if I don't get the laces right, he's great at getting them around.

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Q: How much longer do you see yourself playing?

A: My body feels good, and I don't mind getting up and coming to work every day, so as long as they're going to keep paying me, five, six, seven, eight more years. Whatever they want to play me for, I'll be here. I didn't think I was going to be able to do anything because I came into the league as a tight end and kept getting cut. I didn't think I was going to have any career in the NFL. Being here 10 years later is kind of cool. It's surprising to me. But I still feel young, still have a young mind.

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Q: When you look at your official team pictures over those 10 years, the biggest change has been the hair. What made you decide to go from a tight, almost buzz cut to the long hair you have now?

A: I've actually grown it out twice since I've been here now. I don't know why. I've always had a shaved head my whole life until I got here. And then I started to stick around for a few years and I was like 'Well, I have a job that will let me grow my hair and I've got a pretty good head of it,' so I just started growing it. I think I've had one haircut in the last five years. But wife is kind of getting tired of it. She's been researching some men's haircuts. She wants me to keep the long hair, but I always have it like this (tied up in a ponytail). I don't have any style to it, so she's kind of wanting me to shape it up and wear it down every once in awhile if I'm going to have it.

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