Each week, we interview a different Rams player to find out about their lives on the field as well as off of it. Team Reporter, Sarina Morales, asks the questions fans want to know, in a fun and conversational interview. This week, punter, Johnny Hekker spoke to Sarina about PB&J sandwiches, trampolines and being selected to the 2010s All-Decade team.
1: Helping Out Those Helping Out
Sarina: I saw you and Makayla leave treats for your delivery peeps. What a kind gesture. When did you start doing that? What do you leave out?
Johnny: We have been relying heavily on our online distributing friends; so being able to say thank you to the people making online shopping possible, means a lot to us. We leave some of my favorite granola bars, rice crispy treats, packs of gum, and some ice-cold water. Any way we can brighten their day and make them feel appreciated, we're gonna do it!
2: Still on Schedule
Sarina: What have you learned about yourself during this time of being home and social distancing?
Johnny: I've learned that I thrive under a schedule. The first couple weeks were ok, just because we didn't know how long this was going to be. Once I started getting a little crazy, the Mrs. and I sat down and made a list and a tentative schedule for us both with our responsibilities for daily life. The list helped out a ton and has gotten us into a nice daily routine.
3. Jumping Jett
Sarina: What recent purchase has greatly exceeded your expectations?
Johnny: My son's little trampoline in our back yard has blown me away. Makayla begged me to get a trampoline for Jett and I finally cracked and put together his little personal heaven. He begs us to go outside and jump on his trampoline while I try and chip whiffle balls up over the net into it. It's a great time.
4: 2010s All-Decade Team
Sarina: You and Aaron Donald were selected to the 2010s All-Decade team. These kinds of acknowledgments must be special?
Johnny: It is definitely a huge honor. Receiving any sort of recognition from Hall of Fame members and people that have played this game at an elite level for long periods of time, is very humbling. It was also awesome to take some time and just think of the people that have sacrificed a ton of themselves for me to be able to have success. I thought of all my special teams brothers that made plays in coverage and caught the occasional fake, as well as coaches, trainers, strength staff and the countless other people that make our facility a place I enjoyed being around. It is absolutely an honor that they should take pride in having a part in it.
5: Special Upcoming Season
Sarina: As one of the leaders on this team, how do you see this special teams group evolving this coming season?
Johnny: I see huge potential for growth with our special teams unit this coming season. With new leadership, a new kicker, and a new stable of young talent that will be joining us in the coming weeks, we will all have the opportunity to grow together. With any change, there is going to be a premium on improvement and focusing on your craft. I believe the best is yet to come.
6: 2010 vs. 2020
Sarina: Give me Johnny Hekker in 2010 vs 2020.
Johnny: Woooooow, haha! Johnny in 2010 was a Junior in college, so I would definitely say 2020 Johnny is a "Glow Up"! 2010 me had a crush on this super talented gymnast at OSU who is now my wife and mother of soon-to-be two children! I am also now closing in on a decade of playing in the NFL which was such a dream and seemingly far-off aspiration at that time, so I am blessed beyond belief.
7: It's a GIRL
Sarina: You have a little one on the way! What are you most excited for when it comes to adding a new family member?
Johnny: We are super blessed to be adding our second child this coming August. The fun part will be that it is a little GIRL! I grew up in a house of 5 boys, with no sisters, so I definitely have some learning to do before she gets here. I am thrilled to get to have another bundle of joy to chase around and seeing Jett being a big brother will be very sweet.
8: Daddy Football
Sarina: What does Jett think of the new colors and uniform?
Johnny: Jett absolutely loves the new logo and colors. He loves pointing to the logo on my shirt and hat and saying "daddy football" so he knows what's up.
Sarina: You have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before games…crunchy or smooth? What kinda toast? What kinda jelly? All the details!
Johnny: The pregame PB&J is usually whatever they have at the stadium, so I'm really at the mercy of Joey Blake (Rams Head Team Dietician) and whatever he orders. I am usually not picky on the bread, but definitely love smooth peanut butter with strawberry jam, with a solid ratio of 40% peanut butter to 60% jelly. Nobody likes a dry mouthful of sandwich.
10: Ramen and Sushi all day
Sarina: What food have you never eaten but would really like to try?
Johnny: I loooove to eat and really have tried everything that I am interested in, for the most part. I don't turn down most of what comes across my plate. One thing I would love to do would be to go to Japan and eat authentic Ramen and Sushi all day.