Kevin Huber got the call Tuesday morning that he was coming back for his franchise-record 208th game as the Bengals' homegrown punter, but he's still hoping his 14th season isn't his last.
Huber, 37, won a tight call over first-year challenger Drue Chrisman and draws, of all teams, the Steelers in the Sept. 11 opener at Paycor Stadium. Huber has fired 140 punts at the Steelers for 6,402 yards, his most against any team, and in the process got an infamous broken jaw in 2013.
"It's cool that it comes against a team I've got a lot of punts against and a lot of history," Huber said.
Huber, Cincinnati all the way as a product of McNicholas High School and the University of Cincinnati, knows what breaking Bengals Ring of Honor member Ken Riley's record means. But it's not why he's gunning to keep kicking until he's 40.
"It would be cool to get that, but we're all professional athletes that have a big competitive side," Huber said. "Knowing I'm still able to play at a high level, that was the driving force.
"(Forty years old) is something that I think would be another nice milestone to have."
It had been a classic training camp matchup. Huber's experience at directional and inside-the-20 punting against Chrisman's more powerful leg. It was for all to see in Saturday night's preseason finale against the Rams at Paycor, where Huber dropped two inside the 20 and Chrisman screeched a 65-yarder.
"I don't know what the deciding factor was," Huber said. "Drue kicked well and he's got tons of potential.
"I was ready either way. I know I'm not going to be playing here when I'm 60 and I'm going to be replaced at some point. I'm in a good place with that, but I still want to play."
Huber had a slow start to training camp, but he got better as the summer went.
"The big thing in training camp was it was the first time I had any competition and I had to manage the reduced snaps," Huber said. "I think once the game weeks started I turned the corner and started hitting the ball the way I know I can."