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Original Issue

Feeling Rejected

Expert advice from a newly booted punter

Rough Thanksgiving weekend for Sean Landeta, who was sent packing by the Rams last Friday. Yet Landeta, the busiest punter in NFL history (1,367 punts for 59,224 yards), took it in stride, saying he'd keep his 42-year-old body ready to get back into the league. After playing for seven teams in his 23-season USFL and NFL career, Landeta has learned to cope with being cut, as he told SI PLAYERS earlier this fall.

"The best way to deal with rejection is to understand why something didn't go the way you wanted it to and then to realize that it's probably not that bad. The hardest time was in '97. I had been cut by the Rams, and when the season started, I wasn't playing. I was pretty depressed. Once I was playing again [the Bucs signed him on Oct. 9 that year], I told myself that if that ever happened again, I'd never allow myself to be as down as I was. It made me see how many players can fall into a downward spiral, when in reality their life is just fine. As you get older, it's so much easier to deal with rejection because you see that, for the most part, whatever didn't work out isn't really that important."