The 33-year old USA international now feels much more comfortable on the Premier League scene after experiencing the English game when he arrived at Manchester United at 23.
10 years on and Howard now believes that he has finally made it as a top-level gloveman, revealing that he now understands what former NBA superstar Michael Jordan meant when he said 'things slow down'.
"I've come to appreciate how much the game slows down," he told sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
"When I was a kid I heard Michael Jordan talk about it, like when he hit all those three-pointers against the Trail Blazers in the playoffs. It just slowed down.
"Everything was going in slow motion. When you're a young goalkeeper, it's frantic and you play at a frantic pace.
"When I was growing up I heard Kasey (Keller) and Brad (Friedel) talk about goalkeepers getting better as they get older. You're waiting for that to happen, and suddenly one day the game just slows down, and you see it more clearly and you're more calm in the moment. I'm just glad I got to that point, really."