Although NFL teams must be down to 75 players by tomorrow, most have already made substantial cuts. Not surprisingly, the snapping position was heavily impacted.
Snappers that have been waived in the last day or two include Patrick Scales (Ravens), Rick Lovato (Bears), Casey Kreiter (Cowboys), Andrew East (Chiefs) and Brandon Hartson (Buccaneers), who signed a few days earlier.
With these transactions, only the Rams have two snappers in camp. Unless there are other changes, rookie Joe Cardona (Patriots) and street free agent James Winchester (Chiefs) will make their NFL debuts during the first week of the NFL season.
There was some big snapping news today as it was announced that the Vikings have released their longest-tenured player, Cullen Loeffler. Loeffler has been the snapper in Minnesota since 2004, but lost the job to Kevin McDermott in a tightly contested training camp battle. Loeffler made the Vikings as a rookie free agent in 2004.
With Loeffler’s release, and the Seahawks decision to waive rookie Nate Boyer last week, the only snapping competitions remaining are in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and St. Louis.
The new 33-yard extra point is now in effect in the NFL. For those looking for an in-depth analysis of how this will impact NFL games and the various scenarios the rule creates, look no further than an exhaustive evaluation by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com.
Seifert’s article, entitled “Everything you want to know (and then some) about NFL’s new PAT rule” covers nearly every conceivable aspect of the new rule and is worth a read.
With the first week of the NFL preseason complete, there have been two recent snapping transactions. The Saints waived rookie Chris Highland, who handled all of the snaps in their first preseason game. The move likely means Justin Drescher, who has been sidelined by an injury, is ready to return. The Buccaneers also waived rookie Courtland Clavette.
With these two moves, seven NFL teams (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota, Seattle and St. Louis) are carrying two snappers heading into the second week of preseason games.
Although NFL preseason games have begun, it was two trick shot videos from college snappers that got major attention this week. It started with Buffalo’s Corbin Grassman and was followed closely by Nolan Dowling of Western Kentucky.
Sports Illustrated did a nice summary of both snappers exploits along with the embedded videos which can be seen here.
Peter King of The MMQB featured the story of veteran special teams coach Bruce DeHaven in his Monday Morning Quarterback column today. Known as one of the best special teams coaches in NFL history, DeHaven was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer but made the decision to continue to coach the Carolina Panthers special teams units this season and beyond.
DeHaven will be assisted this year by another veteran special teams coach, Russ Purnell. Despite the difficult circumstances, DeHaven has vowed to keep fighting and called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
It seems like there is another amazing story about a long snapper every few weeks. From high school, to college and the NFL, almost every long snapper seems to have a compelling element to their journey.
Chris Rubio of Rubio Long Snapping informed me of another instance of a snapper overcoming an obstacle this week when he told me about Jake Munoz, a high school long snapper from Georgia. A rising senior, Munoz has been offered a full scholarship to Georgia State.
What makes Munoz’s story unusual is that he has a condition known as retinal core dystrophy that creates issues with his visual perception. Despite this, Munoz has enough snapping talent and ability to have earned a full ride.