The new Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) has started and aims to provide a developmental platform for the NFL. The league hopes to beat the odds and avoid the fate of other failed leagues, such as the XFL and UFL.
The FXFL features four teams that will play six games. Each team has a dedciated snapper and two were eligible for this year’s Draft, Marcus Heit (Omaha) and Vance Barton (Florida). The two other clubs are using snappers from past Draft classes in Jon Akemon (Brooklyn) and Avery Rigg (Boston). Among the twists in the FXFL playing rules are that extra points will be kicked from 35 yards out.
Week Seven brought the first significant injury at the snapping position this season. Although John Denney (Dolphins) and Garrison Sanborn (Bills) suffered injuries in Week Six, both were able to snap without incident this weekend. However, Morgan Cox of the Ravens suffered a torn ACL late in the game against the Falcons and will miss the rest of the season.
Cox was replaced on a late extra point attempt by Haloti Ngata and will be replaced for the rest of the season by former Niners snapper Kevin McDermott. McDermott won a snapping battle with client Patrick Scales on Monday.
Client Brett Goode of the Packers was the subject of a detailed profile by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. McGinn’s story included some interesting data about the current 32 NFL snappers, including the fact that the average age is 29.3 and the average snapper has been with their team for 5.7 season. The article closes with the top 10 active snappers by games heading into this weekend’s action. Mike Leach is the active leader with 208 games, while Goode was tenth at 102 games.McQu
Two snappers, Josh Harris (Falcons) and Jake McQuaide (Rams), had solo tackles this week. The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Seven is below. The Chart has been updated to include the veteran free agency status of those snappers whose contacts expire after this season. The “Contract” column will show those snappers who will become unrestricted free agents (UFA) and can sign with any club, restricted free agents (RFA) who have limited mobility and exclusive rights free agents (ERFA) for which the present team owns their exclusive rights.
Week Seven NFL Long Snappers Chart
Last September, I debuted a Twitter list I created containing only the tweets of active NFL long snappers. For those interested, click the link below and you can subscribe to this list.
Of the 32 current NFL snappers, just four do not appear to have a Twitter account. The four are Aaron Brewer (Broncos), John Denney (Dolphins), Greg Warren (Steelers) and Mike Windt (Chargers).
Of the 28 snappers on Twitter, 19 of them have are verified accounts with a blue check. Those without the blue check are Beau Brinkley (Titans), Jeremy Cain (Bears), Thomas Gafford (Chiefs), LP Ladouceur (Cowboys), Mike Leach (Cardinals), Cullen Loeffler (Vikings), Don Muhlbach (Lions), Kyle Nelson (49ers) and Tanner Purdum (Jets).
Last night’s game between the Jets and Patriots has caused a bit of a controversy with a long snapper in the middle of it. A 58-yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk of the Jets was blocked, giving the Patriots a narrow victory. The controversy surrounds what happened just prior to the failed kick.
Specifically, Dont’a Hightower of the Patriots lined up in a standing position and directly over snapper Tanner Purdum of the Jets. This would violate NFL Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3 that requires the defender on a kick attempt to “have his entire body outside of the snapper’s shoulder pads at the snap.”
Instead of a flag being thrown, the official notified Hightower to move out of the illegal formation and he promptly shifted his position. The issue is whether the official should have thrown the flag or was it appropriate to first warn the player. An NFL spokesperson called it “standard operating procedure” to have the official assist, since the goal of the rule is player safety.
Week Six produced more big special teams plays, including multiple blocked kicks and punts. However, the snapping issues in Cleveland appear to have been resolved, as Christian Yount has rebounded and even added an assisted tackle this week in punt coverage, his second tackle in two weeks. The Browns released Charley Hughlett from the practice squad shortly after last week’s game. Snapper Danny Aiken of the Patriots had a rough sequence against the Bills Sunday with a false start penalty, followed immediately by a low snap on a field goal.
Heading into this week’s action, only 9 players had played in all of their team’s games since the 2005 NFL season. Two of them are snappers, Mike Leach (Cardinals) and John Denney (Dolphins). Ironically, Denney may have his streak ended this week due to an injury he suffered in Sunday’s game against the Packers.
In addition to Yount’s assisted tackle, Josh Harris (Falcons) had a solo tackle, while Garrison Sanborn (Bills), Greg Warren (Steelers) and Jon Condo (Raiders) had assisted stops. The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Five is below.
Week Six NFL Long Snappers Chart
Week Five featured some more big special teams plays, including the Eagles blocking a punt against the Rams for a touchdown, the Browns blocking a Titans punt for a safety, the Niners converting a fake punt late in the game against the Chiefs and the Seahawks also converting a fake punt late against the Redskins. All four teams won their games.
Browns snapper Christian Yount rebounded with a solid game Sunday and even recorded a tackle in punt coverage. Earlier in the week, the Browns added Charley Hughlett to the practice squad in case he was needed. Yount’s troubles led to an in-depth article on ESPNCleveland.com that looked into the psychology of snappers and featured my own insight into the situation.
In addition to Yount’s tackle, Cullen Loeffler (Vikings), Andrew DePaola (Buccaneers), Mike Leach (Cardinals) and Clark Harris (Bengals) added solo tackles. The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Five is below.
Week Five NFL Long Snappers Chart
Week Four included an extremely rare event in the NFL. Although there have been over 14,000 regular season games in the 94 years of the NFL, only twice has there been a game without a punt. It happened for the second time Sunday, as the Bears and Packers did not have a single punt. Prior to yesterday’s game, it first occurred in 1992 between the Bills and 49ers.
Christian Yount of the Browns, who has had a tough few weeks with his short snaps, appears safe for now. The Browns had a bye and recently worked out Kevin McDermott and Charley Hughlett, but neither snapper has been signed.
Two snappers, Greg Warren (Steelers) and Beau Brinkley (Titans) had solo tackles, while Jon Condo of the Raiders recovered a fumbled punt in this week’s game action. The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Four is below.
Week Four NFL Long Snappers Chart