Week Two in Review

Week Two included more crazy special teams play.  After a historic Week One, in which kickers missed a total of 19 kicks, kickers were a bit better this week and the Chiefs and Cowboys both won games with long field goals.  The Cowboys were only in a position to win after recovering a crazy, spinning on-side kick that the Falcons did not touch in an apparent misunderstanding of the recovery rules that allows them to recover the kick immediately.  The opposing team, however, cannot touch the ball until it goes at least 10 yards.

This week was the “Ferguson Bowl”, in which the two Ferguson brothers were the opposing snappers in the Bills game at the Dolphins.  Older brother Reid prevailed over rookie Blake, but this was the first time brothers have snapped against each other in an NFL game.

A few more teams had snappers in for tryouts this past week, including Taybor Pepper and Matt Overton (Colts), Colin Holba (Cardinals) and Andrew DePaola (Ravens), although none have been signed at this point.

Four teams still have a snapper on the practice squad and two of them, the Ravens and Dolphins, have been protecting the extra snapper as one of the four players that cannot be claimed by another team.  Both head coaches explained that the position is hard to fill quickly, so they have been protecting the extra snapper.

In game action, Aaron Brewer of the Cardinals recovered a fumble and Austin Cutting of the Vikings had a solo tackle in punt coverage.  It will not show up in any stat sheet, but Luke Rhodes of the Colts made an athletic play to keep a punt from going into the end zone and the Colts ended up getting a safety after that play.

Apologies to Kameron Canaday of the Steelers, who had a solo tackle last week that was not credited to him.  It has been fixed and included in the NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Two below.

2020 Week Two

Posted in NFL, Snapping in the Media, Tackles, Transactions

Week One in Review

For a large part of 2020, I was not sure  there would be a Week One in Review for the NFL season.  However, the NFL and its players have done well to limit the impact of COVID and the season is now underway.

There were no major snapping issues in Week One, although early season games tend to bring special teams issues and that was manifested in multiple missed field goal and extra point attempts.

Three snappers made NFL debuts, as Jacob Bobenmoyer (Broncos), Ross Matiscik (Jaguars) and Blake Ferguson (Dolphins) each played their first NFL regular season games.

Broncos special teams coach Tom McMahon liked Bobenmoyer for his accuracy, consistency, protection and especially his coverage ability.  For those college snappers that want to snap in the NFL, McMahon made key point that is mentioned often on this blog about the importance of protection in making that leap to the NFL.

McMahon, in discussing the various positions in the kicking operation, observed the following:

“If you look at the snappers in college football, college football rules are 1,000 percent different in the punt game than the NFL. Everybody can release when the ball is snapped, so 95 percent of all the snappers in college football have never ever one time in their life protected. They’ve never had to protect the gap. That’s the biggest adjustment for those guys from a snapper’s perspective.”

Four other snappers, Nick Moore (Ravens), Steven Wirtel (Lions), Matt Orzech (Dolphins) and Carson Tinker (Giants) are also on practice squads, that have been expanded to 16 players this season.

Some recent tryouts including Orzech prior to signing with the Dolphins, Andrew DePaola and Dan Godsil with the Patriots, Taylor Pepper with the Niners and client Liam McCullough with the Raiders.

Finally, two snappers recorded tackles in punt coverage, as Kyle Nelson (Niners) had a solo tackle and Thomas Hennessy (Jets) added an assisted tackle.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week One is below.

2020 Week One

Posted in NFL, Tackles, Transactions

A Note about FBS College Long Snappers (and Kickers)

As of today, it appears just 76 FBS football teams will play in this Fall.  Longsnap.com’s exclusive compilation of the long snappers for each FBS squad will be published in early October, after each team has played at least one game.

Many of the top NFL prospects at the snapping position have been sidelined by the cancellation of many conference schedules, leaving Thomas Fletcher of Alabama as the premier prospect among seniors.

Like the snapping position, which benefits from better coaching, training and technology during the past decade, kickers have also thrived. A recent story by Peter Baugh in The Athletic noted that FBS kickers made 74.86% of field goals last season, including 45 kicks 50 yards or longer.  By contrast, in 2000, kickers converted just 67.42% of field goals.

Posted in College, NFL Draft

NFL Snapping Landscape After Final Roster Cuts

A crazy preseason without any preseason games is done and rosters are set at 53, at least for now.  While there may be more moves, especially if some teams add a snapper to the practice squad, as of tonight, there will be three rookie snappers.

Jacob Bobenmoyer (Denver),  Ross Matiscik (Jacksonville) and Blake Ferguson (Miami) are the three snappers that will debut this season.  While Bobenmoyer was from last year’s Draft class, he is technically a rookie since he never signed an NFL contract.

Below are the recent transactions and tryouts.  Note that while the Texans have cut Jon Weeks, he is expected to be brought back soon as this was a procedural move for roster space and the Giants recently signed veteran Carson Tinker before cutting him today.

CUT/WAIVED

Nick Moore (Baltimore)

Dan Godsil (Cincinnati)

Steven Wirtel (Detroit)

Anthony Kukwa (Houston)

Jon Weeks (Houston)

Matt Orzech (Jacksonville)

Carson Tinker (Giants)

Liam McCullough (Steelers)

TRYOUTS

Harrison Elliott and Shane Griffin (Vegas)

Christian Kuntz (Pittsburgh)

Posted in NFL, NFL Draft, Transactions

Stats Perform FCS Pre Season All-America Snappers

Although only 15 of the 127 FCS football teams will be playing in the Fall, Stats Perform did issue its Preseason All-America Team. As usual, the list included a long snapper for each of its three teams.

The First Team snapper was Matthew O’Donoghue of Montana.  Ethan Ray of Charleston Southern was Second Team, while Bradey Sorensen of South Dakota State was Third Team.  All three snappers are seniors.

Posted in College

NFL Long Snapping Outlook Ahead of Final Cuts

NFL rosters must be cut to 53 on Saturday and there has been some movement at the snapping position in advance of that date.  It looks like rookie Jacob Bobenmoyer will win the Broncos snapping job, as Wes Farnsworth was waived.  Teams that still have two snappers on the roster as of this morning are the Ravens, Bengals, Lions, Texans, Jaguars and Steelers.

Multiple snappers had recent tryouts with teams in case of emergency.  Four teams hosted snappers, including the Falcons (Harrison Elliott), Cardinals (Colin Holba and Taybor Pepper), Patriots (Scott Daly and Pepper) and the Giants (Christian Kuntz, Drew Scott and Carson Tinker).

Posted in NFL, Transactions

Latest Snapper Workouts and Signings

NFL teams must trim their rosters on Saturday, September 5th but, in advance of that date, a few teams continue to look at and, in some cases, sign an additional snapper.

The Texans brought back Anthony Kukwa, who was cut in July, while the Steelers have just signed rookie client Liam McCulllough.

Kukwa was part of a tryout that also featured Andrew DePaola, Christian Kuntz and Carson Tinker, while rookie Rex Sunahara was also at the Steelers workout.  The Colts had Taybor Pepper and Kuntz in for a tryout as well, but neither was signed.

Luke Rhodes of the Colts has been dealing with an injury, as has Kameron Canaday of the Steelers.

Posted in NFL, Transactions

NFL Snapping Update with Rosters at 80

Most NFL teams start padded practices today and each will have no more than 80 players on the roster.

To date, three snappers have been impacted by COVID, as Blake Ferguson (Miami), Hunter Bradley (Green Bay) and Zach Wood (New Orleans) were all inactive for at least some time due to the virus.  All but Bradley have returned to practice, but he is expected to return soon.  Rookie Rex Sunahara, who was added to the Dolphins roster after Ferguson’s absence, has since been waived.  Just five clubs (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit and Jacksonville) have two snappers on the roster.

Finally, Zak DeOssie officially retired recently after spending all 13 seasons of his NFL career with the Giants.  DeOssie won two Super Bowls, made two Pro Bowls and, perhaps more importantly, was the leading tackler among snappers in punt coverage for 6 seasons according to Longsnap.com’s compilation from official NFL Game Books.  Congrats to Zak on an incredible career.

Posted in NFL, Tackles, Transactions

COVID Impacts on the Long Snapping Position

The COVID pandemic has impacted football’s return and the long snapping position has been altered as well.   Two snappers, rookie Blake Ferguson (Dolphins) and Hunter Bradley (Packers), were placed on the COVID reserve list, although Ferguson is now cleared to return.  The Dolphins added rookie Wes Sunahara from West Virginia as a precaution.

While Sunahara was fortunate to get an opportunity, the second snapper for a few teams has been cut, with rosters limited to 80 and due to the absence of any pre-season games.  Rookie and client Liam McCullough (Raiders) was the first rookie to be waived, but first year snappers Anthony Kukwa (Texans), Joe Fortunato (Cowboys) and Christian Kuntz (Steelers) have also been cut.

There is speculation that some teams may look to add a long snapper to their practice squads this year, which have now expanded to 16 players, to have a reliable snapping option available in case of emergency.

Following these latest moves, the Ravens, Bengals,  Broncos, Lions, Jaguars and Dolphins are the remaining teams with two snappers on the roster.

Posted in NFL, NFL Draft, Transactions

2020 Patrick Mannelly Award Watch List Announced

The second annual Patrick Mannelly Award will be given this December to the top FBS senior long snapper.

Today, 20 seniors were announced as part of the initial Pre-Season Watch List and a few others under strong consideration will be added once the season starts.

 

Posted in Coaching, NFL Draft, Patrick Mannelly Award