The end of the second week of the NFL preseason brought another dramatic move at the snapping position, as the Chargers released veteran Mike Windt. Windt signed with the Chargers in October of 2010 and had been a steady and reliable snapper since that time. Cole Mazza is now the long snapper for the Chargers.
Windt did receive some additional unwanted attention last night, the same day he was released, when a clip of him walking on the field during an active play in the first preseason game was shown on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Windt was flagged, although it turned out he was correct entering the field because it was fourth down. Review showed that the referees erroneously allowed the third down play to continue when it should have been stopped.
Last week, veteran Kevin McDermott made news with his release and he announced yesterday that he will be having elbow surgery and then rehabilitating.
With the first week of NFL preseason games complete, there have been a handful of transactions at the snapping position. Most recently, veteran Kevin McDermott was released by the Vikings, leaving drafted rookie Austin Cutting as the Minnesota snapper.
Andrew East (Redskins) and Kyle Vasey (Falcons) were also waived prior to the first preseason game, while the Bengals added rookie Dan Godsil as Clark Harris was unable to practice to start camp. Godsil remains on the roster, although Harris has returned.
With these moves, ten clubs (Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Chargers, Miami, New Orleans, Giants, Oakland and San Francisco) have two snappers on the roster.
There was also one new snapper contract finalized, as Tyler Ott of the Seahawks was rewarded with a new deal that will keep him in Seattle through the 2022 season.
Long snapper Andrew East has been with multiple NFL teams since he entered the NFL in 2015. Most recently, he was waived by the Redskins after replacing the injured Nick Sundberg for the final three games of last season.
East’s story of dedication and perseverance is a common one for a long snapper trying to make the NFL. The harsh reality is there are only 32 jobs and, at best, just a few that available to claim each year.
East faces these issues head on in his new Redirected interview with Sundberg, appropriately called “A Conversation with the Man Who Took My Job”.
The interview, linked below, is a must see for any snapper or, more generally, for anyone interested in what it takes to make it in the NFL.
Long snappers are critical to every successful kick, especially on field goal attempts. Icing the kicker, by calling a timeout before the kick, is a tactic that some coaches have employed as part of normal game strategy.
Nathan Cooper of Sports Info Solutions conducted an excellent and very detailed analysis of the impact of icing the kicker in NFL games from 2014-2018 and NCAA games in 2018. Cooper concludes that icing the kicker can be an effective strategy and even considers the best time to do it. For those interested in the details, Cooper’s story is worth a read.
Icing the Kicker: Does it Really Work?
Yesterday was an important day for long snappers as the Watch List for the inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award Presented By Bernie’s Book Bank was announced.
A total of 25 senior FBS snappers were on the initial list, although additions are possible before the 10 semi-finalists are announced on Monday, November 16th.
Three finalists will be selected on Monday, November 23rd, with the winner selected in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, December 14th.
I am honored to be one of the founders of this long overdue award, along with Patrick Mannelly himself and Chris Rubio.
Below is a list of all 25 Watch List snappers.
Patrick Mannelly Award Watch List 2019
With NFL training camps opening today, the college season is not far behind. Things are already heating up for snappers and will continue August 1st, when The Patrick Mannelly Award, for which I am honored to be one of the founders, will announce its Watch List.
Chris Rubio, another Mannelly Award co-founder, just concluded his camp for college snappers in which Blake Ferguson of LSU was crowned the champion. Former NFL special teams coach Gary Zauner has his own camp in which Liam McCullough of Ohio State was given the award. Both Ferguson and McCullough are considered top snapping prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Yesterday, SpecialTeamsU announced its own All American Watch List of college snappers, shown below.
Finally, in just the past few days, snappers played a prominent role on social media again, with various #BottleCapChallenge videos from top NFL and college snappers and talk of Madden ratings for NFL snappers.
All of this means meaningful football games are coming soon!
Some NFL teams will start training camps tomorrow, making it the perfect time to debut the 2019 Training Camp Long Snapper Chart.
The Chart below has detailed information on each team’s snapper, including contract expiration dates. Special teams coaches are also included, along with information on the 12 teams with two snappers on the roster heading into camp.
2019 Training Camp Chart