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