The 2017 CFL regular season got underway last night, so it is a good time to take a look at the starting snapper for each club. There is only one change since last season’s opening day starters, as Louis-Phillippe Bourassa is now the snapper for Ottawa. Jorgen Hus of Saskatchewan and Chad Rempel of Winnipeg are the only snappers with NFL training camp experience.
British Columbia 40 Mike Benson
Calgary 54 Pierre-Luc Caron
Edmonton 53 Ryan King
Hamilton 47 Aaron Crawford
Montreal 37 Martin Bedard
Ottawa 50 Louis-Phillippe Bourassa
Saskatchewan 46 Jorgen Hus
Toronto 58 Jake Reinhart
Winnipeg 46 Chad Rempel
With mini-camps ended, there have been a few snapping transactions this week. Client Jimmy Landes, who was drafted by the Lions last year, was waived leaving Don Muhlbach for another season in Detroit. The Saints waived Tyler Schmitt and added veteran Thomas Gafford, who will compete with rookie Chase Dominguez.
Two high school long snappers from the 2019 class have just received full scholarship offers. Quentin Skinner from Georgia has an offer from LSU and Simon Samarzich from California picked up an offer from Fresno State.
Both snappers trained with snapping guru Chris Rubio. Rubio told me he started training them at the age of nine!
This week is the final week for off-season workouts in the NFL. After this week, the next official action will be the opening of training camps at the end of July.
I do not expect many snapping moves before training camp, although the Steelers recently re-signed Kameron Canaday. Canaday was signed in February and then released last month before his recent return. The Jaguars had some snappers workout last week, including Matt Overton, Andrew East, Jeff Overbaugh and Taybor Pepper, but no one has been signed as of yet.
I often say that every long snapper has an interesting story. One of the more fascinating stories of a snapper’s path to the NFL involves client, Derek Hart.
As explained in more detail in this new Packer Report and Bill Huber story, Hart gave up football last year after his senior year at James Madison.. Personal circumstances compelled him to give the NFL a shot and, after strong performances at two free agent combines earlier this year, he is now the snapper in Green Bay.
Last week, the Steelers released veteran snapper Greg Warren with a failed physical designation, ending his 12 season tenure with the team. Warren apparently experienced some issues with a prior injury and felt playing the 2017 season would pose a significant risk.
Warren’s release clears the way for rookie Colin Holba, who was drafted last month out of Louisville, to assume the snapping duties in Pittsburgh.
Pro Football Focus published an interesting study of Warren following his release showing his accuracy had decreased the past few seasons. According to PFF’s analysis, Warren was 98% accurate in 2013 and 98.6% in 2014 before dropping to 95.7% in 2015 and 94.9% in 2016. The NFL average for long snapper accuracy in 2016 was 96.1% based on PFF’s review and grading of all punts and placement snaps.
Rookie mini-camps are now complete in the NFL and it does not appear that any of the tryout snappers were offered contracts. In Tampa Bay, former Bills snapper Garrison Sanborn will have the job for now, as Dax Dellenbach was waived.
There are just eight teams (Cowboys, Lions, Dolphins, Saints, Raiders, Eagles, Steelers and Seahawks) with two snappers on the roster at this time.