The sixth week of the NFL season is complete and was relatively quiet on the snapping front, at least on the field. Just two snappers, Beau Brinkley (Titans) and John Denney (Dolphins), recorded tackles in punt coverage. Brinkley had a solo tackle and two assists, while Denney had a solo tackle and a forced fumble.
Off the field, there were a number of interesting snapping-related stories. With respect to tackles, The Wall Street Journal recently did a story on the NFL’s so-called “Make-Believe Stat”, namely, the tackle. Tackles are not considered an “official” NFL stat and the home team stat crew determines who is awarded a tackle. Assisted tackles and who is awarded one is also subject to much debate. As noted here in the past, teams conduct their own game film review and the team tackle figures can often differ substantially from those recorded in the official NFL Game Books published immediately after each game.
Judy Battista of The New York Times wrote a story yesterday about the trend this season of blocked punts. Already this season there have been 10 blocked punts, one more than all of the blocked punts from last season. Jets Special Teams Coach Mike Westhoff notes that special teams units may be suffering due to the amount of rookies on each team. Because of the salary cap and veteran minimum salary amounts, some teams can keep fewer veteran players, causing younger and inexperienced players on special teams.
Finally, long snapping in the NFL is really on the map now as the satirical publication, The Onion, ran a (fake) story announcing the launch of the “NFL Long Snap” channel. The channel would allow fans to watch “every long snap every Sunday.” I only wish this story was true, as it would save a great deal of time flipping around every week trying to watch all the snaps in the NFL.
Below is the NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Six.