I have been an NFL agent for about 20 years and focusing largely on the long snapping position for almost as long. During those years, I have learned many lessons about what it takes to represent professional football players and snapping specialists in particular.
When I post on Longsnap.com, I try to remain objective and feature the best snapping stories and news and not just the developments pertaining to my clients. Sometimes, however, a great story comes along that also involves a client.
This past Sunday was one of those days. Patrick Scales, a client since the 2011 NFL Draft, finally made his NFL debut with the Ravens. Like many opportunities in the NFL, it came at the expense of others. Specifically, it took season-ending injuries to snappers Morgan Cox and Kevin McDermott to get his chance, but Pat was ready when the call finally came. In fact, he has been ready and waiting for this chance for many years.
Scales spent his first two training camps with the Ravens in 2011 and 2012. His experiences, which included snapping in a few pre-season games, led to many workouts with other NFL teams looking to evaluate him in case of an emergency or injury. Scales also earned contracts with the Jets, Dolphins and Buccaneers over the past few years but each time fell just short of earning an active roster spot.
As a player, coming so close to your dream of playing in the NFL can be a challenging, disappointing and frustrating experience. As an agent, there are similar emotions. Pat never gave up. I also never gave up on him and continued to believe in him and his talent. He continued to trust me when I told him that he was good enough to snap in the NFL, even after so many close calls and disappointments.
So, when last Sunday arrived and he fired his first punt snap in a regular season game against the Texans, a four-year journey of ups and downs reached perhaps its highest point. That day never would have happened without Pat’s unique dedication and perseverance and his unyielding trust that this day would come.