The first week of the 2017 NFL season is now complete and a number of snappers made their NFL debuts. Zach Wood won a snapping tryout for the Saints to replace Jon Dorenbos (more about that below) and had a strong debut on Monday Night Football. Reid Ferguson (Bills), Luke Rhodes (Colts) and Thomas Hennessy (Jets) also snapped in their first regular season games.
Dorenbos, who likely had his life saved by his physical with the Saints, is scheduled for heart surgery this morning. We wish him the best for a speedy recovery.
Wood became the sixth snapper the Saints have signed since last season. For those who want insight into what NFL long snapper workouts are like and how teams choose, below is the Q and A with Sean Payton, the Saints head coach.
What did you like about Zach Wood, the long snapper that you signed?
“We had four or five guys in. (We) Treated it like the Voice (laughter), Mickey (Loomis) and I were in a chair, the pro (personnel) department, special teams (coaches) and we just hit the buzzer and turned around. Those guys all worked out, we have seen all of their film. We’ve graded their tape. There are enough game snaps in the preseason that we saw and of course we had a good grade on him prior and know the folks in Dallas pretty well. A lot of the group was younger and there was one experienced player and I felt like it was a similar decision we made in ’07 or ’08 when we brought in (Justin) Drescher and some older players. He has played defense and had a good workout.”
With respect to tackles in punt coverage, Josh Harris (Falcons) and Joe Cardona (Patriots), each recorded assisted tackles.
The Week One Long Snappers Chart is below.