Snapping and Coaching Update as the NFL Pauses

While it is possible that veteran free agency may begin this week in the NFL, much of the football world is otherwise paused due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, news broke today that one potential veteran free agent long snapper, Don Muhlbach, re-signed with the Lions on a one-year deal as he enters his 17th NFL season.  Other unrestricted free agent snappers such as Jon Weeks (Texans)  and Patrick Scales (Bears) are expected to return to their teams.  The Broncos have added another snapper by signing Jacob Bobenmoyer who joins Wes Farnsworth on the roster with Casey Kreiter about to become a free agent.  Trent Sieg, who was an exclusive rights free agent, has re-signed with the Raiders.

To close the loop on the special teams coaching changes, John Bonamego is the new special teams coach for the Rams and it appears Cameron Achord will be the replacement for Joe Judge in New England.

Posted in Coaching, NFL, Transactions

Ferguson and Wirtel Invited to NFL Scouting Combine

For the first time since 2017, the NFL Scouting Combine at the end of this month will feature two long snappers.  Blake Ferguson (LSU) and Steven Wirtel (Iowa State) have both been invited to the Combine.

Both snappers were also the Senior Bowl long snappers and Wirtel was a finalist for the first annual Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award.

Posted in College, NFL, NFL Draft, Patrick Mannelly Award

XFL Long Snappers

With the NFL season finished, the new XFL season starts on February 8th.

Below are the snappers for the eight teams in the latest version of the league that initially played one season back in 2001.

DALLAS: Christian Kuntz

DC: Brian Khoury

HOUSTON: Colton Taylor

LOS ANGELES: Ryan Navarro

NEW YORK: Scott Daly

ST. LOUIS: Tanner Carew

SEATTLE: Noah Borden

TAMPA BAY: Nick Moore

Posted in XFL

Snapping News and Notes Before the Super Bowl

With the Super Bowl this Sunday, it is a good time to catch-up on some snapping and snapping-related developments around the NFL over the past few weeks.

Sunday’s game will include snappers James Winchester (Chiefs) and Kyle Nelson (Niners).  Winchester recorded a tackle in punt coverage in its win over the Titans, while Austin Cutting of the Vikings added a tackle during the Wild Card round.

There has been one additional future/reserve contract signing, as the Bengals signed Dan Godsil, who was with them in training camp.  As the regular season was ending, there were two snappers that earned tryouts, as the Chiefs had Drew Scott in for a workout and the Steelers brought in Kyle Vasey.  Scott later signed a future/reserve contract with the Giants.

Every off-season brings a string of special teams coaching changes and so far there have been just a handful to date.  Joe Judge of the Patriots became the Giants head coach, creating a vacancy in New England.  John Fassel went from the Rams to the Cowboys and Brayden Coombs will coach the Lions special teams units.  The Patriots and Rame are the two vacancies, but both should be filled soon.

Posted in Coaching, NFL, Tackles, Transactions

NFL Special Teams Unit Rankings

The end of the NFL regular season means that the annual rankings of each special teams unit in the NFL are finalized.  Rick Gosselin, who is famous for his compilation of 22 different kicking game categories, just published his ranking of all 32 special teams units.  New Orleans, under special teams Darren Rizzi, had the top unit, while Tampa Bay was ranked last.

Football Outsiders has its own ranking of special teams units and had Cincinnati, coached by Darrin Simmons, as the top team based on its unique criteria.  The Chargers were ranked last.

The top five and bottom five for each are below:


TOP 5 (1-5): New Orleans, Cincinnati, New England, Washington and Jacksonville

BOTTOM 5 (28-32): Carolina, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Dallas and Tampa Bay


TOP 5 (1-5): Cincinnati, Kansas City, New Orleans, Jets and Houston

BOTTOM 5 (28-32): Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Dallas, Carolina and Chargers

Posted in Coaching, NFL, Snapping in the Media

Post-Season Update for Top College Snappers

With college football season nearly complete, it is a good time to review some news regarding the top college snappers participating in post-season games and earning post-season honors.

In the All-Star games, Steven Wirtel (Iowa State) and Blake Ferguson (LSU) will be the Senior Bowl snappers, while Rex Sunahara (West Virginia) and Michael Pifer (Navy) will snap in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  The Shrine Game will not be using dedicated snappers.

The FCS Bowl featured snappers Josh Brady (Jacksonville State) and Austin Underwood (Northern Alabama) while the National Bowl had Ryan Detert (Western Colorado) and Jake Shaffner (Colgate).  Finally, the Tropical Bowl will include Drake Sutton (Eastern Michigan) and Evan Crabtree (Miami of Ohio).

With respect to post-season teams, HERO Sports recently announced its All-American Team that includes a snapper on all three teams.  Josh Brady was First Team, Bradey Sorenson (South Dakota State) was Second Team and Colton Menges (Alcorn State) was Third Team.

STATS FCS did its own FCS All-America Team that featured Matthew O’Donoghue (Montana), Chandler Collins (Missouri State) and Ethan Ray (Charleston Southern). Collins is the only senior of those three.

Posted in College, NFL Draft

Week Seventeen in Review

Week Seventeen and the NFL regular season of 256 games is now complete.  Thomas Hennessy (Jets) and Rick Lovato (Eagles) each had four tackles in punt coverage this season, including three solo, to lead all snappers.

The 2019 season was one of stability at the snapping position, as just two teams had changes.  The Giants put veteran Zak DeOssie on IR after Week 12 and Colin Holba snapped the rest of the season.  The Niners used Holba, Jon Condo and Garrison Sanborn until Kyle Nelson returned from suspension.

With the regular season complete, future contracts, free agency, special teams coaching changes and all-star games and the NFL Combine for senior draft prospects will be the biggest developments for snappers.

Three snappers have already signed reserve/future contracts for next season.  So far, James Fisher (Lions), Wes Farnsworth (Broncos) and Drew Scott (Giants) have signed deals for next year.

With respect to free agency, a number of snappers will become free agents in March if not re-signed.  Unrestricted free agents that can sign with any club are client Patrick Scales (Bears), LP Ladouceur (Cowboys), client Casey Kreiter (Broncos), Don Muhlbach (Lions), Jon Weeks (Texans) and Zak DeOssie (Giants).  Two restricted free agents, in which another team can match any offer if the player is tendered a contract by their current team, are Kameron Canaday (Steelers) and Zach Wood (Saints).

Stay tuned for all of the special teams coaching changes over the next few weeks and the snappers that will be participating in all-star games and the NFL Combine.

In the meantime, the final edition of the NFL Long Snappers Chart is below.

2019 Final

Posted in Coaching, NFL, NFL Draft, Tackles, Transactions

Week Sixteen in Review

The biggest snapping news during Week Sixteen occurred outside the lines, as Morgan Cox (Ravens) and Rick Lovato (Eagles) were voted the Pro Bowl long snappers.  While the selection of a Pro Bowl snapper is not unique since they have been part of the game since 1996, what was special this year was that each were voted on by other snappers and coaches.

Cox and Patriots snapper Joe Cardona are credited with coming up with the idea last month to have each NFL snapper vote for the Pro Bowl snappers.  In the prior selection process, the coaching staffs for each team picked the snapper.  Through a group text, Cox got all NFL snappers on board and the process was approved by the NFL’s competition committee.  This will be the third time Cox has been in the Pro Bowl, while it will be Lovato’s first trip.

Just one team worked out snappers this week, as the Jets had Kevin McDermott and John Wirtel in for tryouts.

On the tackle front, two snappers recorded tackles this week, as Beau Brinkley (Titans) had two assisted tackles while Matt Orzech (Jaguars) had a single assisted tackle.  The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Sixteen is below.  With one week left, Lovato and Thomas Hennessy each hold the lead in tackles among snappers with four total.

2019 Week Sixteen

Posted in NFL, Tackles, Transactions

Week Fifteen in Review

Week Fifteen of the NFL season is done and was generally a quiet one for snappers.  The Broncos worked out three snappers earlier in the week, including rookies Jacob Bobenmoyer and Wes Farnsworth, along with Christian Kuntz.

Two snappers, Hunter Bradley (Packers) and Rick Lovato (Eagles), tallied assisted tackles  in punt coverage.  The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Fifteen is below.

2019 Week Fifteen

Posted in NFL, Tackles, Transactions

Notre Dame Snapper John Shannon Wins Inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award

Notre Dame senior long snapper John Shannon was announced as the winner of the inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award on Saturday.  Liam McCullough (Ohio State) and Steven Wirtel (Iowa State) were the other finalists.

As one of the founders of the Award, along with Mannelly and Chris Rubio, this was an incredible night to finally honor and recognize this critical but unsung position.  We anticipate that this Award and the ceremony will continue to grow each year.

Posted in College, Patrick Mannelly Award