Week Fifteen in Review

Week Fifteen is not quite complete as there will be two games tonight due to COVID issues. COVID moved the Raiders game against the Browns from Saturday to Monday Night and special teams coach Mike Priefer served as Head Coach for the Browns filling in for Kevin Stefanski.

Special teams continue to have a huge impact in games. There were four on side kicks recovered last week and the Patriots suffered their third blocked punt of the season this week.

Beau Brinkley was waived by the Cardinals after last week’s action and had a workout in Houston. The Rams added Carson Tinker to the active roster and it is possible he snaps for the Rams tonight. Tinker has already snapped for the Bucs and Raiders this season.

The Pro Bowl team will be announced tomorrow but the final fan voting had Joe Cardona (Patriots) lead the AFC snappers with 86,382 votes and rookie Camaron Cheeseman (WFT) lead the snappers in the NFC with 72,416 votes.

Zach Triner of the Bucs recorded the only tackles by a snapper so far this week and he had a great day in coverage with three solo tackles.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after (most of) Week Fifteen is below.

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Cal Adomitis Wins Third Annual Patrick Mannelly Award

On Saturday night before a sold-out crowd, Cal Adomitis of Pitt won the third edition of the Patrick Mannelly Award. The Award, given annually to the FBS senior judged the best long snapper by a panel of experts, was founded by myself, Chris Rubio and Mannelly.

This post has some of my personal observations about Saturday’s event and the Award in general.

First, Bernie’s Book Bank benefits from the Award ceremony. They are an incredible organization and I saw first-hand it impactwhen we distributed books and two of the finalists, Alex Ward (UCF) and Damon Johnson (USC), read to the children at a Chicago elementary school. While all three finalists are incredible snappers, they are also incredible people as evidenced by the fact that Adomitis missed some Award events Friday because he was cutting his hair for a charity event in Pittsburgh that raised over $100,000.

It is amazing to see how this Award has grown in just three years. It is truly a labor of love and the founders work tirelessly to make the Award and ceremony the very best. There are always critics and personally I do not handle the criticism as well as I should. We try to objectively evaluate all senior snappers and solicit input from many sources since snapping can often be difficult to objectively measure. COVID also made things more difficult, as a senior can now get an extra year and the intent was to only include candidates in their final year of college.

Despite the critics, I know that this Award is making an impact, both by giving unsung snappers an Award and event to call their own and give back to the community while doing so. We are on to Year Four!

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Week Fourteen in Review

Week Fourteen brought a number of changes at the snapping position. Charley Hughlett (Browns), Trent Sieg (Raiders) and Zach Triner (Bucs) each snapped this week after prior COVID issues and Aaron Brewer (Cardinals) returned last night from injury. Because of Sieg’s return, Carson Tinker was released from Vegas after snapping in Week Thirteen.

The Bucs added Garrison Sanborn to the practice squad and the Steelers added Rex Sunahara to its practice squad following a tryout, but both have since been released. It is likely Beau Brinkley will be released from Arizona with Brewer’s successful return.

The Bears had the first punt return for a touchdown this season on Sunday Night and special teams play continue to be a key factor in many games. However, it was a very rare week for tackles in punt coverage by snappers, as no snapper recorded a tackle.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Fourteen is below.

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Week Thirteen In Review

Week Thirteen of the NFL season is complete and was generally an uneventful one for snappers. Kickers continue to miss extra points, but snaps have rarely played a role in the misses. Special recognition goes out to Joe Cardona (Patriots) and Reid Ferguson (Bills), who both snapped well on Monday Night Football in adverse conditions including wind and snow.

COVID issues continue to impact the position. Carson Tinker filled in for Trent Sieg of the Raiders this week. Sieg had a 56 game consecutive snapping streak end for the Raiders. If Sieg can return this week, Tinker could be back in Tampa Bay after Zach Triner was placed on the COVID list yesterday. It is also unclear if Charley Hughlett will be available to the Browns this week after being placed on the COVID list last week.

The only injured snapper that is eligible to return this season, Aaron Brewer of the Cardinals, may be back this week as Beau Brinkley has struggled in his absence. The Cardinals also released Kyle Nelson, who injured during his first practice after originally being signed to replace Brewer.

Cardona and Camaron Cheeseman (Washington) continue to lead the AFC and NFC respectively in Pro Bowl voting for snappers. As of December 1st, Cardona has 51,351 votes while Cheeseman has 42,033.

Two tackles recorded tackles in punt coverage this week, with Nick Moore (Ravens) making a solo tackle and Tinker adding an assisted tackle in his Vegas debut.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Thirteen is below.

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Week Twelve in Review

Week Twelve included a rare blocked extra point last night that was returned for a two-point conversion by the Seahawks against Washington. It was only the second blocked extra point this season and first to be returned for a score.

While there were no major snapping issues on the field, two snappers were placed on the COVID list. Charley Hughlett (Browns) and Trent Sieg (Raiders) were added to the list yesterday. Since the Browns are on a bye, Hughlett could return in Week Fourteen, while the Raiders will need to add a snapper, at least temporarily, this week. One option is veteran Carson Tinker, who was cut by the Bucs after Zach Triner returned last week.

Pro Bowl voting is underway and the leading vote getter in the AFC among snappers is Joe Cardona of the Patriots with 34,033 while Cameron Cheeseman of Washington leads the NFC with 27,778 votes as of November 23, 2021.

James Winchester of the Chiefs, who would have been an unrestricted free agent this off-season, signed a new two-year extension this week to stay in Kansas City.

Last night, Cal Adomitis (Pitt), Damon Johnson (USC) and Alex Ward (UCF) were announced as the three finalists for the third annual Patrick Mannelly Award given to the best senior FBS long snapper. The winner will be announced December 11, 2021 at a live ceremony outside of Chicago, Illinois.

Three snappers recorded tackles in punt coverage this week, with Morgan Cox (Titans) making a solo tackle and client Patrick Scales (Bears) and Scott Daly (Lions) each having assisted tackles.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Twelve is below.

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Week Eleven in Review

Week Eleven was generally an uneventful one for snappers, although kicking operation issues continued in Green Bay and, at least this week, in Arizona. After Sunday’s game, the Cardinals waived Beau Brinkley. With a bye this week, it is unclear if Arizona plans to sign a new snapper or if they expect injured Aaron Brewer to return.

Zach Triner returned for the Buccaneers yesterday after being injured in Week One. Carson Tinker, who filled in well in Triner’s absence, remains on the Bucs roster for now.

Former NFL Draft pick Randy Chevrier spent most of his career snapping in the CFL before retiring in 2017. Chevrier, who is 45 years old, made news this past week when he came out of retirement to sign with the practice roster of the Calgary Stampeders.

A quick college snapping note about a snapper who is also versatile. In this case, it does not mean he can play another position, but he does have other valuable skills. Pittsburg State freshman snapper Timmy Malinowski was an off-field hero recently when he was able to fix the team bus on the way to an away game.

Four long snappers recorded tackles in punt coverage this week. Josh Harris (Falcons), Reid Ferguson (Bills) and Rick Lovato (Eagles) had solo tackles, while Clark Harris (Bengals) added an assisted tackle.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Eleven is below.

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Week Ten in Review

Week Ten brought another snapping change after Aaron Brewer of the Cardinals left the game last week due to injury. Brewer broke his hand, so the team conducted a tryout of three veterans. Kyle Nelson was signed to the practice squad after the workout, but was injured almost immediately after joining the team. The Cardinals next added Beau Brinkley, who snapped well in his Arizona debut Sunday. The other snapper at the workout was Colin Holba.

Now that we are beyond the half-way point of the NFL season, it is a good time to look at the Pro Football Focus grades for some of this season’s top snappers. Pro Football Focus grades every player in the NFL and most colleges and snappers are no exception.

After Week Nine, the top graded snapper by PFF was Andrew DePaola (Vikings). Josh Harris (Falcons) was next, followed by Carson Tinker (Bucs) and Matt Overton (Chargers). Tied for the fifth-highest grade was Morgan Cox (Titans) and Christian Kuntz (Steelers).

Harris had a solo tackle this week, while DePaola added an assisted tackle. Rick Lovato (Eagles) also had a solo tackle.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Ten is below.

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2021 Patrick Mannelly Award Semi-Finalists

This evening, 10 senior FBS long snappers were announced as semi-finalists for the Patrick Mannelly Award. This will be the third season for the Award and the winner will be announced at a live event on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Bluff, Illinois.

A graphic will the names of the final 10 is below. The definition of “senior” has changed since COVID, as players are allowed to return for another season. However, best efforts were made to limit consideration to those snappers that do not plan to return to school next season. With a number of players returning that had been under consideration last year, the competition to make the list this year was more competitive than ever.

The semi-finalists will be narrowed to the final three on Monday, November 29, 2021. In the meantime, congratulations to all the semi-finalists, those on the Watch List and those that submitted film for our consideration.

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Week Nine in Review

Week Nine brought the second change at the snapping position this season and first due to performance. Steven Wirtel replaced Hunter Bradley in Green Bay. Wirtel had a tough NFL debut, as the kicking operation in Green Bay remained off this week.

Another snapper change may be coming for the Cardinals this week. Veteran Aaron Brewer is expected to miss a few weeks due to a hand injury. Offensive lineman Sean Harlow handled a late snap in Brewer’s absence. Ironically, Bradley had a workout with the Cardinals last week following his departure from the Packers and prior to Brewer’s injury and could be signed to fill in.

Two snappers recorded tackles in punt coverage this week as Jacob Bobenmoyer (Broncos) and Ross Matiscik (Jaguars) each tallied solo stops.

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Nine is below.

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Week Eight in Review

Week Eight of the NFL regular season is complete and without any significant injuries or performance concerns at the snapping position. The only snapping change so far was in Tampa Bay after Zack Triner was placed on injured reserve following Week One.

Bears special teams coach Chris Tabor served as head coach this week, replacing Matt Nagy who was unable to coach due to Covid.

The Ravens worked out Beau Brinkley and Rex Sunahara last week as part of a tryout for other specialists. In addition, Eagles snapper Rick Lovato was released after Week Seven in a temporary move for roster space and quickly brought back.

Four snappers recorded tackles in punt coverage this week, all recording solo tackles. They are client Patrick Scales (Bears), Matt Overton (Chargers), Jacob Bobenmoyer (Broncos) and Andrew DePaola (Vikings).

The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Eight is below.

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