The Original Longsnappers

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I have been working with a few snappers that will be entering the 2017 NFL Draft this offseason.  And when talking to them about some of the former longsnappers I looked up to, I was shocked that they had no idea who they were. This got me thinking that these guys need to be recognized. I was drafted into the NFL in 1998 and that was right when the long snapping transition was starting. (Thank god) At the time, more teams were starting to carry pure longsnappers. At that point, teams still had guys who were tight ends, linebackers or backup O linemen handling snapping duties. These guys listed below helped make the longsnapping position become what it is today.   Mike Bartrum         … Read More

Offseason Long Snapping Drills

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Football offseason has begun for most. It is that time of year when you ask, how much do I snap, do I take a break? Well, that’s up to you. If you need a mental break, take it. If you want to snap more then go for it but have FUN doing it. This is the time of year you don’t have any coaches around so you can do what you want to do. Two drills I did over and over are the Goal Post Drill and the Distance Snap Drill. But like I said have fun. Make a game of it. But like I said have fun. Make a game of it. For example, if you are doing the goal post drill put a piece … Read More

The Coldest Bears Games I Played

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The Bears are set to take on the Packers this Sunday Dec. 18th and the forecast calls for a high of 1. This got me thinking about the coldest games that I played. These are in order of what I “felt” were the coldest. 1. Packers @ Bears  Dec. 23, 2007 16 Degrees Wind Chill -18 Wind 22+ MPH This game was insanely cold to me because of the wind. It was listed as 22 MPH but it was gusting much higher during the game. By the way we won 35-7 2. Bears @ Vikings Dec. 20, 2010 at University of Minnesota TCF Stadium. 23 Degrees Wind Chill  9 Wind 17+. Yes, the temperature was a balmy 23 but the high winds and poor sideline … Read More

Leaping the Longsnapper

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The New England Patriots executed the perfect “leaping” of a longsnapper in their game against the Ravens. Many people on twitter have asked should that be allowed? I say yes. It is a football play and can be stopped by the kicking team if they are paying attention. Here are three simple ways to combat the leaping of the longsnapper: First, the simplest way for the field goal team to stop if from happening is to be aware. If you see a guy that is a threat to leap just tell the defender we know you are jumping. There were numerous times in my career that the guards or me would simply say “alert for the leaper”.  What player wants to jump over the line when … Read More

Longsnapper Elbow Pain

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It’s about that time of year in the football season when my elbow would start flaring up with pain. The pain would be on the inside of my right elbow. I would snap through it and not know how to fix it. Anti-inflammatories and ice were used to try to stop the pain but that did not help. My brother in law ,Dr. Tommy John, who is a chiropractor and runs a performance and healing center in San Diego told me that I needed to get the muscles around my elbow stronger. He was right! He told me to make sure my forearms were as strong as I could get them.  He gave me a few exercises to do. 1.Forearm Curls- I would use a … Read More

Technique Flaw

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In my last blog post, I discussed why longsnappers struggle with the transition from College to the Pros and I mentioned a technique flaw in protection. Let me explain further. Many young snappers are working on snapping as fast as they can and with that they are locking out their knees in the follow thru. This will help you at a young age when you are not strong enough to generate power with your snap. But as you get older and want to move on from college to the pros this will cause an issue. I understand the thought of using your entire body to generate speed but in the Pros you have to “get out” after your snap and protect. When you lock your … Read More

From College to the NFL

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The NFL Draft is right around the corner. Pro Days are wrapping up and now it is time to wait to see if you get drafted or sign a free agent contract. Aspiring longsnappers are checking out NFL rosters to see who needs a snapper or where they could go and compete to win a job. Realistically there are about 5 to 10 jobs that can be won each year. GM’s and Special Teams coaches get comfortable with “their” guys and don’t want to worry about replacing them. College snappers will be looking at which NFL guys are getting up there in age or are too pricey. Teams that are up against the cap have historically cut specialists (punters, kickers, longsnappers) who are making too … Read More

Longsnapping Workouts

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As my career progressed so did my workout routine.  I evolved and adapted over time. I do not feel that there is a specific workout to make your snaps faster. You use your entire body to longsnap so I focused on getting my body as strong as possible overall. When I was in high school, I did your typical Olympic style lifting. I would bench press, squat, hang clean, power clean and do all of the other auxiliary lifting like curls, shoulder press, etc.  I will have to say, I wasn’t much of a workout warrior then. I enjoyed the basketball court too much. While there is not one perfect ‘longsnap’ workout, this was one of my favorite auxiliary moves. It was a modified lift … Read More

How the Journey Began

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I have an older brother by 5 years. He came home after his freshman season of playing on the University of Notre Dame’s football team and was looking for a way to get on the field quicker. He thought being able to longsnap would help him out in that regard. My dad contacted a family friend, Rod Dowhower, who coached for the Atlanta Falcons at the time, to find out any information on the art of longsnapping. Coach Dowhower gave us a small two page pamphlet with an outline of some basic information on how to longsnap. My brother and I took the pamphlet and a football to the front yard and began working on longsnapping. This was 1989, the summer between my 7th and … Read More

Laces Out

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First off I want to say this post is not to call out the Minnesota Vikings specialist. I wrote this to educate the football fan about longsnapping and what all goes into a field goal attempt. (And to plug Longsnapper.com) I have had my fair share of laces issues and been part of the problem on missed kicks. Just ask all the holders and kickers I have played with. Many people have asked, “Is it possible to snap a ball and consistently get the laces facing forward?” The simple answer is yes. As an NFL snapper you are asked to be precise not only with your placement of the ball on field goal snaps but you are asked to have the laces facing forward when … Read More

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