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Snappers could get some protection, too

Long snappers toil in football anonymity.  They’re noticed only when they screw up, and when they screw up it’s often epic.

But someone is looking out for these unsung heroes and/or large-horned goats.  Not long after a tweaking of the rules aimed at keeping the snappers from getting their necks snapped promptly after firing the ball away, the NFL’s Competition Committee is exploring a measure that would give them greater protection in plays involving field goals and extra points.

Co-chair Rich McKay explained in a Wednesday conference call that, under a new proposal to be submitted at next week’s league meetings, no players will be permitted to line up within the “frame” of the snapper on such plays.  This means that the snapper will have a full chance to get rid of the ball, and then to protect himself against whoever might be targeting him for a violent act.

The move could reduce blocked kicks, since it takes away the shortest distance from defensive player to football.

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20 Responses to “Snappers could get some protection, too”
  1. birdmancometh says: Mar 17, 2010 12:07 PM

    I thought they already couldn’t line up in front of the snapper?

  2. WarrenMoonGOAT says: Mar 17, 2010 12:11 PM

    just give everybody a flag for goodness sake

  3. TheDPR says: Mar 17, 2010 12:16 PM

    I don’t recall ever seeing a long snapper get a head/neck injury.

  4. jimicos says: Mar 17, 2010 12:19 PM

    Red snapper.. Mmmmm, very tasty.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KezvwARhBIc

  5. HarrisonHits says: Mar 17, 2010 12:25 PM

    I respect that the nfl is doing more to protect the players, but they might as well just make it touch or flag football. By continuously softening the game they are going to lose many fans, especially if the lockout / strike happens.

  6. Bwa Ha Ha says: Mar 17, 2010 12:32 PM

    I thought this was going to be about Big Ben
    My bad.

  7. Dewey Axewoond says: Mar 17, 2010 12:35 PM

    Jesus Christ, why doesn’t the NFL just choreograph each play down to the tiniest nuance, change it’s name to “America’s Best Dance Crew”, and be done with it.
    Leave the damn game ALONE.
    You know who I suspect is REALLY to blame for all these pussifying rule changes?
    CONGRESS.
    They’re like reverse King Midas’s–whatever they touch turns to absolute SH!T.

  8. dabarber says: Mar 17, 2010 12:35 PM

    Sweet. Nobody blocks extra points anyway.

  9. SATAN567 says: Mar 17, 2010 12:45 PM

    “I thought this was going to be about Big Ben”
    Holy shit! I had to read the headline of the article again after I read that shit. LMFAO!

  10. CanadianVikingFan says: Mar 17, 2010 12:46 PM

    I don’t mind this rule, but the NFL is getting carried away with others. I’m all for player safety, I’ve suffered concussions and broken limbs like the rest of them, but you got to let them play.

  11. tfprop says: Mar 17, 2010 12:54 PM

    Good rule. No sense in killing guys needlessly. The game is better when it’s cleaner anyway.

  12. Bucket says: Mar 17, 2010 1:05 PM

    perfect! Any time you want to go for it on 4th and one, line up for a field goal, make them remove their fat nose tackle and then bring a RB in motion to take the direct snap and subsequent plunge into the gap of the defense

  13. Florio-is-a-tool says: Mar 17, 2010 1:12 PM

    The NFL wants to internationalize the game so they think that adding another five pages to an already huge list is going to make it easier for someone who doesn’t know the game?
    Soccer remains the world’s most popular sport partly because its rules are so simple.

  14. Black QB White RB says: Mar 17, 2010 1:17 PM

    Ethan Albright, the greatest long snapper in history! unfortunately, that’s why you’ve never heard of him…only Trey Junkin and James Harrison (or was it Farrior) , cause they botched the biggest snaps of their lives!!!!!!!!!
    HAIL

  15. Kevin from Philly says: Mar 17, 2010 1:32 PM

    “Soccer remains the world’s most popular sport partly because its rules are so simple. ”
    Yeah, fall on the ground whenever the other guy gets within 3 feet of you and pretend like you got shot, so the other team gets a penalty. Very simple.

  16. Dewey Axewoond says: Mar 17, 2010 1:42 PM

    Kevin from Philly says:
    March 17, 2010 1:32 PM
    “Soccer remains the world’s most popular sport partly because its rules are so simple. ”
    Yeah, fall on the ground whenever the other guy gets within 3 feet of you and pretend like you got shot, so the other team gets a penalty. Very simple.
    ______________________________
    I think the NFL’s already pretty close to that right now, don’t you?
    P.S. Patrick Mannelly is a bad-ass long snapper; he doesn’t want or NEED any of this crap to do his job well.

  17. Lost says: Mar 17, 2010 1:50 PM

    Great!
    Now we can get some 180 pound guy in to snap the football. Isn’t it an incredibly artistic element of the game?
    Competition Committee missed the point. Get rid of the specialty long snapper position altogether!

  18. Bob Nelson says: Mar 17, 2010 1:55 PM

    Do they keep changing rules just because they feel they have to do something??
    Can we not just leave the rules alone for one year??
    It is just foolish to keep making special rules and there is no need for it.
    Football is a great game, leave it alone.

  19. Don S says: Mar 17, 2010 2:47 PM

    Will this be known as the “Trojan Rule”?

  20. OscarMooseFarmer says: Mar 17, 2010 2:51 PM

    Actually Dewey, Kevin is right.
    I grew up playing football in a family, a school and a european town where everyone is obsessed with soccer.
    And in you average top level soccer game you see atleast two, maybe three guys who are writhing in pain in a way that, were they NFL players, you would know they weren’t playing again for a year. Only to pop back up and take the free kick themselves. It’s funny really.
    It’s even more funny because you don’t see it half as much in womens soccer.

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