Long snapper

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In American football and Canadian football, the term long snapper refers to a player who is a specialized center during punts, field goal, and extra point attempts. His job is to snap the ball as quickly and accurately as possible.

During field goal and point after touchdown, the snap is received by the holder. During punt plays the snap is delivered to the punter. A good, consistent long snapper is hard to find, and many marginally talented players have found a niche exclusively as long snappers.

A "bad snap" is a snap which causes the delay of a kick or the failure of a play.

The long snapper still performs the normal tasks of a center and also runs downfield after the ball has been punted to help defend the punt return.

In college football

Many teams, especially in college football, refer to the snapper in a punt formation as a deep snapper and reserve the term long snapper for the snapper in a field goal formation. Scholarships for long snappers used to be rare, but are becoming more popular as colleges begin to recognize the importance of special teams.

In the NFL

Before specialization, the long snapper was often a player who primarily played another position. A recent example would be Allen Aldridge, who started at linebacker for the Detroit Lions and also served as the team's long snapper . This allowed the team to dress another non-specialist player.

In the NFL long snappers are...
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