Julian Edelman Has Great Response To Bill Belichick On Long Snappers

'Winning Super Bowls and talking about special teams, BB's 2 favorite things'

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September 17, 2021

Pro tip: If you want to get an expansive, in-depth answer out of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, ask him about football history or special teams.

A question Friday from The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin combined both of those themes. The result: A fascinating dissertation on the history of the long snapper (and the other specialist positions) that went on for nine full minutes.

Belichick was asked why every team carries a specialized long snapper rather than cross-training a player from another position to snap, which would free up an extra roster spot.

His answer, in a nutshell: Position players handling specialist duties actually used to be the norm back in the day, but over time the importance of being perfect in those situations placed a priority on having players specifically dedicated to one task on special teams.

Check out his comments in full, plus a bonus Tom Tupa reference, below:

Recently retired Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman got a kick out of Belichick’s marathon response.

“Winning Super Bowls and talking about special teams,” Edelman wrote on Twitter. “BB’s 2 favorite things.”

The Patriots have employed the same long snapper, Joe Cardona, since the start of the 2015 season. Cardona hasn’t missed a game in his NFL career.

If an injury were to sideline Cardona mid-game, however, New England would need to turn to a position player to replace him. Based on what we saw during training camp, when Cardona missed some time with a hand/wrist ailment, tight end Jonnu Smith is their top reserve snapping option for punts, and defensive end Deatrich Wise is their go-to backup for field goals. Players like Rob Ninkovich and James Develin have filled those role in the past.

Punter/kickoff man Jake Bailey is New England’s No. 2 field-goal kicker, and wide receiver Gunner Olszewski is the backup holder.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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