NFC West: Tim Lindsey

Snapping carousel picks up speed

March, 10, 2009

Posted by's Mike Sando


Longtime Cardinals snapper Nathan Hodel has landed with the Patriots not long after Arizona released him. New England announced the signing Tuesday.

We've seen veteran snappers hit the market regularly this offseason. The Broncos released Mike Leach and signed the Patriots' snapper, Lonie Paxton, as an unrestricted free agent. The Texans' Bryan Pittman also hit the unrestricted market.

The Seahawks and Cardinals remain in the market for veteran snappers, although Tyler Schmitt hopes to get another chance with Seattle, Danny O'Neil notes.

Snappers are expendable until you can't replace one. The Seahawks have employed Thomas Gafford, Jared Retkofsky, Derek Rackley, Boone Stutz, Tim Lindsey, Jeff Robinson, Ryan Senser and Schmitt since watching J.P. Darche leave after the 2006 season. They have also brought in Pittman, Mike Schneck, Matt Overton and Joe Maese for tryouts.

Releasing Hodel spared the Cardinals from paying a $200,000 roster bonus this offseason. Hodel has snapped in every game for Arizona since 2002.

Mailbag: The case for Deacon Jones

September, 4, 2008

Posted by's Mike Sando

Bill from Pearl River writes: It is inconcievable to think that Deacon Jones did not get the best ever all-time Ram player ever! I'm a lifetime 48 yr old Ram fan from NY and I loved Faulk(played half with Colts) but there is nobody even close to the Daec! when and who voted for this? Was it the typical 22 yr old uneducated ESPN junkie? or was it the equally uneducated media?

Mike Sando: My unofficial exit polling showed 44 percent of poll respondents owned advanced degrees in engineering or biological sciences. Another 32 percent were published NFL historians. Seriously, though, what about Merlin Olsen?

Will from Salem, Mass., writes: Mike, thanks for the insights all summer on the NFC West teams and specifically the Rams. Regarding predicting their '08 record, I think you're close. I see them as 7-9. Game-by-game is hard to predict, but I see 3-3 vs. the NFC West, 1-3 vs. the NFC East, 1-3 vs. the AFC East, and 2-0 vs. Chicago and Atlanta. 6 and 8 wins are both possible, but either one depends on if the Rams are healthier or more injured than average.

Mike Sando: Thanks, Will. I actually picked the Rams as a wild-card team last season. I was looking for a team that would break through somewhat unexpectedly. I narrowed my choices to the Packers and Rams. We all know how that one turned out. The Rams wound up using 18 combinations on their offensive line. As a result, I might be a little gun-shy on the Rams this season. Their depth isn't very good, it appears, and the schedule seems to stack up unfavorably early in the season.

John from Bremerton writes: do you think the seahawks will unload T.J. Duckett before the second or third game? He seems like a player who will be the odd man out since between Leonard Weaver and Omar Schmitt they seem to have three short yardage go to guys

Mike Sando: That would surprise me. The Seahawks clearly signed Duckett with more than one season in mind. That's why they gave him guarantees in 2009. Maurice Morris' contract is up after this season. Duckett gives them another potential guy to share carries with Julius Jones.

(Read full post)

Posted by's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the Rams' depth at receiver, noting that Marques Hagans, Brandon Williams, Derek Stanley and Reche Caldwell might not earn spots on the 53-man roster. Thomas sees veteran Dane Looker as the likely sixth receiver.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch assesses Adam Goldberg's value to the Rams as an offensive lineman with experience at all five spots. Goldberg has started at left tackle recently, giving Orlando Pace a rest. The photo accompanying this story doesn't inspire confidence, but coach Scott Linehan says Goldberg has played well this summer.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat checks in with backup Rams quarterback Trent Green, who will start the final exhibition game -- against the Chiefs, one of his former teams. Green needs the work after attempting only eight passes during the first three exhibition games.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News quotes Jerry Rice as "expecting [49ers rookie receiver Josh Morgan] to do some great things this year."

Also from Brown: Ashley Lelie's uncertain future heading toward the 53-man cutdown. Lelie has 21 career receptions of at least 40 yards. Can he be a deep threat in Mike Martz's offense?

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers haven't seen enough from their receivers to know how they'll react during the regular season. Injuries and even illness have kept players off the field. Morgan will miss the final exhibition game.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle describes 49ers guard Tony Wragge as an inspiration to players fighting for roster spots. The Cardinals cut him three times. Wragge played in the Arena League and even took a job at Home Depot before finally earning a spot with the 49ers.

Frank Hughes of Seahawks Insider expects Justin Forsett to get plenty of work in the final exhibition game. Forsett might need an impressive performance to earn a roster spot. The practice squad could be the most likely option.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune checks in with new Seahawks long snapper Jeff Robinson, who isn't very new at all. The way Boling breaks it down, Robinson could earn more than $5,000 per snap this season. Boling: "The fact that his wife is a physical therapist and dietician is a key to his readiness, he said. While she's busy running their business, a wellness center named '5focus' on South Lake Union, Robinson has been staying nimble by chasing down their 16-month-old daughter, Mae Louise. It should enhance his coverage skills."

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune saw Seahawks center Chris Spencer fall down twice while making routine blocks in his first practice back from injury. Spencer expects to make his preseason debut Friday night against Oakland.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks signed Robinson to snap after Tim Lindsey suffered a back injury against the Chargers on Monday night. Lindsey had replaced Tyler Schmitt, who also suffered a back injury.

Also from Farnsworth: highlights from practice, including two touchdown catches by John Carlson. The rookie tight end could have a big season.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune breaks down the Cardinals' position battles at receiver and linebacker. Sean Morey, Jamaica Rector and Lance Long could be fighting for the sixth receiving spot. Ali Highsmith, Brandon Moore, Matt Stewart and Monty Beisel could be fighting for two spots at linebacker.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals feel good about third-string quarterback Brian St. Pierre, who learned the offense with Pittsburgh and has completed 76.7 percent of his passes during the exhibition season.

Also from Somers: Kurt Warner gets the start in the final exhibition game. Still no announcement on who starts the regular-season opener, but giving Warner time with the first-team offense puts him in a favorable position.

Posted by's Mike Sando

With 38-year-old Jeff Robinson on the field at Seahawks practice today, the team's special-teams situation is back to snap one. Robinson filled in at snapper for the Seahawks last season. The team needs him again now that rookie draft choice Tyler Schmitt is out for the season.

The Seahawks took great efforts to upgrade their running game this offseason. They have built depth on defense.

But with 11 days until the season opener, the special teams remain unsettled. Robinson is apparently the snapper (Tim Lindsey has handled snapping duties with Schmitt sidelined). Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu are battling for the kicking job. Ryan Plackemeier and Reggie Hodges are battling for the punting job.

Meanwhile, former snapper J.P. Darche, former punter Jeff Feagles and former kicker Josh Brown carry on elsewhere. Special-teams issues can cost teams victories. We saw it happen famously in Seattle before Mike Holmgren arrived and we saw it happen to Seattle last season.

The Seahawks have gotten a lot of things right in the last few seasons, but some of their special-teams decisions haven't worked out as planned.

Roided-out rosters at 75-man limits

August, 26, 2008

Posted by's Mike Sando


All four NFC West teams have made their roster moves in advance of the mandatory reduction to 75 players today. I've made the changes, which means you can download the 25-category roided-out rosters all in one mind-bending file.

The chart shows how each team in the division breaks down at each position. The Rams' Steven Jackson will not count among those totals until the team activates him for a game.

A quick analysis of moves made today:

  • Justin Medlock, released by the Rams, could surface as a kicker elsewhere. He became the odd man out when the Rams signed Josh Brown to a big-money deal in free agency.
  • Tyler Schmitt's season-ending back injury leaves the Seahawks back where they started in the team's quest to upgrade at long snapper. The position has been a problem since J.P. Darche departed in free agency. Tim Lindsey is the snapper for now. He had a low snap against the Chargers on a PAT last night.
  • Linebacker David Hawthorne appears more likely to stick on the Seahawks' 53-man roster now that Will Herring is on the reserve/non-football illness list. Seattle has only seven linebackers on its roster heading into the final exhibition game, and Lofa Tatupu has a knee injury.
  • The Rams' decision to place fourth-round rookie corner Justin King on injured reserve had been expected, but it still had to hurt. King was looking like the potential third cornerback in an already shaky Rams secondary. At least safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is back from injury. Fakhir Brown recovery from injury is another key.
  • None of the 49ers' or Cardinals' cuts came as a surprise or appeared to impact those teams' rosters in meaningful ways. The 49ers' and Cardinals' use of 3-4 schemes on defense leaves them with fewer defensive linemen and more linebackers than typical 4-3 teams such as the Seahawks and Rams.

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Seahawks placed rookie snapper Tyler Schmitt on injured reserve with a back injury as part of their move to meet the 75-man roster limit.

The team also placed linebacker Will Herring on the reserve/non-football illness list. Tackle William Robinson goes on injured reserve. The team also released receiver Joel Filani and defensive back Omare Lowe.

Schmitt's injury leaves Tim Lindsey as the likely snapper for the 2008 season. I'll have updated rosters available shortly.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offers a few notes gleaned from watching a replay of the Packers-49ers game. At the end, he puts Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's record-shattering 100-meter dash time into football terms. Bolt finished in 9.69 seconds even though he seemed to be coasting near the end. That works out to 3.54 seconds for every 40 yards. It doesn't mean Bolt could run a 40-yard dash that quickly, but I like the breakdown anyway.

Dan Brown of 49ers Hot Read digs up some telling quotes from Alex Smith's former college coach at Utah, Urban Meyer. The comments Meyer made in 2006 suggest Smith would benefit much more from getting all the first-team reps in practice. Meyer's comments are toward the bottom of the item. I found them interesting.

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers takes a player-by-player look at how each member of the roster fared against the Packers on Saturday night. Josh Morgan, Ray McDonald and Jonas Jennings were among those faring well.

Maiocco follows up with an item summarizing Mike Nolan's day-after-game news briefing. Did we say news? Sorry. Still not an announcement on the starting quarterback.

Bob Young of the Arizona Republic plays point-counterpoint in the debate over whether Matt Leinart or Kurt Warner should start for the Cardinals.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic breaks down the Cardinals on offense, defense and special teams. Arizona has a long list of pass rushers, but not enough depth at offensive tackle. And if the Cardinals need a clutch field goal, Neil Rackers might make it.

Darren Urban of offers a few postgame notes on the Cardinals. In his view, Steve Breaston has only tightened his grip on the No. 3 receiving spot. Early Doucet's hamstring injury has taken him out of the running for now.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune provides a scouting report from the Seahawks' latest exhibition game. Seattle must keep running back Justin Forsett, he says. Boling also thinks Jordan Kent has evolved into an NFL receiver, not just a prospect. He charts Josh Wilson's recent improvement at cornerback. He likes what he sees from fill-in center Steve Vallos. And he excluded fill-in snapper Tim Lindsey from blame for two blocked punts.

Frank Hughes of Seahawks Insider lists less-established players who performed well against the Bears: Forsett, Wilson, Kevin Hobbs, Owen Schmitt, Kent, Brandon Coutu and Lawrence Jackson. Wilson, in particular, seems to be faring better as camp progresses. 

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer compares Forsett to the late soul singer James Brown. Forsett had 261 all-purpose yards in Seattle's exhibition victory over the Bears on Saturday night.

Farnsworth also sizes up Charlie Frye's up-and-down performance at quarterback for Seattle. Frye tossed three interceptions, but his night wasn't a total loss. The reps are sure to benefit the Seahawks' third-string quarterback.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the bad news for Rams fans: Mark Setterstrom and Brandon Gorin are out for the season.

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Seahawks re-signed long snapper Tim Lindsey at the expense of defensive back Eric Wicks, a seemingly minor move with significantly broader implications.

Every team faces injury problems during camp, but the Seahawks are worse off than any team in the division. Punter Ryan Plackemeier is practicing on a limited basis, but his surgically repaired pectoral has not yet been ready for games.

The team still hasn't declared a winner between kickers Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu, so both remain on the roster. Lindsey was re-signed because the team's only other snapper, Tyler Schmitt, is out with back trouble. A back injury already forced the team's reserve short snapper, guard Chris Gray, into retirement.

What it means: Seattle is carrying six specialists, tied with New Orleans and Tennessee for the league high. The Seahawks are carrying only eight linebackers, 12 defensive backs and four tight ends. Each of those figures is tied for the league low. Only six teams are carrying fewer running backs than Seattle (the Seahawks have six, and one of them, starting fullback Leonard Weaver, is resting a strained hamstring).

How has this happened? Bad luck with injuries, for starters. The Seahawks also bear some of the responsibility. They weren't able to re-sign kicker Josh Brown, leading to the Coutu-Mare race.

They had a perfectly good snapper in J.P. Darche, but they didn't want him back in free agency. Years ago, they let durable punter Jeff Feagles leave in free agency to save a few hundred thousand dollars. Feagles has subsequently set the NFL record for consecutive games played, collecting a Super Bowl ring along the way.