A Snappy Weekend

Five years ago, Bridgeport native Tim Lindsey was just happy to have the opportunity to be a walk-on at WVU. Now, after a successful career in Morgantown, he's looking to take his game to the pros.

Though the position of long snapper doesn't conjur up images of gridiron glory in one's mind, it is still one of the most important spots on the football field. After all, it's hard to kick a field goal or flip the field position with a punt if you can't get the ball from the line of scrimmage to the leg of the kicker. For the past two seasons, Lindsey has been one of the most consistent long snappers in the nation. This past weekend, he took the first step in continuing his career at the next level.

For much of the process leading up to the NFL Draft, Tim was basically just another face in the crowd. In fact, it wasn't until a few weeks prior to last weekend's annual two-day draft that Lindsey really began the process of sending out highlight tapes of his past two years as the starting long snapper for the Mountaineers. Once his film was on the desks of several NFL teams, it didn't take long for the calls to start coming in.

Two teams in particular, the Washington Redskins and New York Jets, really liked what they saw on film from the former Bridgeport Indian. Both clubs invited Lindsey to their mini-camps. This past weekend, Tim found himself at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va.

It would be easy to understand if Lindsey walked into the mini-camp with a litany of expectations. According to him, that was not the case.

"I really didn't have any expectations," said Lindsey in an interview with BlueGoldNews.com. "I was going in open minded. It's the highest level of football there is, so just to have an opportunity to be there was great."

That's not to say that the snapper was content just to be there and wasn't expecting to compete. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

"Mentally, they threw a lot at us," said the exercise physiology major. "When you're in front of elite coaches (such as Hall of Fame 'Skins boss Joe Gibbs), you definitely want to go out and perform the best that you can. I'm trying to make this my profession, so it's pretty serious now."

So, what kind of a first impression did he make?

"This was a very good weekend for me snap-wise," he said. "My control was as good as it could have been. My control has been good, and I wanted to get it even better. My velocity has always been a big strength, and it was great this weekend.

"This is the best I've snapped my entire career," he continued. "I really feel that I have more control over the ball than I ever did in high school or college."

And, like any other business, the positive performance resulted in positive feedback. Though 13-year veteran Ethan Albright currently has a stranglehold on the job, Lindsey made enough of a positive impression this weekend to get his foot in the proverbial door.

"(Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith) was really good to me," Lindsey said. "He told me it's not a matter of if I play in the NFL, it's a matter of when.

"That kind of makes you feel good. He told me he would be in touch with me. He told me to keep myself available. That gave me confidence, but I can't say it's a guarantee."

If there is one guarantee in the NFL, it is that there are no guarantees. That being said, the name of Tim Lindsey is now out there.

"The main thing about the whole situation is the exposure," he explained. "My name is in the free agent pool right now. If any team in the NFL wants a long snapper and they look at the free agent pool, I'm there. I've got my foot in the door. Long snappers are commodities. Sometimes you just have to wait for your time to come.

Barring a contract offer from the Redskins, he'll be heading to East Hempstead, N.Y. this weekend to work out with the New York Jets.

Who knows if either tryout will result in a contract offer? Common sense would lead one to believe that a snapper as accurate as Lindsey (not one bad snap in his two years as the starter) should land him a roster spot somewhere in the NFL. Then again, common sense and the "League" aren't exactly synonymous.

No matter what happens, though, you can bet on one thing: Lindsey will remain humble.

"It's very surreal," he said. "That's the best way that I can put it. When I'm sitting here thinking about it, I ask myself if this is true. It really is. I saw a commercial last night about NFL mini-camps, and I just got done doing that. It's really cool to know that this is going on."

Hopefully, it's the beginning of a lengthy career for Bridgeport's native son.

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