The Green Bay Packers have a battle at long snapper, and veteran Brett Goode isn’t part of it.
The Packers signed Derek Hart on Friday. Hart (6-4, 245) was James Madison’s primary long snapper from 2013 through 2015. Hart played tight end as a freshman and had three catches for 53 yards.
Hart will challenge Taybor Pepper, who was signed on Jan. 27. As was the case with Hart, Pepper (6-4, 245) didn’t play in the NFL last season. He snapped at Michigan State from 2012 through 2015, tallying 10 tackles during that span.
What about Goode, the team’s snapper for most of the past nine seasons? Presumably, Goode will be like a fire extinguisher — kept behind a glass door that should be broken only in case of emergency. Goode never was a great athlete to begin with, so being 32 and coming off a knee injury didn’t help. He had no tackles in the regular season but did have one in the playoffs. Goode had five tackles in 2010 but only one in 2011, one in 2012, one in 2013 and none in any of the past three seasons.
What Goode was was a reliable snapper. The Packers figure to let the rookies battle but keep Goode’s number handy in case neither pan out. That’s what they did last year. Goode suffered a torn ACL late in the 2015 season and wasn’t re-signed until the end of training camp last summer.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.