Snapshot: Jared Retkofsky

The beat goes on this week at SteelCityInsider.com with a continuation of our Snapshot series. Here's the story of long-snapper Jared Retkofsky:

PITTSBURGH -- Jared Retkofsky is one of the few in professional football who knows better than to actually look at what he's doing. He prefers to do his job "blind."

The Steelers' rookie free-agent long-snapper out of Texas Christian University calls it "blind snapping."

What that entails is lining up the target momentarily with his eyes then looking straight ahead before snapping the ball. It's a trait he learned while studying former Steelers long snapper Kendall Gammon, a 16-year NFL vet who recently retired.

"It is something that I am very comfortable doing," Retkofsky said. "The crazy thing about it is when I do look at my target I am not very accurate at all. But when I don't look at the target I am pretty true with the snap."

Whether that's enough for the relatively new and inexperienced long snapper to supplant Greg Warren during training camp is another story. However, it's not as if there hasn't been precedent for a rookie free agent to come in and beat out a veteran snapper. Warren did just that two years ago when, as an unknown out of North Carolina, he won the job from veteran Mike Schneck during training camp.

"Who knows what is going to happen?" Retkofsky said. "But I am looking forward to learning from a great snapper like Greg. He is one of the best in the league and just watching what he does will help me out down the road. I know it is going to be tough for me to make the team, but this is sort of an audition for me. Who knows what happens down the road with injuries?"

Unlike many prospects at this position, Retkofsky has the size and experience at other positions to contribute outside of special teams. He came to TCU as a defensive lineman, but quickly became a dual threat when he took up long snapping before his junior season. He was the Horned Frogs' long snapper in both his junior and senior seasons.

"Our guy got hurt and they asked me if I would try it out," Retkofsky said. "I kind of liked it a lot."

But he didn't give up his defensive line duties in the process. He was a contributor at left defensive end and defensive tackle throughout his career with the Horned Frogs.

"This is the NFL and it is always better the more you can do," Retkofsky said. "They really haven't said anything about playing defensive line, but I am willing and able to do anything."

Retkofsky was a three-year letterman for the Horned Frogs, totaling 34 tackles in his career. Eight of those stops were for a loss, including 4.5 sacks. He played in all 35 games for TCU over the past three seasons.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder was one of the top long snappers in this past year's draft. He was one of only three long snappers who were invited to the combine in Indianapolis in February.

His athleticism separates him from most at his position as he left TCU with the record for broad jump (10'1") by a defensive lineman, and he consistently ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.8s.

"Playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine," Retkofsky said. "Even if it is only going to be for a short time it's OK because this will show me if I am capable of being an NFL-caliber long snapper. Not a lot of people can do what a long snapper does. So I am grateful for the opportunity I have."


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\nPITTSBURGH -- Jared Retkofsky is one of the few in professional football who knows better than to actually look at what he's doing. He prefers to do his job \"blind.\"\r\n

The Steelers' rookie free-agent long-snapper out of Texas Christian \r\nUniversity calls it \"blind snapping.\"\r\n

What that entails is lining up the target momentarily with his eyes then \r\nlooking straight ahead before snapping the ball. It's a trait he learned while studying former Steelers long snapper Kendall Gammon, a 16-year NFL vet who recently retired.\r\n

\"It is something that I am very comfortable doing,\" Retkofsky said. \"The \r\ncrazy thing about it is when I do look at my target I am not very accurate \r\nat all. But when I don't look at the target I am pretty true with the snap.\"\r\n

Whether that's enough for the relatively new and inexperienced long snapper \r\nto supplant Greg Warren during training camp is another story. However, it's not as if there hasn't been precedent for a rookie free agent to come in and beat out a veteran snapper. Warren did just that two years ago when, as an unknown out of North Carolina, he won the job from veteran Mike Schneck during training camp.\r\n

\"Who knows what is going to happen?\" Retkofsky said. \"But I am looking \r\nforward to learning from a great snapper like Greg. He is one of the best in \r\nthe league and just watching what he does will help me out down the road. I \r\nknow it is going to be tough for me to make the team, but this is sort of an \r\naudition for me. Who knows what happens down the road with injuries?\"\r\n

Unlike many prospects at this position, Retkofsky has the size and \r\nexperience at other positions to contribute outside of special teams.\r\nHe came to TCU as a defensive lineman, but quickly became a dual threat when \r\nhe took up long snapping before his junior season. He was the Horned Frogs' long snapper in both his junior and senior seasons.\r\n

\"Our guy got hurt and they asked me if I would try it out,\" Retkofsky said. \r\n\"I kind of liked it a lot.\"\r\n

But he didn't give up his defensive line duties in the process. He was a contributor at left defensive end and defensive tackle throughout \r\nhis career with the Horned Frogs. \r\n

\"This is the NFL and it is always better the more you can do,\" Retkofsky \r\nsaid. \"They really haven't said anything about playing defensive line, but I \r\nam willing and able to do anything.\"\r\n

Retkofsky was a three-year letterman for the Horned Frogs, totaling 34 \r\ntackles in his career. Eight of those stops were for a loss, including 4.5 \r\nsacks. He played in all 35 games for TCU over the past three seasons.\r\n

The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder was one of the top long snappers in this past \r\nyear's draft. He was one of only three long snappers who were invited to the \r\ncombine in Indianapolis in February.\r\n

His athleticism separates him from most at his position as he left TCU with \r\nthe record for broad jump (10'1\") by a defensive lineman, and he \r\nconsistently ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.8s.\r\n

\"Playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine,\" Retkofsky said. \"Even \r\nif it is only going to be for a short time it's OK because this will show me \r\nif I am capable of being an NFL-caliber long snapper. Not a lot of people \r\ncan do what a long snapper does. So I am grateful for the opportunity I \r\nhave.\"\r\n

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