On Thursday, Friday and Today Ryan West came to Scottsdale, Arizona for some One on One Snapping Lessons. Ryan played his collegiate football at the University of Tennessee and upon graduation was signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons.
Ryan called me about a week ago and wanted to come out to Scottsdale and get an evaluation of his long snapping talent. He wanted to know if he had the talent to snap in the NFL.
In the three days I worked with Ryan I believe he has the talent to snap in the NFL. In the first lesson I saw the raw talent a long snapper needs as far as size, snapping velocity and blocking technique. He is a student of the game and has a passion to succeed.
However, the most important ingredient was he was very coachable. With every coaching point I made and adjustment I asked him to make, he made it.
Ryan pretty much was taught to snap by his father. His father did an excellent job! However, to make it to the NFL, I felt Ryan needed to refine his technique with drills that would help him improve his accuracy and consistency.
Ryan's philosophy on snapping was pretty much come out on the field and start snapping. He really didn't do any type of warm up or drills, except throw a couple of passes and start snapping.
I believe every kicking specialist needs to have drills to stress fundamentals. So, I introduced Ryan to several snapping drills that I have used through my college and NFL career to train snappers.
During the first lesson we video taped Ryan from several angles so I could evaluate his long and short snapping technique. The video confirmed some of the coaching points I made to Ryan on the field.
One thing is for a coach to point out a flaw or make a correction to a player, however, the most important factor is the teaching progression that a coach uses to make the correction.
In the above photo Ryan snapped to Jon Ryan, the former Green Bay Packers Punter who was also in town for some One on One Punting Lessons.
Ryan was taught to snap and protect a certain way! I noticed that his long snapping became a little erratic when he tried to snap and jump out and block a specific side.
In the above photo we worked on Ryan snapping and kick stepping or retreating straight back off the ball and then block a side and it really improved his accuracy.
Again, I must say Ryan took a coaching point and made himself better!
In the above photo Ryan is working on his field goal snapping technique. On 10 snaps Ryan is trying to snap perfect laces 10 for 10. The first day Ryan was a little erratic with his accuracy, on my perfect laces drill. After analyzing his technique I once again gave him a drill to emphasize a minor flaw in his technique to improve his follow through and finish his snaps and he instantly improved. At the end of the second One on One Lesson he finished the day with all perfect snaps.
It's refreshing to work with someone who not only listens but also accepts coaching. And the ultimate high for a coach is you can see improvement.
Ryan has the potential to be an NFL long snapper, however drill work on fundamentals will give him the correct muscle memory to improve his accuracy and consistency.
Now all Ryan needs is for a team to give him a chance to prove himself.
It was a pleasure working with Ryan and I wish him the best of luck in his quest to be an NFL long snapper.
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