The Cleveland Browns waived long snapper Ryan Pontbriand today after nine years with the team, including two Pro Bowl selections in 2007 and 2008. First off, I understand that a long snapper isn't exactly a franchise type of player who makes or breaks your team. Pontbriand had been so good for so long though that his release leaves me feeling a bit depressed. (Fans have already been discussing Pontbriand's release in this FanShot).
To be fair, this was Pontbriand's worst season of his career. His failed snap against the Bengals this past week with the game on the line was probably the final straw. How can Pat Shurmur confidently make a decision like that in the future knowing his long snapper might have lost his confidence?
For those who say that Pontbriand only had "one bad snap," that wasn't the case. Earlier this season, Pontbriand botched an extra point snap. Phil Dawson barely got the kick to go through the uprights, so people overlooked it. I've been watching the snaps all season for Pontbriand on field goals, and they aren't as consistent as they used to be. Brad Maynard has had to reach up for high snaps more than you would expect from a long snapper with the track history Pontbriand has. So while I am bummed with the release, I don't think it was an overreaction due to one snap.
Replacing Pontbriand for the rest of the season is long snapper Christian Yount. He spent the first half of this season doing snaps for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while their regular starter was injured.
Brownie points if you can name the long snapper the Browns had before Pontbriand. I remembered his name right away.