We have saved the best for last when it comes to our Detroit Lions training camp battles series. We’ve dissected the Lions’ roster from front to back, top to bottom, from the middle and to the side? We’ve looked at the Lions’ crazy depth chart at wide receiver. We’ve desperately tried to find a starting strongside linebacker and strong safety. But it’s all been leading up to this moment: The camp battle everyone has their eyes on. #LongSnapperWatch2016 is here, y’all.
The case for Don Muhlbach
Don Muhlbach has been the darling of Lions fans for his entire career -- an impossible feat for any Lions player over the course of 12 years. Throughout his career, he has but one blemish, which is a now-forgotten botched snap on a potential game-tying extra point way back in in 2004.
Since then, he has transformed in Muhldozer: half-man, half-robotic swinging arms of calibrated perfection. He may turn 35 in a few weeks, but those arms haven’t shown any signs of rusting.
The case for Jimmy Landes
Alas, new general manager Bob Quinn wasn’t hipped to Muhldozer’s reputation. The newbie selected Jimmy Landes in the sixth round. The move surprised even Landes, who must have known of Muhlbach’s fame.
In all seriousness, though, I’m sure Landes is a fine long snapper. He participated in the Senior Bowl and was Baylor’s long snapper for two years straight. His biggest appeal, however, is that he’s just 23-years-old (soon to be 24). All things even, the Lions are going to take the guy 11 years younger.
Who has the advantage going into training camp?
The biggest factor in this battle is age, so it is Landes’ job to lose. That being said, if there’s even the smallest sign of nerves from Landes, the Lions should really stick with Muhlbach for another season. Having faced the worst possible situation so young in his career, Muhlbach has proven nothing can shake him at this point in his career.
But age is something not even the cagiest of veterans can shake. If all other things are equal, Landes will be your long snapper in 2016.
If that’s the case, let’s take a look back at he illustrious career of Don Muhlbach one more time, thanks to SandmanLions: