On this edition of our 2018 roster review, we take a look at special teams. With long-time long snapper Don Muhlbach (aka “the Muhl”) set to be a free agent, his future in Detroit could be up in the air.
Expectations before 2018
We have a saying here at Pride of Detroit: ‘Don Muhlbach, rinse, repeat.” If anything could sum up his career with the Lions it would be that. Muhlbach has been the epitome of consistency in his 15 years with the Lions.
The Lions have made it clear that they’ve been trying to replace the Muhl for a while now. In Bob Quinn’s first year as general manager, he selected Baylor long snapper Jimmy Landes in the sixth round, yet Muhlbach outlasted Landes and won the job that season.
Since then, he has continued to operate as smooth as ever, and expectations going into the 2018 were more of the same.
Actual role in 2018
The Muhl delivered. The 2018 season was as good as any other for Muhlbach, and there weren’t any problems on the snapping front.
It’s worth noting that in December the Lions brought in a few long snappers for tryouts. Less than a month later, however, Muhlbach earned his second career Pro Bowl nod.
Outlook for 2019
Contract Status: Re-signed with the Lions on 2/13/19
At 37 years old, the Muhl is getting up there in age. That didn’t stop the Lions from giving him another contract, however, signing Muhlbach for the 2019 season at the veteran’s minimum.
Lions brass made it clear with the late-season tryouts that they’re open to other, younger options, so don’t be surprised if he faces legitimate competition in training camp. But, for now, he’s running unopposed.
If the fiesty #LongSnapperWatch that took place following the drafting of Jimmy Landes taught us anything, it’s that the contract means nothing and the better player will make it.
The Muhl has been doubted before, however, and who knows—maybe he can prove them wrong once more.