Yes, I apologize- I’ve let this slip under the radar. Is it because I’ve been busy, or because there has been so much dismal things about the Vikings going on (up until we actually beat a team on Sunday)? I hope it’s one of those reasons, and not because he’s "just a long snapper".
Because, while arguably the most uncelebrated positions on a football team, long snapper’s pretty darn important. Chris Kluwe’s leg means nothing if he’s scrambling to make up for inconsistent snaps, or if he’s scrambling for his life because the snapper let a defender bull rush him right into the punter’s grill.
Now, I’ll be fair here- no, Loeffler’s impact on the team isn’t going to dwarf, say, Adrian Peterson or Jared Allen’s impact anytime in the near future. And yes, speaking of Allen, he himself makes for a decent long snapper. However, I think Loeffler’s impact has deservedly drawn enough attention for an extension.
Special teams has been a strength of this team as of late, a rare bright spot in this season and last. And if you discount the importance of that, just ask last year’s San Diego Chargers, who essentially let a crappy ST performance override one of the best offensives and defensives in the league… right out of playoff contention. Our kicker, punter, long snapper, punt returner, kick returner, and coverage unit have not been letting us down, particularly now that Marcus Sherrels has taken over the PR duties.
Kluwe’s still got time left on his contract, Ryan Longwell was resigned over the offseason, and now Loeffler’s back. As an interesting little aside, that means our kicker, punter, and long snapper have been together for six years, which according to STATS, LLC is the longest active run in the NFL. (That tidbit is courtesy of Gil Alcaraz IV, a great Viking contributor on Yahoo! Sports.) Ladies and gents, let’s not overlook that- as we seek to reload into a full five-time run to Super Bowl victories, special teams is something we’ll need, and keeping that bright spot together and shining will be critical.
Oh, and obligatory reference/ reminder to the Floridian Viking Fan Get Together I'm hosting.