NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Chances are Beau Brinkley is the Tennessee Titan you have never heard of, and that’s fine with him.
For eight years Brinkley’s job is to send a football back through his legs at a high speed to the punter or kicker in less than a second. No pressure, right?
Brinkley says the first snap of the day is the hardest. The challenge, perfection every time. He’s spent eight anonymous years at the Titans’ long snapper.
Brinkley’s unpublicized job can win games on the gridiron when the lights come on. A field goal or a punt begins with him.
“It’s not really glorious,” Brinkley said. “It’s very subtle, just quick. Don’t over think it, just pull the trigger like a loaded gun.”
Catching that bullet at practice on Thursday is equipment manager Matt Thompson.
“You don’t actually know the real speed until you’ve done it for the first time in your life,” said Thompson. “If you’re not ready, it can hurt you real bad.”
Delivered in one-half a second, so few can do it right. But Beau knows. To him, it’s just playing catch upside down.
He was a long snapper in college while also playing tight end and believed he would wind up working a construction job with his dad, but in a snap, that all changed.
“Once I started getting letters and phone calls and stuff,” said Brinkley.
It was a good call by the Titans, even if you don’t know his name.
“In that position, you don’t want anyone to know your name because in that position, if you don’t know their name, they’re doing it right,” said Brinkley.
Brinkley’s specialty is respected and rewarded by the Titans. Currently he makes about $1 million to snap a football.