Brett Goode had a busy day the last time the Green Bay Packers played the Seattle Seahawks, even if few fans were aware he was there.
As the Packers’ long snapper, Goode’s goal is to be anonymous. The only time you will hear his name mentioned during a TV game broadcast is if he makes a mistake.
Against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game last January, Goode snapped for kicker Mason Crosby’s five field goals, which set a franchise single-game playoff record and tied an NFL postseason mark. He also snapped for five Tim Masthay punts in the Packers’ 28-22 overtime loss.
Goode and Crosby are the only two players to have appeared in all 113 regular-season (and 11 postseason) Packers games from 2008-15. Goode (pronounced GEWD), who signed with the Packers before the 2008 season after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, has snapped for the six longest field goals in franchise history (all by Crosby).
Goode, a 6-foot-1, 255-pound native of Pampa, Texas who played four college seasons for Arkansas, spoke with Press-Gazette Media about the life of an NFL long snapper:
How did you wind up becoming a long snapper?
Honestly, it was to make the ninth-grade team. That was the only way I was going to be able to travel with the ninth grade. They needed a snapper, so I just started trying to do it and figured it out. I did it all through high school and then got recruited to do it at Arkansas and that’s all I did there.
Did you enjoy doing it, find you had a knack for it?
Oh yeah, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. And then, going into high school, I actually had a coach who had snapped in college. So he started working with me all those years in high school.
Did you ever imagine you’d be here after the Jaguars released you in 2008?
I kept positive. You never know what’s going to happen. I just tried to make sure I stayed ready…everything else was out of my control. Then when I was ready, I got to come in and try to prove that I could do it. Kept practicing, kept working out and tried to make sure I was ready if I got a call.
What does it take to be good at the position?
Anonymity is in there, always. Just trying to be as consistent and as fast as possible. That’s the big thing that they want. You don’t want your name in the paper or anything like that.
What’s the most challenging aspect of the job, snapping for field goals or punts?
They’re real different. One of them, the punter is back further, and your protection is moving right or left. On a field goal, it’s a lot quicker process. You’re trying to get the kick off in under 1.3 seconds.
So you spend all your time at practice working with Tim Mastay and Mason Crosby?
That’s what we do all day. We eat lunch together, we do pretty much everything.
What about punt coverage, how important is your role there?
My biggest thing is trying to get down the field in my lane. Trying to be where I’m supposed to be. Obviously, the other guys are paid to make tackles and I get paid to snap, but you definitely want to get down there and, if the guy comes to me, I try to make the tackle but if not, be in my lane so that way, it forces him over to somebody else.
What’s it like when you’re lined up and looking back between your legs for the snap and you’ve got a guy across from you ready to plow into you?
You get used to it. I know when I’m going to snap so hopefully, I get them on my time and not theirs so they can’t jump it.
Do you feel any extra pressure when it’s a game-deciding kick?
No, because the holder’s not running around. It’s not like a quarterback where he’s got people running in different positions. Tim is sitting there and it’s stuff we practice all the time. You just want to make everything the same, whether it’s an extra point in the first quarter or a game-winning kick at the end.
You’ve got quite an iron-man streak going … you haven’t missed a game since you got here (113 regular-season games and 11 playoff games). Proud of that?
That’s good. That’s a big key, just being out there every week.
What do you like to do away from the field?
Tim makes fun of me because I say I like to watch TV. I love movies. We had a kid (Jackson) two months ago so that’s a new aspect that’s a lot of fun. Being with him is awesome. … I still try to play the guitar when he’s taking a nap, still enjoy doing that. Being married (to wife Monica) and having a kid, you don’t get to learn new songs as much. But I like to practice all the ones that I do know and keep those fresh.
Former Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly finally retired last year at age 39 after 16 seasons. You’re 30. How long do you hope to keep doing this?
I’ll do it as long as they let me. Until they tell me you can’t do it anymore. I’m just taking it one day and one play at a time.
— firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter@Stucourt.