FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots’ long snapper position has been in good hands the last nine years with Lonie Paxton. With Paxton now in Denver, eight-year veteran Nathan Hodel is competing against sixth-round draft choice Jake Ingram.
Ingram handled all the snapping chores in Thursday’s preseason opener, with the Patriots converting two field goals and getting off three punts. There didn't appear to be any issues with the snaps.
With this in mind, I asked Belichick his assessment of the snapping, in addition to how challenging it is to make a determination of who wins the job with such a small sample size in games.
“That’s a hard question to answer, it’s no different than if you were evaluating a kicker or a punter that had the same number of opportunities,” he answered. “I think a lot of things have to weigh into it.”
Belichick then broke down some of the areas of consideration:
Belichick then made the point that the analysis can change from week to week, pointing out that he was asked a question recently about Julian Edelman not being able to catch punts. “I’d be surprised if anyone asked that question today,” he said in reference to Edelman scoring on a 75-yard punt return Thursday night.
The follow-up question was how Belichick currently views the competition between Hodel and Ingram. He responded that he feels both players are capable of doing the job, before breaking down the different areas that are being analyzed.
“Depending on which area you want to talk about, there may be a different ranking of the players, and those rankings could change over the next few days or few weeks,” he said. “But I think it’s competitive. We’ll just have to see how it turns out.”