In an ideal world, an article discussing the team’s long snapper never exists, but right now, in Washington, the situation is far from ideal, and we need to talk.
Camaron Cheeseman, Washington’s long snapper was taken out of Michigan in 6th round of the 2021 draft. Washington actually traded up in the draft to snake Cheeseman at the pick just before Chiefs’ star right guard Trey Smith, but that’s a story that has already been told many times before.
Since 2021, Cheeseman seemed like a fine, if unnotable, long snapper, which is really what most fans desire from the position as, generally when they are being recognized, it’s for less-than-stellar play, as is the case in this piece.
At some point over the course of this offseason, we were told, cryptically, that Cheeseman was “working on a new snapping technique.” That seemed innocuous enough. Perhaps there had been a sports physics breakthrough in how to snap the ball farther and faster in the post-COVID period that Washington’s long snapper was adopting, and that would benefit both Joey Slye and Tress Way.
But instead of it being an improvement, it’s pretty much been an unmitigated disaster. And the car wreck has been very slowly developing.
What a wormburner hold by Tress Way!!!! pic.twitter.com/mZMLN8rCsg— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 22, 2023
.@CraigHoffman (pod): “The consistency of bad snaps is not good enough for Cheeseman… This is not good.”— Burgundy Blog (@BurgundyBlog) August 16, 2023
Uh oh! Bad snap from Camaron Cheeseman. That’s been something that has been noticeable in camp and now it’s spilling over to games— Tobi Altizer (@Tobi_Altizer) August 22, 2023
Stock up/down from tonight #HTTC— Mason Kinnahan (@Mason_Kinnahan) August 22, 2023
So, with an overall poor showing - salvaged repeatedly by Way - throughout the pre-season, why was Cheeseman even attempting a change? The answer appeared in an interview with Way in early August.
I found the transcript of Tress Way talking about long snapper Cam Cheeseman making a change to how he snaps the ball. This was from two weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/i6WVZvGDp7— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) August 22, 2023
This sounds to me like Cheeseman - a couple years into the league - got bored, thought he could refine his craft in the offseason, and decided to change up his technique a bit. Way apparently endorsed the attempt at the time, even if it seemed like a “nice to have” rather than a “had to have.”
Fast forward through the shaky pre-season and we arrive at Week 1, with Cheeseman still sending snaps sliding along the turf, and we now have a legitimate issue. Another terrible snap saved by Way’s expert fielding skills.
These Cheeseman snaps need to be sorted ASAP.— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) September 10, 2023
Whatever this attempt at a new snap style is, it's not working.
Fortunate that Tress Way set this up nicely. Good recovery.#HTTC pic.twitter.com/ZXRf6jOc20
Bad snap by Cheeseman; had a few of those in the preseason. Having Way as the holder is key— John Keim (@john_keim) September 10, 2023
The Camaron Cheeseman spiral-tightening experiment has gone far enough in 2023, in my estimation, and it’s time to transition back to the “good enough” spiral of 2021 and 2022, before it starts costing the team points.
Let’s hope Ron Rivera and Nate Kaczor impress upon the long snapper that the time for testing new approaches needs to be put on ice until the next offseason, or else the team will need to start bringing in more reliable options for a look.
Are you concerned about Cheeseman’s snapping?
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When would you bring in long snapping competition?
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In another week.
In a month.