RGIII: "Too much character on this team to fold."
Since being released by the Seahawks in August, Kyle Nelson had been practicing his long snaps each day and just waiting for another opportunity.
And waiting, and waiting.
Then it finally came. Nick Sundberg had suffered a season-ending injury in Dallas on Sunday night and Redskins reached out to Nelson and three other long snappers. On Tuesday at Redskins Park, Nelson claimed the job after a lengthy tryout.
“The tryouts are harder than the games,” Nelson said Wednesday morning. “Everyone is just watching you. We probably snapped 40-50 balls and that’s not including the warm-ups.”
The long-awaited opportunity is a bittersweet one for Nelson. He works out in Phoenix during the offseason with Sundberg. They share the same snapping coach, Ben Bernard. Nelson even suspects that Sundberg recommended him to the Redskins.
“First of all, I felt bad for Nick because of what happened. He’s going to come out of that surgery fine,” Nelson said Sundberg, who was scheduled to have knee surgery Wednesday. “He kind of put my name out there and I’m thankful for that.”
Nelson appeared in six games last season for the Chargers. He also participated in two preseason games with the Seahawks before being released.
The 27-year-old had previously tried out for the Redskins last season when Sundberg suffered a broken arm but was beaten out by veteran Justin Snow. This time, Nelson was the most consistent snapper on the field. (Snow was not among the candidates on Tuesday.)
Now comes Nelson’s next big challenge: developing rhythm and chemistry with holder Sav Rocca and kicker Kai Forbath. The trio has four practices before the Bears visit FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon.
“A day or two,” Nelson said, asked how long it might take to get onto the same page. “It’s just reps. It could take a little longer. It could be less. It just depends on the connection with have.”