Bill Belichick acknowledges Ted Karras’ shaky shotgun snaps

Andy Hart
September 09, 2019 - 2:30 pm

Plenty went pretty close to perfect in the Patriots 33-3 opening night win over the Steelers.

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But, it was a 60-minute football game and that means there were clearly things that could have been executed more efficiently.

Anyone who watched the game – either live at Gillette Stadium or on NBC TV – knows that the shotgun snaps of fill-in starting center Ted Karras were among those areas that might be ripe for improvement heading into Week 2.

Karras started for just the sixth time in his four-year career, just the third time at center, taking over for veteran captain David Andrews who is on IR for the season due to reported blood clots in his lungs. Though the backup center’s overall play was good enough for New England to pile up points on the way to the easy victory, his shotgun snaps frequently seemed to float slowly through the air and at times were also a bit off target.

Somewhat surprisingly, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick openly acknowledged during his Monday conference call with the local media that Karras’ snaps were less than ideal against Pittsburgh.

“I agree with you,” Belichick said to a reporter who questioned the velocity and variance in speed of the snaps. “That's very observant. The timing when the quarterback is in the shotgun is different than when he's under center because he has the ball in his hands through the entire drop where it's different when he's 5 yards behind the center and has to catch the ball and then go through his footwork and so forth. If there's a variance in the snap, either speed or accuracy, then runs over into the footwork and timing of the play then that's just another added degree of difficulty. I'd say that's one of the many things that we can do better.”

Though the snaps seemed to affect Tom Brady’s timing on his footwork and reads on occasion in the win over the Steelers, the quarterback himself downplayed any problems with his backup center’s work.

“No, those were fine. I have no concerns,” Brady deflected during his weekly interview on The Greg Hill show on WEEI. “I think — nobody has played a full game yet except for last night. You go through the preseason and I only played in one preseason game, obviously. I’ve played a lot of football over the years, but it feels good to play a full game and to find the rhythm and to find the flow. I am excited to get a routine now. The football season is here. The fall weather is coming and it’s something I have been so used to for a long period of time.”

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