The acronym LS In football stands for the long snapper position. An LS in football is a special team position that is involved with snapping the ball on field goals and punting plays.
Long snapper is one of the lowest-paid and least talked about positions in sports. Since they only play, punts, field goals, and extra points these players are only on the field for a few plays a game.
Many people seem to discredit the long snapper position and seem to think that a center would be able to snap the ball effectively for these plays. Though anyone who has spent enough time around football knows that a long snapper is a vital position to a football team.
This point is further proven by the fact that every single NFL team uses a long snapper of their 53 roster spots on a long snapper.
What Does An LS Do?
Now that you know what that LS stands for the long snapper position you may be wondering what sorts of responsibilities this position has on the field.
Below we will cover all the roles that the long snapper plays on a football team.
Long Snapping On Punts
One of the main responsibilities of an LS in football is long snapping the ball on punts. On a punt the punter is going to be about ten to fifteen yards back from the line of scrimmage.
This means the long snapper is going to have to snap the ball up to fifteen yards through his legs into the hands of the punter.
This is a surprisingly hard feat to accomplish and if the snap is inaccurate it can have grave consequences.
On a punt, there will be a large number of defenders rushing the punter in hopes of blocking the punt. If the snap misses the punter there is going to be a good chance the defense comes up with the ball.
If the snap goes over the punter’s head it will be a race between the punter and several defenders to determine which player is able to come down with the ball. This usually results in the defense getting the ball and oftentimes a touchdown.
Long Snaps On Field Goals And Extra Points
On top of long snapping for punting plays, long snappers also play a role in field goals and extra points.
When a kicker is attempting the field goal the holder is going to be about seven yards back from the line of scrimmage.
The long snapper will have to snap the ball into the hands of the holder so that he can set the ball up for the kick.
Similar to a punt there will be many defenders attempting to get into the backfield in order to block the kick. For this reason, the long snapper needs to be sure to snap the ball at a good speed.
Speed of the snap is so important that teams will often measure a long snappers ball speed when evaluating him as a prospect.
Punt coverage is the one aspect of a long snapper’s job that does not involve snapping the ball. Once the punter kicks the ball the long snapper becomes one of the players on the punt team looking to bring down the punt returner.
On these plays, the long snapper will work his way downfield in an attempt to tackle the player. Since long snappers are not typically the best athletes they are often not the players that end up making a tackle.
But every once and while you will notice that the LS is the player that ultimately brings the punt returner down.