When the Giants were spending time this season going through linebackers like paper towels, there was a lot of speculation about who could play the position and who they might bring in and all kinds of possibilities.
All the while one guy was on the roster and, had the Giants wanted to make him so, available. That was Zak DeOssie, the team’s long-snapper who was actually drafted in 2007 as a linebacker and played the position pretty well at Brown.
I’d been meaning to ask DeOssie if that bothered him that he was not given a chance to play on defense – he never even practiced the position, even when they were bringing Chase Blackburn in off his couch to start at middle linebacker.
“No, I’m a long-snapper,” he said. “That’s what I do. Two years ago it would have hurt because I thought I was still playing linebacker but I signed a contract as a long-snapper. I’m a specialist in this league and I’m proud of it.”
DeOssie may be a specialist but he’s also a good enough athlete to run down and make plays on punt coverages. In other words he’s not a stiff who can only snap. He wanted to hear none of it.
“I know my role on this team,” he said. “Who’s going to snap if I get hurt? It’s not worth the risk. I’d rather them call Chase and bring him in and have him kill it like he has been. A couple of years ago when I was a quasi-linebacker and didn’t know what was going on (it might have bothered me). I know what my role is.”