… because we say it is. There’s great reason to celebrate Muhlbach and everything he has brought to this team during his tenure in Detroit.
In the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Lions used pick number 210 on long snapper Jimmy Landes. While he signed a 1-year deal in March, this very likely spells the end of a career for the Lions’ long snapper since 2004.
Don Muhlbach was great for the Detroit Lions
Don Muhlbach was an undrafted free agent signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2004. On November 10th, 2004 the Lions found themselves in need of a new long snapper to replace the injured Jody Littleton. Upon signing him, the GM Matt Millen labeled Muhlbach the “Nolan Ryan of long snappers”. It could be said that signing Muhlbach is possibly the only good thing Matt Millen ever did for the Detroit Lions. At minimum, it was one of the few times that Millen’s bluster was warranted.
Muhlbach’s career got off to quite a bumpy start. On December 20, 2004, Joey Harrington led the team 80 yards downfield in just 90 seconds as the clock wound down against the Minnesota Vikings. When the Lions lined up for the field goal, Muhlbach bounced the snap to Nick Harris with just 8 seconds left in the game. As a result, the Lions missed the game-tying field goal attempt and an opportunity for an overtime comeback. Even with that mistake, the team stayed faithful to Muhlbach, and he hasn’t botched a single snap since. Not only has he only botched a single snap in his career, he’s only missed one game. That was back in 2005 as a result of having a concussion.
Muhlbach was deservedly named to his first Pro Bowl in 2012 when he was chosen by Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy to join the team.
As fans, we never want to think about watching our teams play without the legends that made us fall in love with them, however Lions fans should likely begin preparations for life without the great long snapper, Don Muhlbach.
Here’s a video tribute from our friend Sandman, one of the finest Lions highlight producers: