It’s funny how parallel football is to the actual real world, the people who inhabit real world jobs, and the idiosyncrasies that go into making the real world what it truly is.
In the NFL, players have come to realize, no job or roster spot is safe. Players can be cut, traded, suspended, or even placed on injured reserve.
The parallel between football and the real world is funny because right now the long snapper of the Detroit Lions is part of the comedy act – and Don Mulhbach couldn’t be in a more serious situation.
Mulhbach is currently fighting to keep the job that he has had since 2004. That is eight years of service! In the NFL, that seems like a lifetime because the length of the average player’s career is decreasing year in and year out. In the real world, especially in the state of Michigan, that is something that we are faced with every day. Job security is one of the biggest unknowns in a declining economy like the one we are living in and now Mulhbach is getting a taste of our real world.
The Lions worked out undrafted rookie free agent long snapper Matt Camilli and signed him on Thursday after waving guard Pat Boyle. Camilli also recently spent time in the Philadelphia Eagle’s minicamp last month.
You may be asking, “Why do I care about the job security of a special teams player—especially one who plays such a specialized position?” Well, I will tell you why.
Last offseason, veteran punter Nick Harris entered his eighth year as the Lions punter and went up against undrafted rookie free agent Ryan Donahue from Iowa for the Lions’ punting job. All signs pointed toward Harris retaining his job; however, after miserable training camp and preseason performances, Harris lost the job to the unproven rookie. I reiterate, just like the real world, no one’s job is safe.
Of course, with Harris being an experienced veteran with a booming leg, he quickly caught on with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was a cornerstone player for the team’s special teams last season.
Mulhbach has watched this movie before with Nick Harris and Ryan Donahue. Hopefully, for Mulhbach’s sake, he works even harder in training camp than he has in past years because he knows with Tom Lewand, Martin Mayhew, and Jim Schwartz making all of the front office moves, his job could be on the line.
Don Mulhbach will be the favorite to win the job of long snapper going into camp, but anything could happen. Perhaps the Lions didn’t see enough from Mulhbach during OTAs. However, just like the rest of us in the real world, Mulhbach will have to play the waiting game and see if he will still have a job this coming fall.
In other news, the Detroit Lions and head coach Jim Schwartz have come to an agreement on a multi-year contract that will ensure that Schwartz stays on the Lions’ sidelines for the next couple of years.