Saturday, July 18, 2015

Patriots' Resume - Joe Cardona

What if New England Patriots' head ball coach Bill Belichick required resumes from his players - what would those look like?  We take a stab at them, in alphabetical order...

Dear Sir,

What a weird couple of months it has been, even for a guy whose only job is to snap a football to your kickers.

Obviously, the position is important to you.  You have one of the best kickers in the league and one of the best punters as well, and how the ball gets to them is just as important as what they do with it once the ball is in play - and the ball gets to them fast coming out of my hands.

My snaps have been clocked at 41 miles per hour - not exactly a rocket until one stops to consider that the ball is coming from off the turf and through my legs, with zero follow through. Keeping that in mind, 41 mph is considered to be elite by long snapper standards.

To get that much velocity on the ball with the proper spin takes a lot of confidence, but not as much confidence as it takes for a professional football coach to spend a draft pick on a guy who may or may not have been able to play for him.

As you know, the Navy expects that people they admit to the Academy will in return serve a five-year commitment in the active service of our country, which I fully intend on doing - but your connections to the school (Your father is held in high esteem from being a coach there) must have made you feel good about selecting me in the 5th round, and also may have had something to do with my first duty station...

...a one-year gig at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, which is just an hour south of Foxborough on I-95.  What happens after that is a matter of some conjecture, but there is some precedence to fall back on.

In 1986, the Los Angeles Raiders drafted Napoleon McCallum in the fourth round, and after a short stint as a recruiter at the Academy, he was assigned to a ship home ported in Long Beach, so he was able to play for the Raiders as a rookie - unfortunately, there is also a precedence standing  in which he was transferred to a ship ported in Oakland after the season, forcing McCallum to take a four-year hiatus from playing football.

Will that happen here?  The Navy puts me where they put me, and all I can do is hope for the best. Regardless, my strange journey continues - and it gets even more strange when you stop to consider that I am only the fourth player in the history of the league to be drafted purely as a long snapper...

...which puts me in exclusive company along with Baltimore's Joe Maese (2001, 6th round), Seattle's Tyler Schmidt (2008, 6th round) and New England's jake Ingram (2009, 6th round) - and I hope to be around long enough to be better than any of them.


LTJG Joe Cardona



United States Naval Academy

Work Experience:

2015 - New England Patriots

Personal Information:

Born April 16, 1992 at El Cajon, California
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 242

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