Snapping into gear

(Patriots long snapper Lonie Paxton)

If you walked down North end in Boston, and asked 10 people who Lonie Paxton was they’d say, “That guy who made the snow angel.” True, he did make the snow angle but there is more, a lot more, behind that one snow angel.

Leonidas Paxton the third, a Californian, which is evident by his surfer look with plenty of tattoos, extended Centennial High School in Corona, California. After being a captain at CHS, Paxton then moved on to Sacramento State. Lonie started all four year at OG and in the process also snapped. However at only 6-1 250 pounds, it appeared that there would be no extra step in the football life of Lonnie Paxton.

That didn’t stop the Pats from taking a chance.

On April 19th, 2000, the Patriots signed the SSU star and immediately had him do what he did best, snap. Paxton relished the opportunity by simply saying, “I’m just glad I’m here.”

He never looked back, Paxton has snapped through rough times (5-11 in 2000) and great times (the modern dynasty). Never once has he made a bad snap, even when he tried to make a bad snap in a Monday night game against the Denver Broncos (to force a safety) a couple years back, Paxton hit the field goal post dead on.

Funny, uh.

This past summer at Pats training camp, I watched him snap the ball from 30 yards in the field goal posts. That incredible. He is very consistent. Nobody on this team has been more consistent then Paxton, every snap is right on and that’s important. He does his job, he doesn’t cry about money he just does what he loves.

So you can say Vinatieri won us the superbowls, which is fair, or Tom Brady, which is fair, but what happens if Paxton didn’t snap that ball perfect? Where would we be right now?

The snow angel was cool, and that’ll always be remembered but next time you see hear Lonie Paxton, don’t think snow angel, think football player. And a damn good one at that.

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