Originally written on Denver Post  |  Last updated 11/14/14

San Diego Chargers long snapper David Binn during an AFC practice Feb. 7 for the 2007 Pro Bowl at Kapolei, Hawaii. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

With Lonie Paxton unavailable, the Broncos today signed former San Diego Chargers’ long snapper David Binn, 39, to step into the role against New England Saturday.

Binn is renowned as one of the best at the craft in NFL history, but this is how long he was at it before the Chargers released him last summer. He was part of one of the most fun stories I’ve ever done — my Sporting News cover story on long snappers. It ran in October 1995. (Archive version here.)

The Vikings’ Mike Morris, now a talk-show host in Minneapolis, was on the cover, and I spent the most time with him, but also checked in with other long snappers around the league, both in person and on the phone.

Most of them were nuts. And I mean that in a good way.

Here’s the passage on Binn:

David Binn, Chargers

He was a good high school player in San Mateo, then walked on at the University of California, claiming he could make himself indispensable as a snapper. Before long, Binn was lining up for the first time, against the University of Miami, and hearing the Hurricanes’ Russell Maryland declare: “I’m gonna knock you right on your —!” Maryland didn’t, and the snap was fine.

Later, the Cal staff awarded Binn a scholarship. With his flowing hair, Binn — who majored in, ahem, ecology and the social system — seemed more likely to be playing guitar in People’s Park than playing for the football team.

He made the Chargers as an undrafted free agent last year. When he is out in public, Binn will first claim to be a quarterback. “No one believes me,” he says, laughing. “Then I say, `Well, you know the long-snapper?’ They say, `What?’ I say, `Well, long snapping … that’s what I do.’ They laugh. I laugh. They say, `That’s cool. At least you’re out there.’”

I also quoted him in the passage about getting the laces just right:

Increasingly, special-teams coaches are demanding that the snapper deliver the ball to the holder as close to the perfect position every time; in other words, so the holder doesn’t have to spin the ball to get the strings away from the kicker.

“I’m pretty much able to do that every time,” the Chargers’ Binn says. “In college, I didn’t even think about it. We kicked from 7 yards, one foot back and I just held the ball on the laces when I snapped and it came out right naturally. But here in the pros, they said 8 yards and the strings had to be perfect, so I experimented. On field goals, for it to come out right, I hold the strings out to the side, with the fingers on the bare ball. I’ve gotten used to it.”

My Friday morning story on John Fox.

email: tfrei@denverpost.com

Terry Frei’s Web Site, With Book Information plus News, Views and Experiences

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

Cullen Jenkins unhappy over his roughing the passer fine

Bochy: Peavy trade was best in-season move of 2014

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each NFL Week 17 game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.