Boyer begins his NFL dream
By Kirk Larrabee on May 11, 2015
Seattle Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer saw his first time on an NFL practice field over the weekend, the latest step in an incredible journey that has seen him come from the wars of the Middle East to an NFL roster.
Boyer, 34, has a story that made national headlines. The former Green Beret who has seen tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft.
“To be able to say I am officially an NFL player — for as long as it lasts — is amazing,” Boyer said Friday, via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “It is hard to describe.”
Boyer is competing with starting long snapper Clint Gresham, who contacted Boyer as soon as he signed.
“Clint Gresham reached out to me soon after I got that phone call,” Boyer said. “He was one of the first people to reach out to me, so it’s not going to be an ill-willed thing. It’s going to be two guys competing, having fun and getting after it. That is what is best for the organization in the end, and that’s what matters. It is such a good opportunity and I am so fortunate to be here. I am soaking up every minute of it, and I am going to give everything I can, and may the chips fall where they may.”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seems satisfied with Boyer’s long snapping ability but now wants to see how Boyer will fare as a blocker.
“He’s an amazing man,” Carroll said. “We’re thrilled to have him. He snaps the ball pretty sweet, too. … He’s going to be in a big competition with Gresh. We’ll see how that goes.
“We need to see if he can hold up blocking-wise,” Carroll said, via Seahawks.com. “He’s not a big man. We know that he’s going to give you everything he’s got, which is all we’ve ever asked of our guys. Now we’ve got to see how that translates.”
Boyer, 34, says he helped gain skill as a long snapper in Afghanistan.
“I was snapping to walls,” he said. “I would go out on the field and snap into the goal posts and use that as a target. When I was in Afghanistan I built a target out of plywood with a couple holes in it as my bulls-eyes; one higher up for punts and one lower for field goals.”
Boyer may face a tough competition in order to make the Seahawks roster, but he says his play will honor those who don’t have the chance he has.
“There are a lot of guys who won’t have this opportunity, not just in football, but in a lot of things,” Boyer said. “That’s why I am here — that’s one of the main reasons why I am here — is to do it in honor of those guys who paid the ultimate sacrifice, the guys who aren’t here and the guys who gave everything so we can play football.”