For Cox, consistency is a snap

For Cox, consistency is a snap
September 15, 2012, 3:21 am
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When everythingis going right, long-snappers live in anonymity. Ask Ravens fans who the team'slong-snapper is, and many won't be able to tell you.That only provesthat Morgan Cox has done his job very well for the past two seasons.Cox's value as areliable, consistent long-snapper can be appreciated by anyone who saw whathappened to the Oakland Raiders on Monday night. The Raiders have a Pro Bowllong snapper in Jon Condo, but he sustained a concussion when he took a knee tothe head while covering a punt against San Diego. So Condo had to leave thegame.Teams don't carrytwo long-snappers, so with Condo out, linebacker Travis Goethel was thrust into the role of emergencylong-snapper. The results weredisastrous. Goethel sent not one, but two, grounders back toward punter ShaneLechler, and he didn't get the punt away either time. Another time, Goethel'ssnap was OK, but the protection broke down and the punt was blocked.You can bet everyspecial teams coach in the league took notice and is having a backuplong-snapper take extra reps this week."itcertainly gets your attention," Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburgsaid on Thursday. "Yesterday, we had a few more reps than we normallyprobably would have, because it brings it to mind. But you always have that inmind; you have to have a backup plan, so to speak. You hope it neverhappens."Rosburg wouldn'tsay who the Ravens backup long-snapper is, adding, "Hopefully, well neverfind out.The Ravens nearlyfaced the Raiders' predicament late in the 2010 season. Cox, then a rookie, sustained a tornanterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter against the Browns, but stayedin the game and snapped on seven more plays in that game on his torn ACL. That, Rosburgsaid, "is unheard of just a courageous effort." In fact, primarilyfor that effort Cox was named the Ravens 2011 winner of the Ed Block CourageAward.Cox, 26, signedwith the Ravens as a rookie free agent in 2010 after being the startinglong-snapper for three years at Tennessee. He played in every game but one overthe past two years; after tearing his ACL, Cox was placed on injured reserveand replaced for the final game of the 2010 season by Kevin Houser. Afterrehabbing his knee, Cox won the starting job again last season. If all goes accordingto plan this week, Cox (No. 46 in your program) will trot out for every fieldgoal, extra-point try and punt and deliver a tight spiral right on target toSam Koch, who serves as the Ravens' punter as well as the holder on kicks. Andhardly anyone will notice, which will suit Morgan Cox just fine. Such is thelife of a long-snapper.