Detroit Lions LS Scott Daly has big shoes to fill replacing Don Muhlbach: ‘I know I can do this’

Detroit Free Press

Scott Daly was in the right place at the right time, and for long snappers, that is often the biggest obstacle to sticking in the NFL.

Daly is the lone long snapper left on the Detroit Lions roster after the team released Don Muhlbach on Wednesday.

Daly is not guaranteed a job when the Lions open the season Sept. 12 against the San Francisco 49ers.  The team will consider its options on the waiver wire over the next two weeks.

But the job is his for now, and after “a very crazy journey,” he’s happy to have it.

“I love to snap and I know I can do this,” Daly said Thursday. “I have confidence in myself. A lot of it’s timing. A lot of it’s being at the right place at the right time. Just knowing that and seeing a lot of specialists’ passing journeys, going from team to team and being cut and being released or whatever it is, just knowing that if I do my very best that I put myself in a good chance to be able to go from there.”

Daly played for Notre Dame and spent three years bouncing around various pro leagues before landing in Detroit.

He signed his first NFL contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, more than a year after his last college game. He was largely a camp body in Dallas, used to take the wear off veteran long snapper L.P. Ladouceur. And he spent time in both the Alliance of American Football and the XFL before signing with the Lions in May.

“No specialist’s journey is the same, so just try to take it for what it is,” Daly said. “I’m very grateful for every spot that I’ve been to. I’ve been able to grow and learn from each and every destination I’ve been to, and from there just try to get better each and every day.”

Muhlbach played 17 seasons in Detroit, and more games than all but one other Lion. His release, though understandable from a football standpoint, caught several of his teammates off guard.

“It was really tough,” punter Jack Fox said. “Obviously I love Mule. He’s one of the best teammates I ever had. I’m sure a lot of guys out there would say the same thing. Obviously, he’s a great football player, and he’s a better person. That’s cliché but he was kind of the definition of that. Yeah, it’s sad, but I understand and we have another long snapper on the roster in Scott and he’s doing real well and just here to help him and make sure he has a good year.”

More: Detroit Lions’ Dan Campbell: ‘I’m an asshole’ for cutting Don Muhlbach on birthday

Daly said he is fortunate to have apprenticed the past three months under Muhlbach, who he called “an amazing teammate, great friend and great mentor.” Now, he has two games to try and make the job his.

“I can say confidently that Don’s one of the best to ever do it and I’m truly grateful for him and I’m just trying to keep my head down, get better each and every day cause I know I have to earn this,” Daly said. “Just treating it like any other day and just trying to do my best.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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