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The constant of the Houston Texans: Jon Weeks

Death, Taxes and Jon Weeks

Washington Commanders v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

You would be hard-pressed to find a greater single night for the Houston Texans than the most recent NFL awards. By the time that the Las Vegas-based program ended, the Houston Texans claimed both offensive and defensive rookie of the year, with C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. respectively, validating the biggest draft day gamble this decade. Throw in the long-delayed but beyond well-deserved announcement that Andre Johnson would join the seven-man 2024 Hall of Fame class, and the night couldn’t have gone better (for the most part). That night showed the best of the past and perhaps the glory of the future ahead for the Houston Texans.

Yet, with all of these accolades for the Houstonian superstars, there was another action, a week prior, that probably didn’t get a lot of attention, but one that deserves recognition and celebration nevertheless. The Houston Texans re-signed long-snapper Jon Weeks to another one-year deal at the veteran minimum. On the surface, this is not exactly earth shaking news, and certainly not the headline grabber that would result if Weeks won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, for which he was the Texans’ nominee.

However, that is doing a disservice to the greatest constant in franchise history. Since the Texans signed the unrestricted free agent to the roster in 2010, Weeks has been party to the best and worst of times for the Texans in his 227 games and counting. Under his tenure, the team has won all seven of its division championships, all five of its playoff wins and had all but one of its winning seasons. He saw the peak of Arian Foster and J.J. Watt. He saw the dominance and end of the aforementioned Johnson’s time in Houston, the rise and fall of DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins, the failed promise of Watson, the gutsy stories of Yates and Keenum and the latest Great Franchise QB Hope with Stroud.

Yet, he has also seen the rise and fall of the Kubiak and O’Brien regimes. Weeks saw a team get within three quarters of the city’s first conference championship in 40 years, only to see it crash and burn in another Houston playoff failure. He saw the collapse of a franchise, going from contender to laughingstock and afterthought, where a team drew more headlines for off-field actions and front-office intrigue. He saw the controversies of the McNair regime. Weeks had to suffer through a massive city-altering hurricane, a global pandemic and Jack Easterby.

Through all of that, Weeks remains. That he has done so is a testament to the criticality of the long snapper in the NFL. To look at Weeks’ career stats is to wonder just how he is still on the roster. He has a career 33 tackles, one fumble recovery and one Pro Bowl appearance. He is notionally a center, but will likely never line up as the primary center on an offensive play. Given the struggles of the position for Houston these past few years, you would be remiss if you wondered why the team just didn’t try him there.

Yet, the long snapper is one of those types of jobs where you only make headlines when you screw up. You would have to dig deep to try to calculate how many “long snaps happen in a game?” The standard estimate is rough 8-10 per team per contest. Certainly not a stat that garners much attention. Still, since Weeks took over long snapping duties for the Texans, he has done the following:

Regular Totals:

  • Punt Snaps: 1085
  • FG Snaps: 463
  • XP Snaps: 502

Post Season:

  • Punt Snaps: 62
  • FG Snaps: 20
  • XP Snaps: 24

Total Regular Season “Long Snaps”: 2,051

Total Post Season ”Long Snaps”: 106

Total Career “Long Snaps”: 2,157

Total Number of Muffed/Bad Snaps: 0.00

Think about that. All of those snaps, all of that repetitive motion, all while grown 275-300+ lbs. men are trying to power through you in the modern version of primal animal territorial conflict, hitting with the force of speeding Ford F-350 trucks. Not. A. Single. Botched. Snap. Most people can’t go 2,000 steps without tripping up at least once.

John Madden wrote about the importance of the Long Snapper. When there were debates about which player to cut, the minute someone brought up the point about the long snapper, the question was settled and that player stayed. Think that a good long snapper can be taken for granted? The 2002 Giants from the Wild Card game would like a word, as would so many other teams who saw a game, if not a season, end due to a bad punt or kick snap. The Texans have had their ups and downs, but for all of the issues for the squad since 2010, the fact that the Texans have been able to consistently rely on the long snapper and his 2157 snaps is not anything to take lightly. We once joked about the “Toro Constant”, but the real constant for this team has been one Mr. Jon Weeks..

While Weeks is expected to play at least one more season in Houston, his time in the pros is likely to end soon. Unfortunately, Weeks will never get the knock on his door from a gold-jacketed representative from Canton, but his role for the Houston Texans cannot be overlooked. When Jon Weeks hangs up the jersey for the last time, the Houston Texans organization needs to get his Ring of Honor ceremony scheduled immediately after. Perhaps #46 will never be thought of as the best to ever play for Houston, but none has been as constant a force for the team.