Third time the charm for Bucs long-snapper DePaola
This was the third straight preseason that long-snapper Andrew DePaola was in camp with the Bucs, but he emerged with a job this time, beating out veteran Jeremy Cain to take over snapping duties for the Bucs.
"I'm extremely excited -- I can't tell you how I feel," he said last week. "I love this place. I love this team, the guy, the coaching staff. It's great to finally be here."
The team knew it would have a new long-snapper when Andrew Economos wasn't re-signed, and DePaola made the most of the key special-teams competition.
"My first camp coming in, they told me I was just a camp guy, take reps from Eco. Next camp coming in was a battle and Eco won that one," the Rutgers graduate said. "This time, same thing around, they told me it was a battle and I'm just thankful I'm on the receiving end this time."
DePaola, 27, won the job despite never snapping in a regular-season NFL game -- Cain, after being cut by the Bucs, has been signed by the Bears and will open the season as their long-snapper.
"Jeremy's a great guy and a great long-snapper -- I wish him nothing but the best," he said.
You might not remember DePaola, but Tampa fans will remember him from an infamous game in local football circles -- when Rutgers knocked off USF from No. 2 in the rankings in 2007, it was DePaola, then a third-string quarterback and holder for the Scarlet Knights, who tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal to help seal Rutgers' upset. You can see the trick play around the 2:45 mark in this video -- wild to see so many familiar faces in the video, from Schiano to Mike Jenkins to Tiquan Underwood and others ...