Sports

Bodiford out for the year; Pittman enters sixth NFL season

TJ grad Bryan Pittman is entering his sixth NFL season as the Houston Texans’ long snapper.  - Courtesy photo
TJ grad Bryan Pittman is entering his sixth NFL season as the Houston Texans’ long snapper.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Green Bay Packers have been the epicenter of the sports world for the last month, thanks to the saga of Brett Favre.

But Federal Way High School graduate Shaun Bodiford hasn’t been able to take part in the soap opera that turned into the longtime Packer quarterback being traded to the New York Jets. Bodiford is out for the season.

The Packers’ wide receiver was placed on season-ending injured reserve last week with back problems. The move came as a surprise, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal. It was known that Bodiford was having back issues during the team’s minicamp in the spring, but the severity of the issue was unknown.

It means that Bodiford likely was injured during offseason workouts. Bodiford is signed through 2008, and will earn $445,000 this season.

In a way, the move likely prolonged Bodiford’s career with the Packers another year. With the addition of Jordy Nelson, it was unlikely that Bodiford would have made the team’s roster unless he somehow found his way onto the Packers as a sixth receiver.

Bodiford spent several weeks on the 53-man roster last year, but got little playing time. His value came mostly as a return specialist.

Last year Bodiford appeared in six games for the Pack, pulling in one reception for 13 yards. He also had two kick returns for 41 yards last season, and the previous season (2006) returned five kicks for 81 yards. He also returned six punts in 2006 for 25 yards.

The 2002 Federal Way grad earned a spot on the Detroit Lions’ roster in 2006 during training camp, but was released by the team in October before being snatched up by the Packers.

While at Federal Way High School, Bodiford lettered twice in football and track and was the Eagles’ offensive player of the year as a senior in 2001. As a running back, he rushed for 970 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned second-team All-South Puget Sound League honors. He was also all-league as a cornerback with 65 tackles and five interceptions as a senior.

The 5-foot-11, 187-pounder then went on to star at Portland State University after attending Butte (Calif.) Junior College his freshman and sophomore seasons. He played at Butte with current Green Bay starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

He led Portland State with 51 catches for 545 yards and five touchdowns as a senior.

Bryan Pittman — The TJ graduate is entering his sixth season in the NFL and all have come with the Houston Texans. The long snapper has started every game for the Texans since joining the club in 2003.

The 6-3, 270-pound Pittman has become one of the most consistent long snappers in the NFL. He walked on at the University of Washington in 1997 under then-coach Jim Lambright after spending two seasons at Walla Walla Community College, where he started at tight end both years.

After playing semi-pro football for the Puget Sound Jets, Pittman was signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 2003. The Browns released him during training camp that season and he was immediately signed by Houston.

During his professional career, Pittman had a streak of 598 consecutive successful snaps broken last season against San Diego. He made all 131 snaps on special teams in 2004, 137 snaps in 2005 and 128 in 2006

“In the professional scheme, you are required to do more than snap the ball. You’ve got to actually read the front, determine which way you are going to go, snap the ball and then block your man, sometimes two men. And sometimes you might have to change your feet and block the other way. To me that is the biggest difference between college snappers and professional, to be able to do that transition and have the confidence to do it every down.”

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

sports@fedwaymirror.com

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