Allen Park, Mich.— Detroit Lions LS Don Muhlbach was added today to the 2013 NFC Pro Bowl team. Muhlbach’s addition as the squad’s long snapper was made by Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers coaching staff, who are serving as this year’s NFC staff.
Muhlbach, the ninth-year long snapper, is the first-ever Lions specialist who did not kick, punt or return to play special teams in the Pro Bowl.
“Don is a huge part of my success and a significant part of our kicking game,” said K Jason Hanson. “He is as accurate and consistent as there is in the League. With the field goal process, it all starts with him. He works hard and takes great pride in what he does. This is a great honor for him and is well deserved.”
In 2012, Muhlbach was a key piece to Hanson breaking the team’s all-time single-season scoring record, as he snapped for 32 field goals and 38 PATs. Muhlbach proved exceptionally valuable on long distance kicks this year as his steady snaps aided Hanson when he connected on 18 40+-yard field goals, the second-highest single-season total in NFL history.
Muhlbach’s velocity and accuracy places him among the best in the league in his specialty, and he is a critical part of the Lions’ snap-hold-kick trio. During his career, he has played in 132 career games and recorded 32 special teams tackles.
Since Muhlbach has snapped for Hanson on the field goal team in 2004, that unit’s accuracy has improved with the most significant increase coming on long-range field goals. Hanson’s field goal accuracy with Muhlbach as the snapper has increased 5.8 percent on overall attempts. That improvement is 12.7-percent for field goals of 40-49 yards, 14.2-percent for field goals 40+ yards and 19.4 percent for field goals of 50+ yards.
With Muhlbach snapping, Hanson is 59-of-73 (80.8 pct) on field goal attempts of 40-49 yards, 81-of-107 (75.7 pct) from 40+ yards and 25-of-37 (67.6 pct) on 50+-yard field goals.