The Niners have inked long snapper Brian Jennings to a five-year contract extension Saturday, locking up a flawless performer on their solid special teams units through 2014.
Jennings hasn’t made a glaring mistake on Sundays ever since the club drafted him in the seventh round nine years ago. He’s been recognized as one of the NFL’s most consistent long snappers since leaving Arizona State in 2000, even making the Pro Bowl after the 2004 season as a special selection by NFC coach Jim Mora.
“In a position like mine, longevity is one of your only accomplishments,” Jennings said. “I play a don’t-screw-it-up position. It feels good to be loved, to be wanted, to be appreciated for something I put so much time into.”
Jennings’ job is to deliver perfect snaps into the hands of Andy Lee, the 49ers’ former Pro Bowl punter who also holds for kicker Joe Nedney, one of the NFL’s most consistent at his position in recent years. Although he never seemed shaky even as a rookie under coach Steve Mariucci, Jennings acknowledged he didn’t feel completely comfortable in his job until after his second season.
“I was driving back to Arizona, and I was thinking, ‘I can do this,”’ Jennings said.