After a great first act, Overbaugh heads into off-season of uncertainty
To be continued. That's how Jeff Overbaugh would describe his career trajectory. The Service High School graduate and Minnesota Vikings long snapper saw his season along with his teammates come to a thud on Sunday in Philadelphia in the NFC Championship at the hands of the Eagles.
"Not the way we wanted it to go but all-in-all, a good experience individually," he said Monday by phone back in a Minneapolis suburb.
It was less than 24 hours that the Eagles had ended the Vikings quest to host the Super Bowl. Instead, a lopsided 38-7 loss sent Overbaugh into the off-season -- and the unknown.
Overbaugh was signed after Christmas as a replacement for Kevin McDermott, who was placed on injured reserve after separating his shoulder in week 16. Overbaugh won the job in a tryout and played the final regular season game against Chicago. Next was a bye in the first round of the playoffs, then the miraculous finish against New Orleans and the NFC title game.
He is under contract through the end of February -- so is McDermott.
"A lot of planning here in the next couple of days," he said. "A lot that will be centered around whether... what's communicated to me with what they're thinking in terms of what they want to do moving forward with Kevin, myself or both of us into training camp in a competition."
Overbaugh's been through enough of those. He endured 14 auditions before winning the job as McDermott's replacement. But there are only 32 of these positions in the NFL.
For nearly a month, Overbaugh has been sending snaps back to Vikings' punter Ryan Quigley. He knows all about those ups and downs. Minnesota is his sixth team since 2012. In a career filled with releases and signings he communicated to Overbaugh, 24, he now has something which had previously held him back.
"[He] was telling me, 'You know, Jeff, most guys start their careers with a couple of preseason games and some early regular season games," Overbaugh said. "But you just got thrown into the fire and you did pretty well.'"
Overbaugh could use more help.
"So hopefully Ryan can become a GM here real fast and sign me up," he said jokingly. "But to hear that from a guy's that's been around the league means a lot to me."
Overbaugh had been told repeatedly told game experience was what he was missing. No longer. If the journey continues in Minnesota, great. If not, he's proven to other teams he can do it.
And himself too.