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Lions long snapper understands the game, but wants to keep playing

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 04: Kicker Matt Prater #5 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with long snapper Don Muhlbach #48 after making a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the NFC Wildcard Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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There are certain positions in the NFL that teams won’t spend a draft pick on, unless they’re pretty certain that rookie is going to make the 53-man roster.

So it was natural for Lions veteran long snapper Don Muhlbach to have some concerns when his team used a sixth-rounder on Jimmy Landes this year, and for his friends to start blowing up his phone.

I’m like, ‘I didn’t get fired,’” Muhlbach said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I’m still there. I’m not going to leave just now.”

Muhlbach has held his job, and been good at it, since 2004, making him the longest-tenured Lion. And the soon-to-be 35-year-old knows drafted competition such as Landes is different from regular competition.

“They’ve brought guys in before and it’s just competition makes everybody better,” Muhlbach said. “So that’s the way I’m approaching this. . . . I mean, it’s always a surprise when specialists get drafted. He’s good. I mean, first off, you get drafted, you’re good for sure. But he’s good at what he does.

“I still think I’m OK. I want to play some more. My body feels fine, so I’d like to keep going.”

The Lions may have already made that decision for him, but Muhlbach hasn’t lasted this long by being bad at his job.