OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland Raiders have signed undrafted tight end and long snapper Nick Guess out of the University of Tennessee to handle the long snaps if Jon Condo isn’t cleared to play against Miami on Sunday.
Travis Goethel’s botched snaps and a blocked punt during the Raiders 22 – 14 loss to the Chargers Monday put the spotlight on an overlooked position.
“The thing that amazed me, one, that the Raiders didn’t have a guy that was doing that as a back-up, but as I hear now, there’s a lot of teams that didn’t,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew.
No one pays attention to kickers until the field goal is what it will take to win. And long-snapping is the same kind of specialty, Madden said, adding that the long snappers haven’t always a breed of their own.
“At one time, a player would have his position, and in addition to his position, he would long-snap,” he said, because it was a skill that doesn’t require 11 guys to practice.
Goethel said he hadn’t long-snapped since high school.
“It was kind of a wake-up call for every team in the NFL. ‘Hey, if you don’t have a back-up snapper, you better start practicing one,’” Madden said.
Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.