Another futures signing for the Redskins today: Nick Sundberg, a long snapper who finished out his 2009 rookie season on the practice squad of the Baltimore Ravens.
Sundberg was the long-snapper for the Cal Bears in college, holding down the position for 52 straight games, and he takes the job very, very seriously.
“Nine out of 10 isn’t good enough,” he told the Daily Cal back in 2007.
And — also according to that article — he’s got a set of drills that I’m going to have to see to believe. Check this out:
Because of the heat in the Arizona desert [in high school], Sundberg worked on his snapping in the school gym, sinking baskets on snaps from half-court. And that’s not Sundberg’s only party trick. To practice accuracy, he places 10 balls all along the 10-yard line at Memorial Stadium, and proceeds to snap them towards the center support of the goalposts. He nails every one. Sundberg can snap up to 40 yards, a talent he displays by snapping to receivers running routes and hitting them in stride.
I have no idea how that talent can possibly translate into a game situation, but I want to see it anyhow.
A couple more facts about Sundberg, courtesy of this profile by Rob Calonge, the Cal Bears Examiner:
- Sundberg has family in Wisconsin and grew up a Packers fan, meaning that the Redskins could potentially have two guys with cheesehead ties snapping the ball. (Casey Rabach, of course, is a Wisconsin guy.)
- He finished his degree — legal studies — in three and a half years by taking 25 credits one spring. For comparison’s sake, it would’ve taken me three semesters to hit 25 credits at any point in my collegiate experience. At least.
- Sundberg likes “to jump off of really high things,” including skydiving, bungie jumping, cliff diving, and so on.
I couldn’t find a video online of any of the elaborate snapping tricks listed above, but he did work with kicking specialist Gary Zauner, and recorded a video for Zauner’s website that shows him — at least — doing the basics of his position with remarkable consistency.
This signing obviously sounds like bad news for incumbent long-snapper (and blog favorite) Ethan Albright, but don’t write the Red Snapper off just yet. Albright has beaten out plenty of young guys in the past, and this offseason is still only just beginning.
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