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After Raiders debacle, Bears give extra work to backup long snapper

Shane Lechler, Dante Rosario AP

The Chargers-Raiders late Monday night game didn’t end until well after midnight in Chicago, but Bears special teams coach Dave Toub was apparently watching.

Raiders long snapper Jon Condo left the game against the Chargers with an injury and backup long snapper Travis Goethel made three bad snaps on three Raiders punts, and as I wrote after the game, every coach in the league who saw that had to be thinking he’d give his backup long snapper extra practice time this week. That’s exactly what Toub did at today’s Bears practice, giving backup long snapper Matt Spaeth a full period of work on his long snapping.

“He got a whole period today,” Toub told the Chicago Tribune. “Surprise, surprise. But it wasn’t just because of the game last night, but something like that definitely makes you think about it. He’s been working on it and he’s been doing it pre-practice.”

The Raiders have acknowledged that they regret the fact that they rarely gave Goethel practice time as a long snapper. Don’t expect other teams to repeat that mistake.

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21 Responses to “After Raiders debacle, Bears give extra work to backup long snapper”
  1. gregm5s7 says: Sep 11, 2012 5:20 PM

    Sounds like if Toub stayed up to watch the game he wouldn’t have slept a wink last night

  2. 91devinhester23 says: Sep 11, 2012 5:24 PM

    I think every team in the league is thinking the same thing

  3. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 11, 2012 5:26 PM

    Longsnappers are more important than Kickers/Punter. That’s right Kluwe and all you silly placekickers, Longsnappers deserve a better paycheck than you.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 11, 2012 5:29 PM

    Most interested in the “regret” that the Raiders expressed, how and what did they say about the issue, that’s what I want to know.

    I also would like an explanation why the NFL and the teams will not disclose who the backup LS are for the fans that care. They all have standardized roster pages and places for names on their “depth charts”, and they all have a backup LS but I don’t see many if any teams listing who those players are. Why is it such a mystery and why can I not get the information I seek as a fan?

  5. coutre says: Sep 11, 2012 5:30 PM

    That’s called learning.

  6. texasterrors says: Sep 11, 2012 5:33 PM

    How can you go into a game without having a person trained to backup every required position on the field? The concept of players getting injured is not a new one…

    Backup QB… check!
    Backup HB… check!
    Backup Long Snapper… ehhh…

  7. jbaxt says: Sep 11, 2012 5:33 PM

    The long snapper isn’t the one responsible for a guy coming off the right tackle spot. But the faidets sure do suck.

  8. purplekoolaid1 says: Sep 11, 2012 5:34 PM

    When Shane Lechler is the second best player on your team, you know that you are in serious trouble.

  9. hooahitsnotatomthing says: Sep 11, 2012 5:35 PM

    This happened last year for the Bears. Manelly was out for an extended period of time. This is why Toub IS the best Special Teams coach in the league.

    Yes, he does have hester, but every other season Bears continue to have Special Teams players lost in Free Agency.

    For example, look at the Vikings taking Zach Bowman. Sure has heck was for his DB skills.

  10. txxxchief says: Sep 11, 2012 5:54 PM

    As Emmitt Smith would say, the Bears don’t want to get “debacled.”

  11. sowcrates says: Sep 11, 2012 6:07 PM

    Investigation was lacking here.

    FB Tyler Clutts was our emergency long snapper. He was traded (with good reason, based on rookie TE/H-back Evan Rodriguez’s aptitude at lead blocking) less than two weeks ago. I’m not so sure that you went out of your way to prove to us that Spaeth began taking a few reps as long snapper BECAUSE of last night’s action.

    Somebody asked Toub about it because somebody asked him the question about backup long snapper, something that was more likely to be asked now than say in the middle of training camp.

  12. thevza says: Sep 11, 2012 6:11 PM

    I’ve always wondered why you rarely see Centers backing up the Long Snapper. I know, I know, long-snapping requires different techniques, blah blah blah. But c’mon, if a guy has spent his whole life snapping a ball between his legs, or 5 yards back in the shotgun formation, and is a good blocker, shouldn’t he take a stab at long-snapping?

  13. r8rsfan says: Sep 11, 2012 6:13 PM

    They had a backup long-snapper, the guy choked. Don’t blame the team for one guy’s ineptitude. It’s not like Goethel is seeing the field in any other role, he should have more than enough free time to work on this.

  14. apmn says: Sep 11, 2012 6:31 PM

    The Texans have James Casey at backup long snapper. He is also the 4th-string QB, backup GM, and emergency beer-man when they play at Reliant.

  15. ambitoos says: Sep 11, 2012 8:44 PM

    The Chargers showed me nothing. If the Raiders hadn’t lost their Longsnapper, the Chargers would have lost thst game. As a Charger fan, I’ll chalk that up to luck. They were luckyer than the Raiders.

  16. paulnoga says: Sep 11, 2012 8:53 PM

    Writing this at the end….
    No one will give the Chargers credit for their great Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia. They stole him from the Bucs. He is so good they had to make him ST Coach–Asst Head Coach to keep him in San Diego. Most fans forget three years ago the Chargers had the worst Special Teams in History (literally). With Coach Bisaccia they have gone from worst to first. Very few will believe me. The Chargers Defense and Special teams have gone from an extreme liability to a strength.
    Thank you AJ Smith……

  17. rcali says: Sep 11, 2012 9:35 PM

    Even with Crazy Al gone, the Raiders still provide the other teams with ways on how not to run a team.

  18. EJ says: Sep 11, 2012 9:36 PM

    voiceofreasonsays says:
    Sep 11, 2012 5:26 PM
    Longsnappers are more important than Kickers/Punter. That’s right Kluwe and all you silly placekickers, Longsnappers deserve a better paycheck than you.

    Yes, most definitely. Long snappers deserve the same or more than what the Kickers/Punters receive for a paycheck. A long snapper has a ton of pressure on themselves to be nearly perfect every time. If the LS is just off a little bit, It can cost the team the game. Kickers and Punters should give more props to their LS after making that game-winning 53 yard FG or pinning the ball down at the 2 yard line on a punt.
    Same goes for the Center IMO. The Center should be paid more than a Guard or Tackle hands down. Both positions LS and C are a big key to the teams success or downfall, both very important to the game.

  19. randolph32 says: Sep 11, 2012 10:25 PM

    Good observation ‘Sowcrates’, I’ve noticed that more than once when it comes to Bear’s stories…my comments were actually deleted.

    And spot on observation concerning the loss of Klutts….Rodriguez is going to have a Roster spot for awhile.

  20. fourthandafoot says: Sep 11, 2012 10:29 PM

    I don’t think the average Center should earn more then the average Tackle. There are only so many NFL caliber OT’s out there that have the necessary height, arm length and athleticism to match up on an island against NFL DE’s. Center’s have always been much easier to find and easier to “hide” if they don’t quite cut it in the talent department.

    As for LS vs Kicker, I say they deserve equal pay. Kickers are currently overpaid right now in my opinion and LS’s a touch underpaid if their in the minimum salary group. The old school Long Snappers are the ones that were vastly underpaid, heck you could “can the center” back then.

  21. wretchu says: Sep 12, 2012 1:50 PM

    EJ says:
    Sep 11, 2012 9:36 PM
    Yes, most definitely. Long snappers deserve the same or more than what the Kickers/Punters receive for a paycheck. A long snapper has a ton of pressure on themselves to be nearly perfect every time. If the LS is just off a little bit, It can cost the team the game. Kickers and Punters should give more props to their LS after making that game-winning 53 yard FG or pinning the ball down at the 2 yard line on a punt.
    =====
    Let’s not go too far here. If a kicker kicks the ball just a couple inches too short on a long field goal, it can easily be blocked. If a punter drops a ball an inch or two to the right, a 48 yard punt becomes a 12 yard one. You’re making it sound as though that there’s no pressure at all on kicking and punting.

    LS is an underappreciated position, but let’s keep things in perspective. A good placeholder or punter can salvage a subpar snap, but there’s no recovery from a bad kick.

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