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Audibles From the Long Snapper: McCown, Peanut’s Payton Award, Longsnapper.com & More

| January 20th, 2014

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PFT: McCown Set to Play in 2014

From Florio at Pro Football Talk:

It’s unclear whether McCown will return to Chicago.  Because he signed a one-year deal under the minimum-salary benefit in 2013, the Bears can’t sign him until he actually becomes a free agent on March 11.  That now follows a three-day period during which McCown’s agent can engage in discussions with other teams.

With the Bears devoting $22.5 million in cap space to Cutler for the coming year, the Bears likely won’t have much in the budget for McCown.  Any team that views him as a potential starter would surely outbid the Bears.

Josh McCown is a different kind of guy and I don’t see him jumping to a terrible team for a few extra million dollars. Does he really want to be the caretaker quarterback in a place like Jacksonville or Minnesota, tutoring a rookie and waiting to be replaced? I think McCown has found a home in Chicago, in that quarterback room. And I also think he knows there’s a good chance he’s going to see the field in 2014 with a contender if he sticks around.

PEANUT FINALIST FOR PAYTON AWARD

From an article on the four-letter website:

Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, Arizona kicker Jay Feely and Chicago cornerbackCharles Tillman have been selected as finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

The award, named in honor of the late Hall of Fame running back, recognizes a player’s community service and performance on the field. The winner, who’ll receive a $20,000 donation in his name to his favorite charity, will be announced during the NFL Honors show on Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl.

Is this award a big deal? Not really. Nobody gets into Canton for the number of Payton Awards they’ve accumulated. But if I were to give out a Man of the Year Award in the NFL this season my list begins and ends with a single name: Brandon Marshall. Marshall raised the level of discourse on the subject of mental illness and inspired me to write what I believe is the best piece I’ve ever written for this site. (To read my piece on mental illness, CLICK HERE.)

Side note on Tillman: If I were the Bears I would work to re-sign him. The Bears need help at every level of their defense but re-signing Tillman would enable Phil Emery to focus on the defensive line and safety positions as the offseason begins. I can’t imagine Peanut is looking for a lengthy deal or a ton of money but, hey, I’ve been surprised before.

LONGSNAPPER HAS HIS OWN WEBSITE?

He sure does and you can visit it by clicking here. But I am re-posting the entirety of the Longsnapping FAQ section of the site.

Q: Are there any other drills that you do besides the ones you have listed?
A: No I don’t, everything that is listed is what I do to get better.

Q: How do I get better and more accurate?
A:
 Practice, Practice, Practice. The only way to get better is through repetition.

Q: Is there anything you do different snapping in the rain?
A: I grip the ball a little bit lighter. Not a whole lot but just a little. I
do not squeeze the ball as tight as I do on a normal snap.

Q: Is there anything you do different snapping in the wind?
A: No. Just make sure you have a tight spiral. A tighter spiral will cut
through the wind easier. In my mind wind can alter the snap the most.

Q: Do you have any tips to attain a tighter spiral when snapping?
A: 
The best way I work on my spiral is to throw the ball like a QB. Just work on throwing the ball. I grip the ball when snapping like I throw it. So if I am having any trouble with and inconsistant spiral then I just throw the ball more. I do not have any specific things to work on a spiral. Just try to throw a better spiral when tossing the ball aroundAnother reason you’ll usually see me and Brian Urlacher tossing the ball around before games. 

Q: When snapping, do you find its best to always keep your head down and looking at the target until you have released, or is it better to keep your head up so as to see blockers?
A: 
When I snap I keep my head down and look at the punter and holder. It is a little harder to block this way, but you can compensate by backpedaling after release.

Q: What is the average size of professional longsnappers in your estimation?
A: 
I do not know if there is really an average size of an NFL
longsnapper. We vary from say 6’5” to 6’1” and 300lbs to 235lbs.

Q: What is the best way to quicken my longsnaps?
A: 
I think that improving your entire body strength will help you quicken your snap. One exercise that I like is the Hang Cleans . I think snapping takes your whole body and the Hang Clean work your entire body. My snap time is around .70. You start the time of the snap once the ball moves and stop the clock once the punter touches the ball.

Q: What type of weight lifting should I do as a longsnapper?
A: 
There are a few lifts that I think are best for longsnappers. First off, I think total body strength is the best. So use these lifts a supplemental lifts to your normal work out. If you are not already doing Hang Cleans or Power Cleans , I believe these are the best lift to do. Also work on your back muscles with pulldowns andseated rows. Longsnapping involves your entire body when doing it, so make sure you are also strengthening your legs. There is no perfect lift for longsnapping so maybe you will find out something that is better for you.

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