This offseason the Raiders brought in long snapper Andrew East as the camp depth behind Jon Condo. After spending the past few months with the team, including offseason workouts and 10 days of OTA's, he has gotten a pretty good feel for the team. He took to Reddit to field questions from fans about him and the Raiders. Here are some of the results of that Q&A session:
Q: Funniest guy on the team?
East: The funniest guy on the team would have to be Khalil Mack- but that doesnt take away from his work ethic at all.
Q: Not Marquette King?
East: I'd say he is top 5. Marquette's like Babe Ruth with his jokes- he swings a lot, sometimes hits homers, but strikes out a lot haha
Q: Why do you think Raiders fans are one of the most die hard enthusiasts of any franchise in professional sports?
East: I think a lot of people connect with the Raiders because they represent a "stick it to the man" attitude.
Q: What kind of leader is Derek Carr?
East: He connects with everybody really well, and never has an air about him that hes too good to talk to or anything like that. I would grade him A+
Q: What exactly does a long snapper do in practice?
East: I compare the position to golfers- where there are very short but important times of intense focus. I get around 12 snaps a day at practice. Visualization is really important, so between that a body maintenance stuff I stay pretty busy. I will say, there aren't many jobs better than being an NFL specialist.
Q: How good of an athlete is Amari Cooper?
East: Unparalleled. Having the opportunity to incredible athletes like him on a daily basis is a blast
Q: Who's a young unknown player turning player's/coach's heads in OTA's? Is there buzz surrounding any of these UDFAs?
East: Joe Hansley is unreal
Q: How awesome is Darius Latham?
East: We went to high school together! Hes a really hard worker
Q: What are some things that happen during the offseason that would surprise fans?
East: I think most fans think that the players live in the town they are playing, but I would say the vast majority dont since there is so much uncertainty in the business. One thing that might surprise fans is the amount of traveling that players do to go home for the weekend, then back to their team for the "work week".
Q: What road game are you looking forward to most?
East: Mexico City
Q: What's different about your mindset coming in to snap for a punt vs a field goal? also how much of your energy goes into being part of the punt coverage as opposed to just snapping and blocking?
East: Oddly enough field goal is harder because the margin of error is so much smaller. On punt, the punter is so much more mobile because he is on his feet. On field goal he is completely stationary. Teams really just look for a snapper that can snap and block well- which is harder than it seems. You have to go from having your head between your legs to stopping a massive human being running full speed in about .3 seconds. If you get a snapper that can run down the field without embarrassing himself, its just a bonus.
Q: If you could have anybody on the team back you up in a fight, who would it be?
East: Jack Del Rio. I keep hearing he was a beast back in the day.
Q: Who's got the best nickname on the team?
East: Justin Ellis is known as "Jelly"
Q: What is the teams overall expectations this season? What's the vibe like with a roster with such promising young talent all over?
East: There is definitely a lot of excitement and I think the team realizes we could be something special. But Coach Del Rio has made it clear that talent isn't everything and that we need to go out to practice and build on that talent.
Q: If you had to pick a second favorite team, what would it be?
East: I grew up a Colts fan!
Q: You stoked to play in Vegas if that happens?
East: Raider Nation is strong everywhere!