By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, August 4th, 2013 at 1:17 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders announced the signing of two-time Pro Bowl long-snapper Jon Condo to a three-year contract extension Sunday, their second special teams move of the week.
Condo, in his seventh season out of Maryland, joins place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, whose contract extension was announced Friday.
Selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2009 and 2011 seasons, Condo was a reluctant snapper as a college linebacker at the University of Maryland.
“I hated it. I was playing outside linebacker and there was no other snapper and they just threw me in there,’’ Condo said. “It took away from the defensive side of the ball. The coach keep doing this and you can make some money, you can make a living out of it.’’
The Raiders discovered how valuable Condo was in the season opener last season, when he sustained a concussion on kick coverage. Issues with emergency snapper Travis Goethel helped contribute to a 22-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
The financial commitments to Janikowski and Condo, plus the signing of return specialist and coverage player Josh Cribbs, along with the addition of special teams coach Bobby April, illustrate the importance the Raiders are putting on special teams.
“There’s a definitely an emphasis on the special teams,’’ Condo said. “You look at the great teams, it’s good defenses and great special teams. It’s all about field position, where you start, and making explosive plays on the punt team or punt return, it’s huge and a momentum builder and it can break down the opposing team.’’
Terms of Condo’s contract were not available.
_ Quick hits from the Raiders training camp practice Sunday morning:
– Lots of players sitting it out either due to injury or getting a rest, including six projected defensive starters _ defensive tackle Vance Walker, defensive tackle Pat Sims, defensive end Lamarr Houston, linebacker Sio Moore, cornerback Tracy Porter and cornerback Mike Jenkins.
Also out was right guard Mike Brisiel, with the interesting shift of Khalif Barnes from right tackle to right guard with Alex Barron taking over at first team right tackle.
First-team corners with Porter and Jenkins out were D.J. Hayden (still in a no-contact red shirt) and Chimdi Chekwa. Kaelin Burnett replaced Moore, joining his brother Keith and Nick Roach as the first-team linebackers.
– The Raiders worked out defensive end Ryan Baker following practice because of injuries along the defensive line
– Offensive players wore silver jerseys, having won them from the defense during Saturday’s afternoon session.
– During a two-minute drill session, first-team quarterback Matt Flynn drove the offense to a touchdown capped by a perfect back-footed flip to Rod Streater in the back of the end zone against Chekwa.
Pryor led the second-team to a score, rolling right and finding Jacoby Ford in the right corner of the end zone.
– Left tackle Jared Veldheer was back at practice after leaving Saturday’s session with a triceps injury and getting an MRI.
– Season-ticket holders got on wide receiver Andre Holmes for a pair of drops during drills, then cheered wildly when he held on to one.
– Running back Darren McFadden continues to look strong as he always does during training camp. When games begin, however, expect most of the work to go to the likes of Deonte Williams and James Stewart.
– Practice ended with team sessions that were run at approximately half-speed.