How is the long snapping coming along this spring?
It is going good. I think I have improved a lot and I think the coaches are happy. It is a real important part of the game. I worked on it all off-season with Brian Monroe. I have improved a lot since last season.
What does long snapping entail?
The most important thing with punt snapping, or deep snapping it, is just getting the ball back to the punter. If it is a wild snap; over his head or too low, he is not going to get the punt off. The most important thing is getting the snap off and then blocking—getting your body squared and in front of your man. You have to get the perfect snap off and then block somebody.
Are you doing field goal snaps also?
Yeah, right now I am doing short snaps and long snaps.
And you plan on doing field goal snaps for the season?
Hopefully, right now I am the number one guy.
What is the difference between punt snapping and field goal snapping?
The short snap is a little bit easier, but you have to be more precise. When you are snapping the ball, you want to hit the holder right in the numbers so he can catch it and put it down as fast as he can. The spiral is also important. When you spiral it, you want it so when he catches it on the laces and he can just push it down—he does not have to turn it. I have been working at that everyday and I am at the point where I can snap it and he can catch it on the laces.
How is your work at center going this spring?
It is going good. I am working hard there. I have been moving around between center, left guard and right guard. I think I have been improving a lot. I have a long road ahead, but I am going to keep working hard.
Was today your first day playing at guard?
They set me up at left guard today and that was the first time this spring. It was hard at first because I am used to playing right guard and center, but I held my own.
What do you want to improve this spring on your technique?
Most important thing is pass blocking and getting my head up. Coach Kehoe tells us that everyday and that is one of my biggest problems. If I can improve on that, I will be a good lineman here.
With all the injuries on the O-Line is it hard to get a continuity going?
We have good guys around here who motivate each other. We know we are thin and we barely have two lines right now, but they put it on the line everyday. I love playing with the guys here and they work their butts off. They come out with enthusiasm and play as hard as they can.
What is coach Kehoe stressing to the O-Line unit this spring?
With pass blocking, just punching and getting your head out. The other thing is with run blocking to run off the ball. Sometimes guys will come off the ball and they will take a back step instead of stepping forward. That is a big pet-peeve of his. Also, just firing off the ball.
Who on the D-Line is looking good so far?
There is a lot of guys who are playing well—Baraka Atkins and Kareem Brown. I have had a tough time blocking Teraz McCray because he is real low to the ground and very quick. Dwayne Hendricks is a rival of mine because I played him in high school. Today we were going at it pretty hard and it was reminiscent of high school days.
What is your current weight?
I am 285, which is decent for me right now. Right around there is where I want to be for the season.
John Rochford Q&A
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