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Sundberg Eyes Career As a Long Snapper

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This year, the Redskins appear to be relying more on proven talent than on young players. The team has acquired players who have shown what they are capable of in the NFL.

But that's not the case with the long snapper position.

Instead of re-signing unrestricted free agent long snapper Ethan Albright, whom the Redskins have relied on for the past nine seasons, personnel officials decided to bring in 22-year-old Nick Sundberg, a first-year long snapper.

Sundberg may not have had a chance to prove himself on an NFL field yet, but he has flashed potential in college.

At California, he started 52 consecutive games for the Golden Bears in four years, including as a true freshman.

Sundberg, 6-0 and 245 pounds, signed with the Redskins in January 2010 after playing with the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers as an undrafted rookie free agent last year.

Sundberg comes to Washington to not necessarily make a name for himself, but to simply establish himself in the NFL.

"I think this is definitely a great opportunity to get my foot in the door and establish myself as an NFL long snapper while I'm in Washington," Sundberg said.

In this case, Sundberg is not only joining a new team in Washington, but he is also adapting to a new offense and new coaching styles.

"I think I'm adjusting well. Every team has a different style, but I think this style really suits me and I like it a lot," he said

Sundberg needs to do more than "like" head coach Mike Shanahan's new style of running things; he needs to excel at it.

Sundberg is going to need to earn his spot on the roster, as he faces competition from some unlikely teammates.

Competing against Sundberg for the long snapper position are tight end Lee Vickers and backup center Will Montgomery.

Vickers, 6-6 and 275 pounds, has long snapping experience during stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants.

If the 6-3, 305-pound Montgomery is selected as the long snapper, then his versatility could help free up some active roster spots come game day.

Joining a team that is home to so many big names in football can make it hard for young players to make their own names known.

Luckily that's not a problem for Sundberg, who prefers to "fly under the radar."

"The less people that know my name, the better," he said. "I like walking off the sidelines and no one knowing who I am. If I'm in the papers, it's because I messed up. If people know my name, it's because I did something wrong.

"So I'd rather nobody knows who I am and go however long my career is, without any mistakes and nobody figures out who I am."

Even though he's a first-year player, Sundberg already seems to have the mentality of a seasoned pro, putting his team's success before his own.

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