LS Jon Condo spoke to the media after signing a contract extension. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Jon Condo: The Raiders wanted me back and I wanted to be back, it's a comfort thing. I feel great, they feel great and it's time to just work for the next four years and see how well we can come together as a team and build some wins here.
Q: I was talking to [Sebastian Janikowski] the other day, and he said the same thing. Were you concerned a little bit when Shane [Lechler] got away? It's like, 'Wow, what is our commitment to special teams?' Obviously, it is still pretty considerable.
Condo: Yeah, to me personally, I don't like to think like that. The way I look at how my not being out here on the field and someone else is, is I can only take care of myself and if I'm playing to my abilities. If the Raiders want me, they want me. And if they don't want me then all I know is I did the best that I could and hopefully another team would want me. I really don't think or worry about what their concerns are or anything like that. They're more concerned with what I'm doing daily to get better and help this team win.
Q: When you look back when you first started snapping, just because it would help the team, and now it's something that 's developed into this financial security and your family and you've done pretty reasonable.
Condo: When I first started in college, I'll tell you right now, I hated it because I was playing outside linebacker and there was no other snapper and they just threw me in there and I just didn't like it because it took me away from the defensive side of the ball. But, the coach said if you keep doing this, you can make some money, you can make a living out of it. Fortunately things worked out, I have fun out there and do whatever I can to help the team win.
Q: After bringing you, after resigning you and [Janikowski] and bringing [Josh] Cribbs in, what does that say about what the team's doing? How much they value special teams?
Condo: Yeah there's definitely an emphasis on the special teams. You look at all the great teams and stuff. It's great defenses and great special teams. The coach has been showing us stats of how we put field possession is throughout the game, and where's the starting point of the teams. It's all about that field position and where you start and making plays and explosive plays on a punt team or a kickoff return. That's huge. It's a momentum-builder for a team and anything else like dominoes. Special teams is definitely a big focus this year for the Raiders to get back up to where we once were in the top five, top 10 in the league.
Q: Even though you said you hated switching from linebacker to just special teams alone, you must relish the opportunity to go down there and use your linebacker skills to just take out the returner.
Condo: Yeah, that's the one thing that helps me out a lot to transition from linebacker to long snapper. I like to run down the field, I like to be one of the guys shedding off blocks trying to make plays. I always try to stick my head in there. I'm a believer of trying to get as many hits on the ball carrier as I can. I might want to go a little easier next time. I only know how to play one way and that's just run down the field as fast as I can and try to get in the way, try to make a play somehow.
Q: Do you think when you see Janikowski get this extension, you get one, is it going to have a positive effect on the locker room because the Raiders are going to pay the guys that they want, kind of forward thinking. Do you think that's good thing this organization's stepping out there to do that?
Condo: Definitely, seeing the extensions happening in camp, guys who are in their one-year deals or one year left in their contracts, are maybe thinking, 'Hey, I might need to step up my game a little bit right now, instead of waiting until the end of the season.' But that's a business decision on what they want to do…if they want to wait until the end of the season. But the way I look at it, just get everything out of the way.
Q: It must've been nice before camp's over with, there's no anything going through your mind come December or anything like that, right?
Condo: Yeah, like I said earlier, I try not to look at the future, I try to live in the present. Take each day to get better, to help myself and help this team win.