KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the first time since 2008, the Kansas City Chiefs will have someone new snapping for punts and placement kicks. The Chiefs allowed their longtime snapper, Thomas Gafford, to depart as a free agent.
The two snappers they have in camp, James Winchester and Andrew East, have never snapped in a regular-season game. Winchester has bounced around for a couple of years without sticking with an NFL team while East is an undrafted rookie who snapped in college at Vanderbilt.
If the prospect of going with an untested player at a position where teams usually demand experience is unsettling to special teams coordinator Dave Toub, he isn’t showing it.
“By the time we’re done with training camp and maybe before that, we’ll know who our long snapper is going to be,’’ Toub said. “The good thing is I like both of these guys. I think both of them can do it in the NFL and we’re going to get the best one.’’
The Chiefs have been working both players in offseason practice. But their craft is much different now in practice with no pads and no contact than it will be come the regular season. The pressure is different and the Chiefs may not be able to gauge their abilities to handle that until the preseason.
“The thing we don’t know is how they’re going to protect (at live speed),’’ Toub said. “Those are the things you’re not going to be able to know until you get into a preseason game or training camp.’’