We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
You may not see anyone wearing #65 this season for the Bears this season, as Patrick Mannelly recently announced his retirement. But let’s take one last look at Mannelly’s colorful Bears career as we’re 65 days from kickoff.
The Bears drafted Mannelly in the 6th round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Duke University. That draft class included notable Bears such as Curtis Enis, Tony Parrish, Olin Kreutz and quarterback Moses Moreno. Mannelly outlasted them all by leaps and bounds.
Mannelly holds the Chicago Bears record for games played with 245 and seasons played with 16. No one else played more than 14 seasons. Mannelly broke Steve McMichael‘s record of 191 games played back in 2010. Over his career, he’s made 2282 snaps without a bad one in the bunch. He had 81 tackles on special teams and spent the last six seasons as a captain for the Bears’ special teams. Mannelly was the last remnant of the the Dave Wannstedt era, with his rookie season in 1998 as Wannie’s last. He played through the entire Dick Jauron and Lovie Smith regimes, before departing after one season under Marc Trestman.
Here are some highlights of Mannelly’s stunt longsnapping from back in the day:
OK, we’ve talked about Mannelly enough on this site. Much success to Patrick in his future endeavors and good luck to Chad Rempel and Brian Harston in the battle to replace Mannelly.
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th. We’re 67 days from kickoff. Are you ready???