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Countdown to Kickoff… Patrick Mannelly Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener


Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bears defeated the Cardinals 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals.  Thanks to one of my Twitter followers, I decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.

We’re Patrick Mannelly days from the start of the Chicago Bears season.  If anyone could speak to the changes around Halas Hall, it’s the longest tenured Chicago Bear, long snapper Patrick Mannelly.

He’s entering his 16th season with the Bears after being drafted in the sixth round of the 1998 Draft.  Mannelly has spanned the Wannstedt, Jauron, Smith and now Trestman era of Chicago Bears football.  He has played in 231 games with the Bears, the most of anyone in Bears history.  He broke Steve McMichael’s record of 192 back in 2010. There’s not a better model of consistency on the Chicago Bears roster than Mannelly.

You rarely hear his name called because it’s rare that he ever makes a mistake.  His snaps on punts, field goals and extra points are spot on.   The one time I can think of Mannelly screwing up was a fake punt audible against the Packers.  Check it out here.  Mannelly talked about the play in a post-game interview:

Mannelly’s value to the team is not just the perfect snaps, but also his ability to cover punts.  He’s consistently downfield making tackles on punt coverage even at his advanced age of 38.  Mannelly signed a one-year deal with the Bears just before the end of last season and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be back beyond the 2013 season. If you’d like to learn more about the art of long snapping, check out Mannelly’s site, or follow him on Twitter @PatrickMannelly.

We’re 65 days from kickoff.  Are you ready???