Rick Lovato Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener


The Countdown to Kickoff series continues with a profile on Chicago Bears rookie long snapper Rick Lovato. With Lovato up, only 60 days left until Bears regular season opener on September 13th against the Green Bay Packers.

The long snapper is one of the most underappreciated players on the entire roster. We rarely even know who the guy is unless he messes something up. Not exactly a glamor job, but it is a special skill that is needed in the NFL.

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Not only is today’s countdown player an underappreciated long snapper, he is the currently the back-up at the position. The Bears signed Lovato as an undrafted free agent this off season out of the Old Dominion where “he snapped the ball without incident at Old Dominion the past four years,” according to Stephen Edelson of app.com.

“There’s no room for error. It’s all about being perfect every single time,” Lovato told Edelson about long-snapping. “In college I had right around 430 long snaps, and I had a select few that didn’t go my way, but none caused a huge problem. I never snapped it over the punter’s head. I never had one that just rolled back or anything like that.”

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What more can you ask for out of a long snapper? How about good size at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, and nice athleticism. That combination allows Lovato to excel as a blocker and downfield tackler. From the long snapper position, that can be a huge skill-set.

The Bears signed veteran long-snapper Thomas Gafford this off season, and he is probably the strong favorite for the starting job this season. That being said, Lovato is clearly a talented long snapper, and deserves consideration. Who knows, maybe the Bears will find the next Patrick Mannelly in Lovato?

Next: Where Does Kevin White Rank Among ROY Candidates

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