16 Days Until Chicago Bears 2017 Season: Pat O’Donnell Profile

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Punter Pat O'Donnell
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Punter Pat O'Donnell /

The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway for the second season in a row. With 16 days to go until the Bears’ season kicks off, we will highlight the Bears’ player that is wearing number 16, Pat O’Donnell.

CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 27: Pat O’Donnell
CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 27: Pat O’Donnell /

2016 Review

Pat O’Donnell’s 2016 season can be described as mediocre. O’Donnell had 68 punts for 2994 yards which ranked 24th in NFL. He averaged 44.0 yards per punt ranked 25th in NFL. His longest punt of the season was 67 yards ranking 14th in NFL. 24 of O’Donnell’s 68 punts came inside the 20 tied for 20th in the league.

O’Donnell didn’t have any of his punt blocked during the season, but did give up one touchdown and 242 yards returned.

2017 Outlook

Pat O’Donnell should have another year in the middle of the pack of NFL punters. Soldier field is one of the tougher stadiums to punt in due to the Kentucky Bluegrass and adverse weather conditions.

The Bears and O’Donnell ranked dead last 32nd in opponents punt return average 12.8. This falls on both O’Donnell and the quality of the special teams coverage.

The Chicago Bears have added some depth to the defensive side of the ball, which will also translate to special teams.

Veteran Dan Skuta and rookie Eddie Jackson will be new additions to the special teams unit that is in need of both leadership and new energy.

Next: Will Ka'Deem Carey get cut?

Future with the Bears

Mega punt is a fan favorite, however his contract is up at the end of the 2017 season. This will be a make or break year to secure a contract extension for O’Donnell.

Punters are usually an inexpensive signing , as they go undrafted in most cases. The Bears can easily sign an undrafted free agent punter or sign a veteran to the minimum contract to replace O’Donnell.

Performance and finances will prove to be the deciding factor in O’Donne’s future as a Chicago Bear.