Bears waiting on snapper Patrick Mannelly to decide futureContinue reading.
The end of an era: Patrick Mannelly’s top five plays as the Bears’ long-snapper
Long-snapper Patrick Mannelly announced his retirement Friday after 16 seasons with the Bears.
Mannelly was a sixth-round draft pick out of Duke by Mark Hatley in 1998. He was rated the 34th best offensive tackle in the draft by Mel Kiper — two spots behind Matt Birk, who became a six-time Pro Bowl center. But the Bears took him strictly as a long-snapper. The Bears were going to wait until the seventh round to take Mannelly, but Hatley discovered that the Packers and 49ers had shown interest in him, so they took Mannelly in the sixth round, 189th overall. Hatley never regretted it.
“The one [pick] I’m proud of is [Mannelly],” Hatley said after that draft. “I’ve heard people say, “Why would he take a snapper [in the draft?]‘ I think a snapper can be with your football team for 10 years, and you don’t have to worry about him.”
As it turned out, Mannelly lasted even longer than that — he set franchise records by playing in 16 seasons and 245 games. He missed 11 games in those 16 seasons — playing in all 16 in 12 of them. And with his fluid, natural motion, Mannelly was even more consistent than he was durable. The Bears never lost a game because of a poor snap in Mannelly’s 16 seasons. They set an NFL record with 920 consecutive punts without a block.
That consistency helped make him an relatively anonymous player on the Bears. But in honor of his outstanding performance, here is a list of great moments for one of the best Bears ever.
1. Robbie Gould’s 49-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Seahawks in the 2006 playoff opener — Great zip and accuracy, good rotation on the ball and a laces-up delivery made for a perfect snap.
2. Robbie Gould’s 38-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Packers in minus-13 wind chill conditions and keep the Bears’ playoff hopes alive in 2008 — Great zip and accuracy, good rotation on the ball and a laces-up delivery made for a perfect snap.
3. Paul Edinger’s 54-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation to beat the Lions 23-20 in 2000 — Great zip and accuracy, good rotation on the ball and a laces-up delivery made for a perfect snap.
4. Fumble recovery against the 49ers in 2003 — On a fourth-quarter punt in the season opener, Mannelly recovered the first forced fumble of rookie Charles Tillman’s career at the Bears’ 47-yard line. Unfortunately, the Bears’ were losing 49-7 at the time, but Mannelly’s big play kept things from getting worse.
5. Adam Podlesh’s 64-yard net punt vs. Arizona in 2012 — Great zip and accuracy, good rotation on the ball and a laces-up delivery made for a perfect snap.