You want an underrated Bears player, this guy is an underrated player for sure.
Along with Center Olin Kruetz, Mannelly has been with the Bears for a good 12 years since being drafted from Duke University in the sixth round of the 1998 Draft. Though he doesn’t have the All-Pro/Pro Bowl Credentials like Olin does, he plays a very significant part on not only the Bears special teams, but on the whole Bears team.
Many Bears players over the years have credited Mannelly as the “unsung” hero of the Bears squad. And why shouldn’t he be? You never hear anything negative about his playing time. He rarely ever complains if you’re lucky enough to actually hear a word from him. He helps out in the Chicago community often.
And he made the Robbie Gould/Brad Maynard duo one of the best kickers in the league. Robbie Gould stated in his Pro Bowl acceptance speech that he wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for Patrick, and that’s saying a lot.
Also , Bear fans never dismiss the significance of a long-snapper. Though rarely mentioned, they are a crucial part of a team. Just go back and watch the 2008 match-up of the New York football Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers lost that game due to a long-snapper’s injury. Pittsburgh gave a bad snap that ended in a safety, gave the ball back to New York and scored to put the game away.
Fortunately for us, Mannelly has never been injured.
So, for all the Cutler, Urlacher, Hester, Briggs, Kruetz, and T. Harris jerseys out there, I’m gunna try my hardest to find the Patrick Mannelly jersey. For a man that has been consistent for his 12-year career, I think its now time to pay the man his dues. Hopefully, when I go back to Chicago (the only place where I have a chance at finding one), I will get it and wear it with pride!