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Player Interview- Patrick Mannelly

I have been trying to arrange various different interviews with Chicago Bears players and personnel to different degrees of success. When I emailed Patrick Mannelly's website, I received back a personal response within two days saying he would be happy to do an interview. Talk about keeping in touch with your fans.

I was quite surprised by the response I received as far as questions go. Between those suggested here, on the message boards, from other blog owners and a few people I asked I think I only used 1-2 questions that weren't suggested.

So thanks to everybody who helped with the questions and thanks to Patrick Mannelly for participating.

WCG - We always here about the scrimmages and great plays that the offensive and defensive players make during practice, but rarely about special teams? How different is it for a special teams player in training camp?

PM - Being a specialist we don't really have a chance to make great plays in practice. Probably the biggest thing I get to be apart of is helping Robbie make a 50 yard field goal. Also being a specialist there is a lot of standing around during practice. We get out to the field early to get warmed up and start our work then during practice we only really work for about 20 to 25 min.

WCG - Every year during the draft we hear countless people's views on potential QBs throwing motions. Are there different techniques to the long snap being used around the league. Is there one that is considered the correct way?

PM - No, but I would say there are two different ways of snapping. There are guys that snap with their head up and some with their head between their legs. Either one works. I prefer looking between my legs. Also all the longsnappers in the NFL use two hands.

WCG - On your website you give tips and hints and video of training methods. What inspired you to start the site and share what your knowledge of the position?

PM - To be honest I was bored one off season and I wanted to see if I could make a website. So I decided to make an instructional website on longsnapping. I looked around the web and I could not find any so I made an extremely elementary one at first. Then the great guys from Monsters of the Webway (Ken Wood) have taken it over and we made it look a lot better with much more content that is helpful for longsnappers.

WCG - Through my experience most youth football teams and high schools just use their starting center as their long snapper. At what point in a player's career do they start to specialize in long snapping? Is it just out of need or do certian players have a knack for it?

PM - I think it starts in high school now. I have been doing a lot of lessons with kids who are in high school and that that is all they play. I think certain players have a knack for it.

WCG - A great amount of games are won on the final field goal. It is always talked about how, teams try to ice a kicker by taking one last timeout. How do you handle the stress of being in the game in so many key situations?

PM - As I have gotten older it is a lot easier because I have more experience to look back on. But when I was younger you just have to be confident in your ability.

WCG - Head coaches and offensive coordinators are finding new ways to create offense. This has been finding more and more non-offensive players in the end zone. Would you like the opportunity to line up with the chance of catching TDs?

PM - No doubt. I think anybody who plays football dreams of scoring a touchdown.

WCG - How long would you like to play in the NFL and do you have any plans for a post football career?

PM - I want to play until they kick me out. I have two ideas of what I would like to do. One is get involved in commercial real estate or stay in football with coaching.

WCG - Have any of the rookies impressed you so far in camp?

PM - Devin Hester has a chance to be a special return man. Other than that they have all been typical rookies.

WCG - Are you nervous about long-snapping in Super Bowl XLI?

PM - I hope I get the chance to. But you have to look at that game like any other.
Favorite movie? - Old School
Favorite music? - Dave Matthews Band
Pre game superstitions? - none
Favorite Jersey: Home, Away, All Blue, Alternate Orange? - home

There it is. Hope you enjoyed it and I hope that the questions were of interest to you. Enjoy!