Bears prepared for emergency long-snapping situation
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter 3:58 p.m. CDT, September 11, 2012
Dave Toub knows what happened to the Oakland Raiders on Monday night when they lost long snapper Jon Condo.
Multiple problems arose on special teams after Condo, one of the best in the league, was lost to a head injury early in a 22-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Reserve linebacker Travis Goethel tried to fill in and made three poor snaps that directly led to three field goals for the Chargers -- more than the difference in the game.
So, what did Toub do Tuesday afternoon in practice at Halas Hall? He gave backup long snapper Matt Spaeth, the tight end, a full period snapping in place of veteran Pat Mannelly.
“He got a whole period today,” Toub said. “Surprise, surprise. But it wasn’t just because of the game last night, but something like that definitely makes you think about it. He’s been working on it and he’s been doing it pre-practice.”
Toub said Spaeth is “great” doing it in a pinch and fellow tight end Kyle Adams also does it some on the side.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers long snapper Andrew Economos says there are not really “backup” long snappers, though. He calls them “emergency” long snappers because it’s a special skill and few can spin the ball between their legs accurately.
“That’s true,” Toub said. “I think that is a great point.”
Economos and Mannelly both atteneded Marist School in Atlanta, leading Mannelly to call it “Long Snapper High.”
The Bears had someone Toub called a true backup last season in fullback Tyler Clutts. Obviously, he’s hopeful he doesn’t have to see his emergency guy in game action.