Patrick Scales Provides Bears Long-Snapping Consistency

Gene Chamberlain

Patrick Scales continues to plug along as Bears long snapper and last season had no complaints, at least known ones.

The previous season, after one of Cody Parkey's doinks, he received some blame for a poor snap. It wasn't the double-doink, but a one off the upright against the Minnesota Vikings in the regular season-ending 24-10 win over the Vikings.

"There were some other parts to that miss," coach Matt Nagy said at the time. "You'll see it on tape.

"Cody's taken a lot this year and he'll take some of (that miss), but I'm gonna protect Cody on this one."

The snap was high to Pat O'Donnell but he did get it down for Parkey, who missed his 10th overall kick on that one. He still had one more in him.

Regardless, the long snapper has one function and can't afford to send back high snaps. Scales has been relatively dependable beyond that.

Scales is 32 years old now and has been a long snapper for five different seasons, although he missed one in 2017 when he had a torn ACL prior to the start. He had also been with the Ravens, Dolphins, Jets and Bucs but the only other team he appeared in a game with was Baltimore in 2014 for two games.

The Bears showed some interest in LSU long snapper Blake Ferguson in the offseason run up to the draft but never signed him and he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round to replace John Denney, their longtime long snapper who retired after the 2018 season.

A 32-year-old long snapper is not an age concern, obviously. Trey Junkin long-snapped when he was 40, although the Giants probably wish he had maybe stopped at 39 after his long snap cost them a playoff game.

Cowboys long snapper L.P. Ladouceur is 39.

The one thing teams have to be concerned with long snappers about when they get older is being able to get down and cover on punts. Scales hasn't exactly been a dynamic physical force anyway. He's had two tackles each of the past two seasons.

Scales has operated on a one-year contract over each of the last three seasons, counting 2020. He is at $1.047,500 with a $137,500 signing bonus and is the 20th highest paid long snapper this season, second highest in the NFC North.

Detroit's Don Mulbach is the highest paid long snapper in the NFC North at $1.14 million average and Beau Brinkley of Tennessee the highest paid in the league at $1.28 million according to Overthecap.com.

Patrick Scales at a Glance

Utah State Long Snapper

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 228

The Numbers: Scales has been long snapper in 32 straight Bears games and 53 overall. When he missed 2017 with an ACL tear former Bucs long snapper Andrew DePaola replaced him for one season.

Roster Chances: 5 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most.

2020 Projection: Hopefully a hum drum season with few tackles and no high or low long snaps.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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