The Chicago Bears’ special teams unit is starting to take shape:
The #Bears have two-thirds of their kicking operation figured out now as long snapper Patrick Scales has agreed to terms of a 1-year contract.
Long snapper? Check.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 2, 2019
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports the Bears have re-signed long snapper Patrick Scales to a one-year contract. Scales has been the team’s long snapper since the final five games of the 2015 season. And if you exclude the 2017 season Scales missed due to an ACL injury, the long-snapper job has been exclusively his. In a year where Cody Parkey’s missed kicks scarred Bears fans, Scales didn’t have an issue with any snaps. I suppose that’s good news going into the 2019 season.
Scales’ signing is the latest deal for a Bears core special teams player. The team has also re-signed punter Patrick O’Donnell and safety/special teams core contributor DeAndre Houston-Carson this offseason. Ahhh, there’s nothing like getting the band back together!
Familiarity can be valuable in football, but the Bears had one of the lowest-graded special teams units in the league last season. So to bring back three key members from that group for another run at it in 2019 is a bold strategy, to say the least. Remember, the Bears allowed O’Donnell to explore the waters of unrestricted free agency for a second consecutive season, then declined to tender restricted free agent contracts to Scales and Houston-Carson. The Bears’ special teams unit could have looked far different in 2019 than it did in 2018, but it’s apparent that coordinator Chris Tabor feels confident enough in those players to give them another chance, so that’s what the team is going with moving forward.
With Scales’ return, the Bears have their long snapper and holder lined up. Now, about that kicking situation…