CHICAGO -- Bears fans will never again underestimate the importance of veteran long-snapper Patrick Mannelly.
With Mannelly held out Saturday due to a neck stinger, tight end Desmond Clark assumed snapping duties, and struggled to find his rhythm in the early going. Clark was unable to connect with holder Brad Maynard on two separate occasions in the first half -- once on a field goal, and once on a point-after-touchdown attempt.
"It's the first time I had to do it for the entire game, so it's one to grow on," Clark said. "I think if I had to go back there and do it again, I'd put money on myself that I would make those plays."
After a few botched attempts in the first half, Clark settled down in the final 30 minutes, converting his final snap to holder Brad Maynard on a 25-yard Robbie Gould fourth-quarter field goal.
What changed for Clark in the second half?
"Just the mindset," Clark said. "The mindset that I didn't have to be perfect. That I just had to rely on my technique and the stuff I do in practice every day. Once I got that mindset, and quit worrying about trying to snap it right at the spot and snap it just perfect, like on the punts, I hit the spot almost every time when I wasn't trying to be perfect."