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Friday, October 9, 2015

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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October 8, 2015 - Sergio Castillo takes over at kicker
"After getting much of the blame for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers loss to the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday, Lirim Hajrullahu is being replaced as the club’s field goal kicker. Hajrullahu, 25, missed four field goal attempts and a convert against the Eskimos. He’ll still dress against the B.C. Lions on Saturday as the teams punter, but newcomer Sergio Castillo will kick the field goals. 'Just getting comfortable with, you know, the snap and hold, you know with the first team,' Castillo said. 'I think that’s just the main thing, to just get into a rhythm. And accuracy, you know, it’s been pretty good. So it’s just getting comfortable. That’s the main, main thing.' Castillo, 24, had tryouts in the NFL with New Orleans, Miami and Atlanta and was even working as a high school teacher in San Antonio, Texas. He was signed to the Bombers practice roster in August and will now get a chance to kick in his first CFL game." - Global News

August 28, 2015 - kicker Sergio Castillo signed to practice squad
"Castillo (5-foot-11, 195 lbs., West Texas A&M, born Nov. 1, 1990) played four seasons with the Buffaloes where he connected on 78% of his field goal attempts. As a senior in 2013, he went 24-30 on field goals. That year, he was the winner of the Fred Mitchell Award, given to the nation’s top kicker. His 38 field goals in 2012 marked a school record for field goals made in one season. His 62 career field goals are both a school and Lone Star Conference record." - MyToba

July 10, 2015 - kicker Lirim Hajrullahu hits four field goals in win over Montreal
"Lirim Hajrullahu booted four field goals and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers scored touchdowns off an interception and a blocked punt in a 25-23 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday. Winnipeg (2-1) held a 22-13 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Montreal running back Tyrell Sutton ran in his second touchdown of the game 55 seconds in to start closing the gap. Hajrullahu booted his fourth field goal to make it 25-20, but Als rookie quarterback Rakeem Cato guided the Alouettes on a six-play, 55-yard drive that ended with Boris Bede's 38-yard field goal.... Hajrullahu connected on field goals from 21, 25, 33 and a career-best 52 yards. He missed one point after (for the third time this season) and was good on another." -  The Record

June 21, 2015 - kicker Anthony Santella released

May 30, 2015 - long snapper Chad Rempel signed
"Rempel, six-foot-three 225 pounds, has played 125 career CFL games — nine of which came with the Blue Bombers in his rookie season of 2005. The Sherwood Park, Alta. native moved on to play seven seasons for Toronto and one for Hamilton, before spending the 2013 season with the Chicago Bears. He returned to the CFL for the last half of the 2014 season with Saskatchewan." - Winnipeg Free Press

February 5, 2015 - punter Mike Renaud retires
"Mike Renaud is retiring after six seasons in the Canadian Football League, all with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Renaud played in 86 games over those six seasons and finishes his career fourth all-time in Bombers' punting yardage with 28,490 yards. 'I really, honestly, cherished my time as a Bomber, and love the organization. It’s a place I wanted my career to end when that time did come. It’s time to move on, and enjoy life after football.' Renaud was originally acquired in a trade with Calgary in June of 2009." - CBC

January 22, 2015 - long snapper Ian Wild released
The Bombers released linebacker and long snapper Ian Wild from his contract on Thursday, less than three weeks before he was scheduled to become a free agent. The Bombers let him go early so he can sign an NFL contract, and sources say that squad is his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. 'Ian Wild is a great football player in every facet of what you look for, and we are not at all surprised he has garnered interest from the National Football League,' Bombers general manager Kyle Walters said in a press release. Wild appeared in 29 games during two seasons with the Blue and Gold, registering 142 tackles, 29 special teams tackles and four sacks. He also served as the team's long snapper, and the Bombers struggled mightily at the position when he was out of the lineup due to injury." - Sault Star

January 7, 2015 - long snapper Tim Cronk signed
"The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today are pleased to announce the club has signed National fullback and long snapper, Tim Cronk. A four year CFL veteran, Cronk was last with the Riders in 2014. Prior to that, he spent three seasons with the B.C. Lions. Throughout his CFL career, Cronk has played in 51 games. After going undrafted out of Bishop's, he signed with the Lions in May of 2011. He tallied 20 special teams tackles, two fumble recoveries and one fumble return for a touchdown during that time." - Our Sports Central 

November 5, 2014 - kicker/punter Lirim Hajrullahu wins three awards
"The fact Lirim Hajrullahu won three of his team's six individual awards on Wednesday signifies just how bad it was in Winnipeg in 2014. It should not, however, take away from how good a year Hajrullahu had as the team's placekicker and punter. The 24-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., is the kicker the Bombers have been needing for years. The ideal situation for any CFL team is to have one Canadian do all the kicking, and Hajrullahu proved this year he can do it.... As a result, Hajrullahu on Wednesday was named the team's most outstanding rookie, special teams player and Canadian in voting conducted by the local chapter of the Football Reporters of Canada and Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea. Hajrullahu was the unanimous choice for the special teams and rookie awards. 'It's a very humbling experience for all the hard work that I've put in to get me to the point where I am today,' Hajrullahu said Wednesday." - Winnipeg Sun

November 4, 2014 - kicker/punter Lirim Hajrullahu
"Following in the footsteps of Trevor Kennerd, Troy Westwood, Justin Palardy and Alexis Serna, rookie Lirim Hajrullahu setting a new club record for kicking accuracy in a season, making 40 of his 46 field goal attempts for an 87 percent success rate. It just barely overtakes the old mark of 86.7 per cent set by Palardy who did it twice in 2010 and 2012.... Hajrullahu began the season as the team’s place kicker getting used for kickoffs and field goals but after Mike Renaud was sidelined by injury, Hajrullahu also assumed the punting duties. It’s a job he won’t relinquish without a fight, 'I’m coming back to camp and compete for all three,' said Hajrullahu. 'That’s my goal. I’m not gonna hide that.' Hajrullahu had a 43.8 yard punting average on 109 punts in his rookie season. It puts him near the bottom of the league but he was still better than Renaud’s 42.7 yard average before the injury." - Global News

October 18, 2014 - kicker Lirim Hajrullahu on record pace
"Bombers kicker Lirim Hajrullahu is on pace to set a couple of field-goal accuracy records. Hajrullahu currently leads the CFL in field-goal percentage at 91.2 (31-34) and appears likely to smash the franchise field goal record set by Justin Palardy at 86.7 per cent. CFL statistician Steve Daniel says Hajrullahu is also on pace to set the CFL rookie field goal accuracy record of 86.96 per cent set by first-year Ticats kicker Justin Medlock in 2009 when he went 40-of-46. Daniel says Hajrullahu can afford to miss two more field-goal attempts in Winnipeg’s final three games — provided he attempts at least five in that period — and still break Medlock’s rookie record." - Winnipeg Free Press

July 29, 2014 - kicker/punter Lirim Hajrullahu gets weekly CFL honor
"Hajrullahu was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 5. Hajrullahu went a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals and scored 17 points in the Blue Bombers’ 23-6 road win over the BC Lions. Hajrullahu also took part in punting duties, kicking five punts averaging 43 yards with his longest going 50 yards. He also added a single in the third quarter. The 5’11” St. Catharines, Ontario native and a former standout at Western University made successful field goals from 51, 49, 33, 27 and 19 yards away to improve his rate to 13-for-14 (92.9%) on the season. Hajrullahu ranks second in the league in kicking points with 51. This is Hajrullahu’s first season in the CFL and his first Player of the Week award." - CFL

July 20, 2014 - Lirim Hajrullahu gets triple duty
"Lirim Hajrullahu will continue to be a triple threat for the foreseeable future. Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea told reporters on Sunday that Mike Renaud — who injured his hamstring during the warm-up prior to Thursday’s 26-3 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos — would be out for “several weeks” and that the team wasn’t planning on bringing anybody in to replace him. That means Hajrullahu will be the punter on Friday against the B.C. Lions, while also handling field goal and kickoff duties. 'I’m going to stick with Lirim,' said O’Shea. 'You’ve got to remember that he’s a rookie. His tunnel vision is very good for a young guy. He’s very focused on what he does. He’s kind of oblivious to a lot of the other stuff going on around him and it’s important for a kicker to be like that. When he found out he was going to punt (on Thursday), he was like ‘okay, let’s punt.’ And away he went'.” - Winnipeg Sun

June 17, 2014 - kicker Lirim Hajrullahu
Things are looking up for Lirim Hajrullahu....Life is pretty good for the 24-year-old, but he’s not celebrating just yet. 'I’m happy to be here, because I really wanted to play here,' Hajrullahu said. 'This was my goal, to be playing here. I’m happy, but we’re still in training camp, so I’m still competing. I’m not trying to slow down at all. So I’m just going to keep going.' Hajrullahu used the disappointment he experienced in 2013 to propel himself into 2014. Not getting drafted made him work even harder at his craft. 'The first couple weeks it was very tough,' he said. 'Obviously you think you belong in the league and see other guys you believe you’re better than, but I just used it as motivation last year and trained my butt off. Just became way more healthier and stronger, and then just came back and then had a great fifth year and made a lot of noise there." - Winnipeg Sun

Also: The team released National long snapper Sean Blake.

June 16, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher waived
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have sorted out their kicking game and Brett Maher is the odd-man out. Maher, who couldn’t overcome his American passport, was among the five players released by the Blue Bombers on Sunday as the team got down to 65 players. Head coach Mike O’Shea made it clear that Maher, a star at Nebraska of the NCAA, would have to win the punting, kicking and kickoff jobs outright in order to nail down a spot on the roster. As it turns out, that didn’t occur, despite a solid showing from Maher, though O’Shea gave him an endorsement on the way to the unemployment line.... That leaves veteran Mike Renaud as the punter and rookie Lirim Hajrullahu to handle field goals and kickoffs. O’Shea was asked if Hajrullahu might be able to handle all three jobs somewhere down the road. 'He certainly fared well but right now, that’s not the case,' said O’Shea. 'Right now we’re having both players do three jobs. (Hajrullahu) has not surprised himself with his punting. He believes he’s a three-way guy. Right now, I think it’s best for him to work on those mechanics with field goal kicking and kickoffs'.” - Winnipeg Sun

June 12, 2014 - the kicker/punter job
"The starter: Brett Maher: Went 2-for-2 kicking field goals with a long of 47 in the pre-season game against the Argos. Also had a 44-yard average over seven punts. Maher is an American, and the only way he stays is if he can win both jobs, and right now, things are headed in that direction.
The surprise: Lirim Hajrullahu: Lots to like about this Canadian rookie and he can do both jobs. Incumbent punter Mike Renaud has a back injury and it might cost him his spot. Money and a Canadian passport might tempt the Bombers to go with Hajrullahu to handle all the kicking duties. Keep an eye on this fight." - Winnipeg Free Press

May 29, 2014 - kicker Lirim Hajrullahu camps
"He’s the only Canadian placekicker in camp, and that right there gives rookie hoofer Lirim Hajrullahu a head start in the competition for Winnipeg’s starting job this season. The former Western Mustang is competing with American Brett Maher for the team’s placekicking job, and veteran punter Mike Renaud is the only other specialist currently on the roster. Who ultimately gets each job could depend on the ratio, and teams are reluctant to use an American in the position unless he can do all three jobs. That makes the competition a little tighter, because Maher does all three jobs — field goals, kickoffs and punts — while Hajrullahu is primarily a placekicker. Renaud, meanwhile, is strictly a punter.... Hajrullahu has been lifting some nice punts into the air during the first two days of rookie camp, and he plans to pick Renaud’s brain when the veteran reports for camp on Saturday. After all, the more you can do … 'I’m still learning with punting,' he said. 'Hopefully with Renaud here he can help me and give me some tips. I have a good base, and if he gets hurt or I need to go in there I’ll do my best and try to put up the numbers he can'.” - Winnipeg Sun

May 6, 2014 - punter Mike Renaud gets Barwell Award
"Winnipeg Blue Bombers punter Mike Renaud has been recognized with the Athletes in Action Gord Barwell Award. The award is presented each year to a CFL player who exhibits exemplary Christian conduct and leadership both on and off of the field. The award is named after legendary receiver, the late Gord Barwell of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who helped establish the ministry of Athletes in Action throughout the CFL." -

April 30, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher signed
"Former University of Nebraska Cornhuskers kicker Brett Maher says he has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Maher tweeted from his personal account Wednesday night that he is 'excited for my opportunity with the @Wpg_BlueBombers this fall!' Maher also retweeted his agent, Robert Roche, who congratulated his client for "signing with the Wpg_BlueBombers." Maher handled place-kicking, punting and kickoff duties for the Cornhuskers and worked out for the Bombers during the team's recent mini-camp in Sarasota, Florida.... Maher is a Nebraska native and an import. His American passport will work against him competing at training camp next month for a job that CFL teams prefer to hand off to Canadians, but the fact he has experience at all three kicking tasks will work in his favour. Maher joins veteran punter Mike Renaud and rookie kicker Lirim Hajrullahu on the Bombers roster. Renaud and Hajrullahu are both non-imports." - Winnipeg Free Press

April 15, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher auditioned
"The Bombers also auditioned three kickers on Tuesday, putting them through punting, place-kicking and kickoff drills. The club was particularly keen this week to see Brett Maher, who performed all three tasks in a standout career at the University of Nebraska and will almost certainly be invited to the Bombers main training camp in June if he doesn’t get an NFL offer in the meantime. Maher said he is still entertaining NFL interest from the Kansas City Chiefs, but is also keenly interested in the Bombers after getting a glimpse of the organization. 'I’ve definitely been very pleased with this organization and with the coaches and scouts and stuff that I’ve been in contact with'." - Winnipeg Free Press

February 10, 2014 - long snapper Chris Cvetkovic retires
"The longest serving member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced his retirement this morning. Long snapper Chris Cvetkovic, who joined the Bombers in October 2003, made the announcement via his Twitter account. 'As of today I am no longer a @Wpg_BlueBombers but am now @Bomber Alumni,' Cvetkovic wrote. 'THANK U to all the Fans, Teammates, and staff!' Cvetkovic, 36, was scheduled to become a free agent tomorrow, but it was unlikely the Bombers were going to offer him a contract as he had been replaced as Winnipeg’s long snapper halfway through last season. Cvetkovic was arguably the most reliable long snapper during his decade in the CFL and had 63 special teams tackles over nine seasons with the Bombers. He missed the 2010 season after suffering a knee injury in the pre-season. The Hamilton, Ont., native was also one of the most community-minded players during his tenure with the Blue and Gold. His most notable work was the creation of Cvet’s Pets, a no-kill animal rescue program." - Winnipeg Sun

January 17, 2014 - kicker Lirim Hajrullahu signed
"Western Mustangs’ kicker Hajrullahu, from St. Catherines, Ont., finished his Mustangs career this season by surpassing Ottawa’s Neil Lumsden as the CIS’ all-time leading scorer with 422 points over his five seasons. He also set an OUA record with 77 career field goals, and tied the OUA single-season record with 22 field goals in 2013. For his efforts, Hajrullahu earned two spots on the OUA first team all-stars, getting the nod at both punter and kicker. He was also named a CIS second team all-Canadian as a kicker." - Metro News

Thursday, October 8, 2015

FCS Nutrition Guide for Kickers & Punters, part 2

Our annual Q&A series with college specialists continues with FCS kickers and punters. We asked seniors the following question:
"What's the most important thing you've learned during your college career regarding nutrition, diet and/or meal-planning for specialists?"
Following is the second half of the responses...

Brad Cornish, Sacramento State
"I implemented a nutrition plan that would support/enhance my workouts. I will eat a bowl of oatmeal or some pasta depending on what time our practice is. Something with high carbs will provide me with energy throughout practice. I wouldn't be as good on the field if I didn't watch what went into my body off the field." 

Osborn Umeh, Indiana State
"I have learned that you have to prepare each and everyday to have a good game in college. I have learned that the speed and strength is a whole different story. I also learned that you have a form a family to have a successful team."

Cory Carter, Texas Southern
"Always eat at least three meals a day. Intake low carbs meals and plenty of vegetables."

Stephen Doar, Presbyterian College
"The most important thing is to keep a consistent meal plan year-round, 3 meals a day, well-balanced, fruit, vegetables and meat. You feel better when you do that. It's a noticeable difference when you eat unhealthy, you feel tired and sluggish. Being conscious of a healthy meal-plan is crucial for a specialist. You gain more energy and just feel better which helps physically, but also mentally which is just as important, if not more."

Ryan Maglio, James Madison
"JMU football is extremely lucky to have a full time nutritionist working in the front office 24/7. Before we had this it was easy to go to the dining halls and make a lot of unhealthy decisions. But the nutrition staff has taught me how to take care of my body so I can maintain a strong performance throughout the season. The most important thing I have learned regarding nutrition is 48 hours before a game, nothing goes into my body but water, carbs, protein, and a type of vegetable (my personal choice is broccoli). This is really easy to do because as a team we spend all day Friday and Saturday together prepping for our games. The meals are provided and that is exactly what they have for us. About three hours before every game we all have pasta with grilled chicken, veggies, and a big salad. For me it is the perfect meal because it's not too heavy and it keeps me energized and ready to go for four quarters."

Ottawa Redblacks Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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October 7, 2015 - kicker/punter Brett Maher released

September 19, 2015 - Chris Milo kicks game winner over Saskatchewan
"The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ fourth-quarter follies continued Saturday when they lost 30-27 to the visiting Ottawa Redblacks in CFL action at Mosaic Stadium.... Ottawa settled matters with six seconds remaining when ex-Roughrider Chris Milo kicked a 14-yard field goal to snap a 27-27 tie." - Leader-Post

September 17, 2015 - punter Brett Maher re-signed
"Wear and tear on the labrum in his hip caught up to Maher during offseason training just before Redblacks mini-camp in April. Repair and rehab was pegged at between four and six months, and he’s at about four and a half since the injury flared up. He received medical clearance earlier this week and was quickly en route to Ottawa, where in the Redblacks’ first CFL season he averaged 45.4 yards per punt and a net of 38.0, factoring in opponents’ returns. Those numbers would represent a noticeable improvement for the Redblacks, who in 2015 rank ninth and last in the CFL in punting average (40.6) and net punting (31.9) from the combined efforts of Alix, Milo, DeMarco, Wilder and Pfeffer." - Ottawa Citizen

September 13, 2015 - Chris Milo kicks five field goals in win over BC
"The Ottawa Redblacks confirmed Sunday that they are not a struggling CFL expansion franchise anymore. Jeremiah Johnson rushed for two second-half touchdowns and Chris Milo kicked five field goals [37, 42, 12, 18 & 48 yards] as the Redblacks came back to beat the B.C. Lions 31-18 at B.C. Place Stadium." - SpotsNet

August 24, 2015 - kicker/punter Ronnie Pfeffer signed
"Less than a week after being released by Toronto, rookie kicker/punter Ronnie Pfeffer has agreed to a three-year deal with the Ottawa Redblacks, per sources. Pfeffer filled in for the CFL’s 2014 top special teams player, Swayze Waters, who was sidelined with a hip flexor injury, and handled all three kicking duties for the Argos. In six games with Toronto he made good on 12-of-16 field goal attempts with a long of 52 yards and hit 11-of-13 extra points while punting for a 44.1-yard average. With Waters healed and ready to return to the lineup, Pfeffer was let go by the Argonauts." - SportsNet

August 13, 2015 - Anthony Alix injured, kicker Chris Milo to handle punting
"Because of a leg injury that will sideline Anthony Alix, Chris Milo will add punt and kickoff duties to those he already had as field-goal kicker. Backup QB Thomas DeMarco, who was a punter/kicker in high school and at the start of his U.S. college football career, has practised punting this week and would be the emergency backup to Milo." - Ottawa Citizen

August 1, 2015 - kicker Chris Milo signed, Delbert Alvarado released
"Alvarado was good on 11-of-14 field goal attempts, but two misses in the 29-26 win over the Calgary Stampeders last week probably sealed his fate. Alvarado missed a 32-yard field goal late in the game, plus was unsuccessful on a 32-yard convert earlier. The RedBlacks brought Milo in for a workout Friday. He kicked for 30-45 minutes and the RedBlacks decided they would sign him.... Last season in Saskatchewan, the 28-year-old Milo connected on 30-of-42 field goals. In 2013, he was 46-for-52, a tremendous 88.5% success rate. The Roughriders won a Grey Cup that season. Milo, who’s from Montreal and went to school at Laval, also punted in Saskatchewan." - Ottawa Sun

July 24, 2015 - kicker Delbert Alvarado hits OT game winner
"The Ottawa Redblacks upset the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders 29-26 in overtime Friday night at TD Place. Ottawa won the game on a 34-yard field goal by Delbert Alvarado." - Globe and Mail

June 16, 2015 - kicker Johnny Mark released
"The team released Mark, a 23-year-old Peterborough native whose rights had been acquired during the off-season from the Saskatchewan Roughriders in exchange for a conditional 2016 draft pick. The kicker from the University of Calgary did not play in either of the Redblacks’ two preseason games." - Ottawa Citizen

May 30, 2015 - kicker Anthony Alix signed
"Alix, a 28-year-old from Mont-Tremblant, Que. is a St. Francis Xavier University product who had a brief Canadian Football League stint with the Toronto Argonauts in 2012. He had been in Ottawa for a tryout with the Redblacks earlier in the week. He joins Johnny Mark of Peterborough and Delbert Alvarado as candidates for the Redblacks’ punting, field goal and kickoff duties." - Ottawa Citizen

May 29, 2015 - kicker Delbert Alvarado signed
"With Brett Maher gone with a leg injury, Alvarado is back in the picture, signed on Friday with both Zach Ramirez and Trey Barrow released.... Alvarado spent time with both Hamilton and Montreal. He played two-pre-season games with the Als last year, before getting a shot with the RedBlacks. He's also gotten looks at an NFL Combine." - Ottawa Sun

May 15, 2015 - punter/kicker Trey Barrow signed
"Former Missouri punter and kicker Trey Barrow was signed by the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks, the team announced Friday. Barrow, a Moberly native, played for Missouri from 2010-12, serving as the starting punter his final two years. He averaged 44.8 yards per punt as a junior and 43.1 as a senior. He made 7 of 9 field goals in 2011." - Columbia Tribune

April 27, 2015 - injured kicker Brett Maher likely to miss year
"A hip injury during training is expected to sideline kicker Brett Maher for the 2015 season. 'The odds are that he won’t be able to play for us this season,' Marcel Desjardins said following the first of four spring mini-camp workouts at TD Place stadium. Maher was the only kicker the Redblacks used last season. The 25-year-old Nebraska native struggled on field goals, converting about two-thirds of his attempts, but he outperformed expectations as a punter and was voted Redblacks special-teams player of the year. The Redblacks are left with two rookie kickers in camp: Canadian Johnny Marks, a University of Calgary product and American Zack Ramirez, who spent the latter portion of the 2014 season on the practice roster." - Ottawa Citizen

March 2, 2015 - kicker Johnny Mark signed
"It’s a two-year contract with an option for a third season for the Peterborough native who recently completed his fourth season with the Calgary Dinos with 391 points, the fifth-highest total in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football history. The Redblacks acquired Mark’s rights from the Saskatchewan Roughriders in early February in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2016 Canadian Football League college draft. The Roughriders selected Mark 20th overall in 2014. He attended training camp last year, even appearing in a preseason game against the Redblacks at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium on June 14. He also punted four times and missed a field goal in another preseason contest against the Edmonton Eskimos." - Ottawa Citizen

February 13, 2015 - long snapper Kevin Scott retires

February 9, 2015 - rights to kicker John Mark acquired
"The Riders also dealt the rights to national kicker John Mark to the Ottawa Redblacks for a 2016 draft pick." - CTV News

September 25, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher appeal denied
"The Redblacks kicker learned Thursday that the Canadian Football League had denied an appeal of the unspecified fine levied against him for a low hit on a Saskatchewan Roughrider during last Sunday’s game at Regina. Worse, the fine was imposed for a hit on a play when Maher was bumped by another Roughrider after punting the ball, another Saskatchewan player made what many observers argued was an illegal block and the home team’s Weston Dressler raced 78 yards for a touchdown. No penalty flags were thrown. 'It was a tough situation,' Maher, a 24-year-old Nebraska native, said after practice at TD Place stadium. '“It was a play where, technically, I was illegal on my end. I’m not in that situation very much, so I wasn’t aware of it at the time.' Maher had previously said head referee Kim Murphy told him the contact on the punter was deemed incidental." - Ottawa Citizen

August 6, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher
He doesn't get too high on himself after a good game and he doesn't kick himself for long after clunker, ciach Rick Campbell said. After going 0-4 on field goals Saturday, including one that was run back 111 yards for the score, Campbell said he expects his kicker to rebound quickly. 'He's kicked well in practice again this week,' Campbell said Wednesday. 'He had a game that I'm sure he didn't want to have, but that's part of the deal.' He won't be judged based on one bad game, the coach said. 'I'm going to go on his body of work over time, which has been very good for us since he's been here,' Campbell said. 'I would expect him to get back to that'." - Ottawa Sun

July 26, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher perfect in loss to Hamilton
"Maher continued his hot streak from last week’s first franchise win, going 3/3 against the Tiger-Cats. 'We are just doing our job,' said Maher after the game. 'Whenever we go out there our job is to make field goals and put points on the board. Any time we are on the field that’s our mission and we were able to do that tonight.' He gave the REDBLACKS the lead twice in the game, first mid-way through the second quarter with a 10-yard field goal, and second just under six minutes into the second half scoring a 37-yard field goal.... 'It starts with the snapper and the holder, I feel like we're in a really good rhythm right now,' said the kicker 'It took a little bit for us to get comfortable with each other but I feel like we are really hitting our stride and hitting on all cylinders right now.' He later tied the game 23-23 with a 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but this time round it was not enough." - Redblacks

July 22, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher earns weekly CFL honors
"Maher was named the CFL Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 4. Maher went a perfect 6-for-6 on field goals and scored all his teams points, in their historic first game at TD Place – the franchise’s first ever win – an 18-17 decision over the Toronto Argonauts. With under a minute to play in the game, Maher hit a 27-yard field goal to give the REDBLACKS the 18-17 lead. Maher also kicked successful field goals from 48, 32, 30, 26 and 22 yards away in the game. Maher had six punts in the game, averaging over 51 yards per punt, with his longest reaching 57 yards. Maher, a Kearney, Nebraska native and a product of University of Nebraska, is 9-for-11 kicking field goals this season and is currently tied for fourth in kicking points with 33." - CFL

July 18, 2014 - Brett Maher hits six field goals in win over Argos
"Brett Maher’s 23-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining earned the expansion Ottawa Redblacks a historic 18-17 home win over the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night. Maher’s boot, his sixth of the game, came after Swayze Waters connected from 46 yards out to put Toronto ahead 17-15 with 1:33 remaining." - The Globe and Mail

June 26, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher signed, again
"To outsiders, it looked like the RedBlacks had told Maher to go home when he and the other two kickers at camp were cut last weekend. But Thursday, coach Rick Campbell explained that in Maher's case, it was all part of the paper shuffling teams do in getting down to their final numbers. There was no intention of letting the 24-year-old import walk. At the same time, the RedBlacks auditioned five other kickers earlier this week -- including Montreal cut Delbert Alvarado, who impressed Campbell -- before settling on Maher to start the season as their guy for kickoffs, punts and field goals." - Ottawa Sun

June 22, 2014 - kicker tryouts
Two weeks ago, the Ottawa RedBlacks' plan was to go with Justin Palardy as their punter and Paulo Henriques as their kicker. An injury to Henriques scuttled that plan and what the team felt was inconsistency in their kicking game in their two exhibition games led to both kickers being released on Saturday. So there are now no kickers on the roster. Which brings us to now. Before the team practises again on Thursday, RedBlacks GM Marcel Desjardins said up to four kickers will be brought in to compete for jobs. 'We're planning to have two (one for kicking, another for punting) on the roster,' said Desjardins. 'But if it turns out to be one, that's a bonus.' He said it's not an ideal situation, but with a bye in week one and the team's first game not until July 3 in Winnipeg, there is time to find a solution." - Ottawa Sun

June 21, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher also released
For the moment, the team has no kicker or punter on the roster. - Redblacks

June 21, 2014 - kickers Justin Palardy & Paulo Henriques released
Four-year CFL veteran Justin Palardy and Paulo Henriques, a rookie from the United States, were let go, but the Redblacks retained another newcomer from south of the border, Brett Maher. Henriques hurt a leg during the first week of training camp and never kicked for the Redblacks in a preseason game. Palardy handled punting in both contests and also place-kicking in the 21-17 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Maher, who signed with the Redblacks after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers released him a week ago, performed place-kicking and kickoffs in Friday’s 26-10 victory against the Montreal Alouettes. 'Unfortunately, nobody lived up to what we felt the acceptable level of performance would be,' Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins said during a media briefing on the Carleton University campus. 'Even in Brett’s case, he knows he needs to be better. It doesn’t mean he’s locked into being our guy, either'.” - Ottawa Citizen

June 18, 2014 - kicker Brett Maher signed
"About two hours after he was cut by the Bombers Tuesday, Maher was signed by the Redblacks and was on the practice field Wednesday at Carleton University. Maher, 24, looked solid, with a couple of lengthy field goals. The Bombers didn’t keep the Nebraska native because they opted to go with two Canadians, a punter and a kicker. 'I was a bit surprised,' Maher said. 'But that’s the business we’re in, it’s tough to get a job. I’m just thankful to be out here and still have a chance.' Maher may run into a similar situation here. Canadian Justin Palardy has the inside track as a placekicker, with the potential to punt as well. Against Saskatchewan last weekend, Palardy was successful on a 44-yard field goal and averaged 44.3 yards as a punter. 'I felt I did alright,' Palardy says. 'It’s a great stepping stone.' South African kicker Paulo Henriques has been slowed by a leg injury. That has opened the door for Maher to get a look against the Alouettes in Montreal, the final pre-season game. 'We want to make sure whoever’s out there on Friday is 100 per cent,' says Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell." - Ottawa Citizen

June 7, 2014 - scrimmage
"The Justin Palardy file: The 26-year-old Canadian kicker made good on field-goal attempts from 26, 22 and 37 yards, and he boomed one more an estimated 50 yards. The Paulo Henriques file: The 23-year-old import kicker hit field goals from 17 and 36 yards, but was wide right from 47 and short and right from 52." - Ottawa Citizen

June 2, 2014 - long snapper Kevon Scott gets weird
"When the team's position players are off doing what they do, Scott, a five-year CFL veteran, hangs out with the team's kickers -- Justin Palardy and Paulo Henriques, doing a lot of watching and some charting. 'You never quite get used to it because you grow up playing a position -- I was either a defensive end or a linebacker,' said Scott on Tuesday. 'You get to university and see the kickers are hanging out by themselves and they're just a weird group. You get to the CFL and snappers are coupled into that group, so you're considered one of the weird ones. The kickers are great -- Palardy and Paulo. They're a lot of fun, we joke around on the sidelines. There's always a part of me that wants to be a little more involved, but you understand your role. I like to believe I am a bit more physical. One of my favourite parts about punt is running down the field and trying to make a tackle. That part you never shy away from. Obviously snap comes No. 1 and running down the field and trying to make a tackle is second'." - Ottawa Sun

May 29, 2014 - kicker Paulo Henriques
Even though he will be one of just two kickers at the RedBlacks main camp when it opens Sunday, and even though he had a impressive career with the Tigers (140 points over 48 games and the nod as an Arkansas State all-star), Henriques will have his work cut out for him trying to win a job in Ottawa. His competition will be Justin Palardy, a 25-year-old Nova Scotian who spent the last four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. To go with Henriques over Palardy, the RedBlacks would be using up a valuable import spot. At the same time, head coach Rick Campbell suggested there could be room on the squad for both players. 'We're feeling pretty good about (the kicking game) right now,' said Campbell. 'Those guys will kick all during camp. We know that's going to be a big part of it for us to be able to win games ... we know we've got to be good on special teams. We're going to do whatever gives us the best combination of punter and kicker, whether that's one Canadian guy doing it, one American guy doing it or a Canadian and American do it. It's too important and there's too much field position. So whatever combination is best for us, we're going to do it'." - Ottawa Sun

May 13, 2014 - long snapper Kevin Malcolm drafted
"Malcolm earned the distinction as the final player selected in Tuesday's draft, chosen 65th overall by the expansion Ottawa Redblacks. The offensive lineman, who has served as McMaster's long snapper, will train in that role alongside longtime Hamilton Tiger-Cat Kevin Scott." -  Marauders

May 12, 2014 - import kicker Paulo Henriques signed
"The 5-foot-10, 195-pound resident of West Memphis, Arkansas played 48 games with the University of Memphis Tigers, scoring 140 career points. The native of Johannesburg, South Africa, was an Arkansas state all-star." - OSEG Media

May 3, 2014 - Justin Palardy could be busy this year
He’s excited to be part of the Ottawa RedBlacks and it looks like he could be handling kickoffs, field goals and punting with training camp less than a month away. 'I’m definitely very excited,' he said. 'I can’t wait. I’m happy to be in Ottawa. It’s close to home, at least it is to me — what I think is a quick rip down the road to Nova Scotia'.... And now destiny brings him to Ottawa. 'This is the next stage of my life and I hope I’m around for awhile,' he said. 'I just want to come in and work hard and continue the path. I’m 25. I’m only getting stronger and wiser. It’s just a matter of keeping focused. It’s a fresh start, a new team, new everything. They say we’re an expansion team, but look at the roster. We can make some noise and do some damage'.” - Ottawa Sun

April 16, 2014 - kicker Derek Schiavone released
"The @REDBLACKS have released DB Bo Smith, receiver Paul De Pass, kicker Derek Schiavone and import DB Justin Ferrell. #CFL" - CFL twitter

March 6, 2014 - kicker Justin Palardy signed
"The 25-year-old graduate of the Saint Mary’s Huskies and native of Truro, N.S. arrives in Ottawa after spending the last four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and part of his rookie year with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Last season, Palardy connected on nine of 12 field goal attempts with the Blue Bombers. In 2012, Palardy equaled a Winnipeg franchise record for field goal percentage, hitting on 39 of 45 attempts (86.7 per cent). His longest career field goal is a 51-yarder he booted in 2010, his rookie CFL season." - CFL

February 17, 2014 - long snapper Kevin Scott back home 
"After taking several days to ponder what might have been following the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ 45-23 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2013 Grey Cup Game, Scott started thinking about continuing his career back at home. He waited for his Hamilton contract to expire, making him one of nearly 70 CFL free agents at the stroke of noon on Feb. 11. He signed with the Redblacks within hours, never talking to the Tiger-Cats or any of the other seven teams about a new deal, and became one of a handful of players from the National Capital Region on Ottawa’s roster. 'Obviously that was the first thing that popped into my mind,' Scott said Monday after joining other Redblacks signees for a ceremonial puck drop and autograph sessions during an Ottawa 67’s Ontario Hockey League game at Canadian Tire Place. 'I didn’t want to talk to anyone else but the Ottawa Redblacks, and, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I jumped right on it.' It wasn’t just about playing at home, he added, but also a perception that the Redblacks can be competitive right from opening kickoff." - Ottawa Citizen 

February 11, 2014 - kicker Derek Schiavone signed
"Schiavone, 28, played with the Edmonton Eskimos between 2008 and 2011. He made 28 of 45 field-goal attempts and punted for an average of 39.4 yards." - Ottawa Citizen

February 11, 2014 - long snapper Kevin Scott signed
"Scott, a 30-year-old linebacker and long snapper from Ottawa, is also a five-year veteran. He made 25 tackles on behalf of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Tiger-Cats." - Ottawa Citizen

January 6, 2014 - kicker Nick Setta signed
"Setta, a 32-year-old native of Lockport, Illinois, who played college football at Notre Dame, broke into the CFL with the Ticats in 2007 and made an immediate impression, being named a league all-star during his first two seasons. In his CFL rookie season, Setta handled place kicking and punting duties for Hamilton, leading the league in scoring with 167 points. He also launched a 97-yard punt, the longest in Ticats franchise history and booted a 53-yard field goal, the longest in the league that season. Setta had another standout year in 2008 by leading the league in punting average (47.4 yards). He also matched his long-kick reputation with another 97-yard punt.In college, Setta played his freshman season in 2000 with the Fighting Irish and spent four seasons at Notre Dame." - Ottawa Redblacks

Chicago Bears Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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October 6, 2015 - kicker Robber Gould named the NFC special teams player of the week 
"for making all three of his field goals, including the game-winner from 49 yards with two seconds remaining, against the Raiders. It was the 12th game-winner of the Gould’s career. He also made 19- and 54-yard field goals in the victory. He has made three field goals of 50 yards or more this season. This is the third time in Gould’s career that he’s been special teams player of the week." - Sun-Times

October 4, 2015 - Robbie Gould kicks game winner over Raiders
"After missing a crucial extra point earlier in the game, Bears kicker Robbie Gould redeemed himself Sunday by nailing a 49-yard, game-winning field goal to give Chicago its first win of the season, 22-20 over the Raiders. Gould’s missed extra point weighed heavily after Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski hit a 49-yard field goal to give the Raiders a one-point lead with 2:05 to play. But Jay Cutler drove the Bears 48 yards to the Oakland 31 to set up Gould’s game-winning kick." - Sun-Times

October 2, 2015 - punter Spencer Lanning signed
"Starting punter Pat O'Donnell is dealing with a knee injury and is questionable to face the Oakland Raiders. O’Donnell had been limited at practice the last two days after he punted 10 times for 477 yards in Week 3. The Bears worked out Lanning and fellow free agent punter Steve Weatherford on Thursday morning. Lanning kicked for the Cleveland Browns from 2013-14 where he appeared in 32 games and punted 177 times with an average of 44.1 yards. Lanning was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 3, 2013. Lanning spent the summer of 2011 on the Bears’ preseason roster." - ESPN

September 13, 2105 - kicker Robbie Gould sets franchise field goal record
"The Chicago Bears just kicked off their season Sunday afternoon against the Green Bay Packers, but one player has already set a new franchise record. That player is kicker Robbie Gould, whose 28-yard field goal in the first quarter gave him 244 made field goals in his Bears career. That made kick means that Gould is now alone in first place on the all-time list for the Bears, moving one ahead of Kevin Butler in that category." - NBC

August 30, 2015 - long snapper Rick Lovato released

June 18, 2015 - kicker Jeremiah Detmer released

May 2, 2015 - long snapper Rick Lovato to sign
"For Rick Lovato Jr., the Middletown South product who's been a long-snapping sensation at Old Dominion the past four years, it was the Chicago Bears who called early on Saturday to make clear their interest before checking back with him at the family home in Lincroft in the middle of the seventh round, understanding that the Miami Dolphins were also vying for his services. And the Bears' persistence paid off when Lovato agreed to head to Chicago later this week to sign as a free agent after taking his final exams at ODU." - Asbury Park Press

May 2, 2015 - Toledo kicker Jeremiah Detmer signed
"A career 84.4 percent on field goals, Detmer's experience kicking in nasty Great Lakes-region weather surely appealed to the Bears, who frequently face wind, rain and snow at home at Soldier Field. While the Bears have a steady, tenured starter installed in kicker Robbie Gould, Detmer now has an opportunity to show off his talent at the NFL level." - Hustle Belt

March 18, 2015 - long snapper Thomas Gafford signed
"The Bears have reached an agreement with long snapper Thomas Gafford on a one-year deal, they announced Wednesday. The 32-year old Gafford is a seven-year NFL veteran who has appeared in 105 career games, all with the Kansas City Chiefs. Gafford has previous ties to the Bears, spending the 2008 training camp with the team. Bears assistant special teams coach Derius Swinton was the Chiefs quality control coach in 2012, so he’s previously worked with Gafford." - CBS Chicago

January 19, 2015 - Jeff Rodgers named special teams coordinator
"John Fox has brought an old friend with him to Chicago. On Monday, the Bears named Jeff Rodgers, who worked for Fox with the Broncos and Panthers, their special-teams coordinator. Rodgers spent the last four seasons as the Broncos special teams coordinator. He started as a special-teams assistant for Fox in 2009 in Carolina before becoming coordinator in 2010. Rodgers is Fox’s first hire as Bears coach. Fox will officially introduced on Monday at 11 a.m. at Halas Hall. Rodgers replaces Joe DeCamillis, the Bears’ special-teams coordinator the last two seasons. DeCamillis also was assistant head coach under Marc Trestman." - Sun Times

January 13, 2015 - punter Pat O’Donnell named to PFWA All-Rookie Team
"O’Donnell, the only punter selected in the 2014 NFL draft, was plucked by the Bears in the sixth round (191st overall). He appeared in all 16 games, with an average of 43.8 yards and net average of 37.7 on 71 punts. He had 20 punts downed inside the 20 and three touchbacks. Although it came in one of Chicago’s uglier losses, a 31-15 primetime defeat to the Saints at Soldier Field in Week 15, O’Donnell tallied a net average of 46.3 yards – with three of his six punts downed inside the 20 – in arguably his best game of the season." - Chicago Football

December 3, 2014 - kicker Jay Feely signed
"Feely likely will replace Robbie Gould, whom the team listed as doubtful for Thursday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. Gould missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday with a sore quadriceps muscle.... Feely has played only one game at Soldier Field during his 14-year career. During that 2010 preseason game, he did not attempt a field goal. One of his three kickoffs was a touchback. During his career with five teams, Feely has made 82.7 percent of his field goals. He most recently played for the Arizona Cardinals from 2010 through the 2014 preseason. It is not known whether Feely or punter Pat O'Donnell will handle kickoff duties against the Cowboys. O'Donnell has experience doing so in college." - Chicago Tribune

December 2, 2014 - punter Pat O’Donnell practicing emergency kicker role
"Although the Bears don’t seem too concerned about kicker Robbie Gould’s sore quad, they spent Tuesday testing out a contingency plan: rookie punter Pat O’Donnell. With Gould held out of practice, O’Donnell practiced kickoffs and field goals; he had done the former in college. 'We’re all hoping Robbie is good to go,' O’Donnell said. 'He’s a tough guy, so he’ll pull through.' O’Donnell practices placekicking about once a week in practice, in case Gould were to get hurt in a game. He said he typically attempts, and can make, 45-yard kicks. If O’Donnell were to handle kicks, backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen would take his spot as the holder. Still, that seemed unlikely Tuesday. Bears coach Marc Trestman said he was “hopeful” Gould would play Thursday night against the Cowboys, and the Bears would see how he felt Wednesday." - Chicago Sun Times

October 5, 2014 - Robbie Gould misses one in loss to Panthers
"The Carolina Panthers rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Bears 31-24 at Bank of America Stadium.... Robbie Gould — the third-most-accurate placekicker in NFL history — missed a 35-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the half.... It’s been that kind of season for the Bears — every mistake looms large. Even Gould — who has hit 91 percent of his field goals from 30-to-39 yards in his 10-year career, lamented his missed opportunity that should have been a footnote if not forgotten. 'I just missed it,' he said. 'I tried to put it inside the right upright, ­because the wind was blowing right to left. It’s a key play in the game. It’s a 10-point swing — gives them ­momentum. Those are kicks that a kicker like myself has to make. There’s no ­excuse for it. I’ve got to do a better job when I’m called upon because I don’t get many opportunities'." - Chicago Sun Times

September 1, 2014 - long snapper Jeremy Cain signed
"The Bears found a long snapper, for Week One, at least, signing Jeremy Cain to the 53-man roster on Monday. This is Cain’s third stint with the Bears. The 6-1, 245-pounder was a linebacker playing mainly on special teams when he appeared in eight games for the Bears in 2004-05. He was with the Jaguars from 2009-12 and has played in 83 career games. Last season, Cain was the Bears’ long snapper for two games in place of Patrick Mannelly, who retired in June." - Bears Insider

August 31, 2014 - long snapper Brandon Hartson waived
"The Bears will enter the regular season with a new long snapper after they waived Brandon Hartson on Sunday. Hartson, 24, beat out CFL veteran Chad Rempel in the Bears' preseason competition but didn't inspire long-term confidence. Rempel was waived Aug. 18. The Bears auditioned four snappers earlier this week, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. And ESPN reported three more worked out for the team on Sunday, including former Bear Jeremy Cain." - Chicago Tribune

August 28, 2014 - final preseason game
"Bears kicker Robbie Gould patted long-snapper Brandon Hartson on the helmet after he missed a 52-yard field goal wide right in the second quarter of the exhibition finale Thursday night against the Browns. It was Gould's third miss on as many attempts from beyond 40 yards this preseason as Gould works with a new long snapper and holder. 'I just have to do a better job finding my rhythm,' Gould said. 'I haven't done a good enough job of doing that. We haven't really been together for that long.' Gould had a 41-yarder blocked in the exhibition opener at Soldier Field against the Eagles, and he missed wide right from 47 yards last week on the road against the Seahawks. He was 9 of 11 from 40 yards and beyond last season. 'We'll get a lot of reps this week, and we'll be ready for Buffalo,' Gould said." - Redeye Chicago

August 18, 2014 - Chad Rempel & Tress Way released
"The Bears waived long snapper Chad Rempel and punter Tress Way... The moves mean that, for the time being, sixth-round pick Pat O’Donnell has won the punting job and Brandon Hartson will be his long snapper. Rempel, 32, has spent his career in the CFL and he actually trained with O’Donnell prior to the draft, which is when the Bears discovered him. Aside from a shaky first practice at camp, he had been solid. Way made the punting competition more interesting than we thought in Bourbonnais, but wasn’t consistent. In five preseason punts, he had an average of 41.0 yards and a net average of 39.0 yards, compared to O’Donnell’s 46..6-yard average and 42.4 net yards." -  Chicago Football 

July 27, 2014 - long snapper competition
"The Bears’ long snapper competition on Sunday reminded special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis that the ultra-reliable Patrick Mannelly is indeed retired. During team punting drills, Chad Rempel, the 10-year CFL veteran, snapped a ball that 6-foot-4 punter Pat O’Donnell had to jump to catch. And Rempel later bounced one back to O’Donnell. 'I’ll have to go back and look at exactly what went wrong,' Rempel said. 'I think I just got a little too amped. First punting period in front of the crowd, and I got a little amped and outside of myself. You have to move on.' Brandon Harston, the 24-year-old who played in three preseason games for the Bears last season, also snapped one lower than the ideal height to punter Tress Way. Saturday’s performances won’t decide the competition, of course, and DeCamillis maintained a zoomed-out view after practice. Neither snapper stood out for negative plays in field goal drills earlier in camp. 'We’ve got to work through the process and find out who our guy is going to be,' he said. 'Hopefully he’s on this team right now. He may not be. We’ll have to see. I wouldn’t say concern. I’ve been in this position before with young guys. You’ve just got to work through the process'.” - Chicago Tribune

July 9, 2014 - punter competition
Both Pat O'Donnell and Tress Way regularly hit the roof of the Walter Payton Center with their punts during offseason workouts, something that made DeCamillis smile. 'If it hits the roof in there, that means they are hanging the ball,' DeCamillis said. 'If they don't hit the roof, that's usually not a good thing because that means it's coming right back at you in the return form. I'm glad that it's hitting the roof, let's just say that.' Interestingly, Way's performance has improved since the Bears drafted O'Donnell. 'I've seen some guys fold and some guys rise to the occasion, and obviously you want the guys that are going to rise to the occasion,' DeCamillis said. 'You want a guy that knows how to compete and that's what we've seen so far, so hopefully that continues.' Although NFL teams rarely cut punters they draft, DeCamillis insists that O'Donnell and Way are battling for the job on an even playing field. 'I understand the draft pick status, but it's a true competition and I think that's how it should be,' DeCamillis said. 'If your football team is built on competition, you have a chance of getting better at all positions, and that's no different'." - Bears

June 23, 2014 - kicker Robbie Gould discusses long snappers
"That doesn't mean Gould won't be missing his former teammate, especially now that he's transitioning to a new long snapper. He just doesn't know if it will be Brandon Hartson or Chad Rempel taking over the duties. 'There's no edge,' Gould said of the position battle. 'They're picking up the schemes and what they need to do. You want them to be able to block and put it in the location they need to put it. It's real specific. Mannelly was great at it. He's the best to ever play the game. You're not going to fill those shoes.' Gould said it was 'special' to watch Mannelly up close during the long snapper's 16-year career with the Bears but now realizes the responsibility he'll have to take on without him. 'For me to get out there with a couple young guys and teach them the ropes like Mannelly did for me is exciting,' Gould said." - Chicago Tribune

June 20, 2014 - long snapper Patrick Mannelly retiring
"General manager Phil Emery, coach Marc Trestman and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis have said it publicly numerous times: The door was open for Mannelly to return after he underwent hip surgery. But multiple sources told the Tribune that Mannelly, 39, will announce his retirement Friday, meaning the team will have a new permanent long snapper this season for the first time since 1997. Mannelly, who served as a captain the past six seasons, maintained all along that he hoped to return for a 17th season (he’s the only player in Bears’ history to play more than 14) but said he would have to feel right. He didn’t want to play again and not feel like he was at an elite level and he also didn’t want to risk being a deterrent to the club after 2,282 plays without a botched snap. His 245 games played stand far ahead of Olin Kreutz and Steve McMichael, who are tied for second with 191. Only two long snappers in the history of the NFL have appeared in more games. Trey Junkin holds the record with 281 and David Binn played in 256." - Chicago Tribune

June 18, 2014 - punter competition
"Coaches are more than pleased with the ball-launching of O’Donnell, selected in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. 'That’s something that’s good, by the way,' said special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. 'If it hits the roof in there, that means they are hanging the ball. If they don’t hit the roof that’s usually not a good thing because that means it’s coming right back at you in the return form. I’m glad that it’s hitting the roof, let’s just say that.' If there is one surprise on 'teams' it has been the showing of Tress Way, who came to camp last year as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma with virtually zero chance of unseating Adam Podlesh. Podlesh punted his way out of Chicago this offseason and Way has seized the situation and is conceding nothing to O’Donnell because of the latter’s status as a draft choice. 'I think it's going to be a heck of a competition,' DeCamillis said. 'I think when we drafted Pat, for whatever reason Tress really picked his business up. He's really punted well and it's going to be a heck of a competition'.” - CSN Chicago

May 18, 2014 - punter Drew Butler to be released
The Bears plan to cut punter Drew Butler as part of the roster turnover following this weekend's rookie camp, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Sunday. The team's selection of former University of Miami punter Pat O'Donnell in the sixth-round on May 10 created a logjam at the position. O'Donnell joined Butler, who signed a reserve/future contract on Dec. 31, and Tress Way, who was in Bears training camp in 2013." - Chicago Tribune

May 18, 2014 - Pat O'Donnell works with Robbie Gould
"The 6-foot-5 O’Donnell showcased his powerful leg during the Bears’ three-day rookie minicamp, but the rookie also spent valuable time off-the-field learning from Gould, one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. O’Donnell will double as the Bears’ holder next season barring some unforeseen event. 'Robbie has been throughout the building trying to help me out, and learning from him will be a great opportunity for me,' O’Donnell said on Sunday. 'I know it’s a great challenge playing in Chicago at times, but I’m looking for to it. He told me that on a windy day like this you should go out and walk the field and try to correct your drop. [He told me] to focus on the kicking side of your technique.... I held for three years, so I’m pretty familiar with that. Robbie is a veteran, so he’s going to tell me exactly how he likes it held. So I’m going to be guided in the right direction. So it’s not going to be too big of a challenge'.” - ESPN

May 17, 2014 - long snapper scenario
"It remains to be seen whether there will be a true opening at long snapper with longtime Bear Patrick Mannelly still uncertain whether he will return for his 17th season with the club. Mannelly, an unrestricted free agent, had hip surgery shortly after last season and has said he wants to monitor the progress of his rehabilitation before determining if he's physically and mentally locked in for another year. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has been in contact with Mannelly but doesn't know what to anticipate. 'There's no pressure one way or the other,' DeCamillis said. 'We just have to let it play out. He has had a great career, and I hope he continues a great career.' The Bears have three new long snappers at rookie camp. Chad Rempel, 31, was signed in April and is the oldest camp attendee after spending his last 10 seasons in the CFL. Brandon Hartson was signed to a reserve futures contract in December. And Craig Montgomery is an unsigned tryout invitee out of Georgetown." - Chicago Tribune

May 11, 2014 - punter Tyler Campbell, kickers Mike Meyer & Mitch Ewald, and long snapper Craig Montgomery invited to minicamp
"Another training camp deal to report: punter Tyler Campbell is headed to Chicago, per his Twitter. 'Proud that I'm going to mini camp with the Chicago Bears. Great opportunity!!!' Campbell, the second-best punter in school history with a 44.6 yard average, was fourth in the SEC and 12th nationally with a 44.4 yard average in 2013." - Clarion-Ledger

It's also been reported that former Iowa kicker Mike Meyer and former Indiana kicker Mitch Ewald will also be attending the minicamp, along with Georgetown class of 2013 long snapper Craig Montgomery.

May 10, 2014 - punter Pat O'Donnell drafted
With the 15th pick in the 6th round, the Bears selected Miami (FL) punter Pat O'Donnell, whose profile can be found here.
"punter Patrick O’Donnell in the sixth round, a big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), fast (4.64 in the 40) and strong (23 bench-presses of 225 pounds) athlete who averaged 43.5 yards on 181 career punts. One of only two punters to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine, he played his first three seasons at Cincinnati, graduated and used his remaining year of eligibility with a transfer to Miami. 'I think it definitely helps being the strongest you can be at your position,' said O’Donnell, who transferred to Miami because his father was dealing with cancer. 'He’s good now. He’s in remission.' O’Donnell, the first punter taken in this year’s draft, will compete with Drew Butler and Tress Way for what was Adam Podlesh’s vacant job. But the Bears expending a draft choice on O’Donnell suggests that the other two will be punting for jobs elsewhere during preseason. O’Donnell is the first punter drafted by the Bears since they used a No. 2 for Todd Sauerbrun in 1995 after losing Chris Gardocki, a No. 3 pick in 1991, through free agency." - CSN Chicago

April 8, 2014 - long snapper Patrick Mannelly status
"Patrick Mannelly’s career isn’t over yet. But as the Bears’ long snapper — the most tenured player in the history of the franchise — continues to rehab from Jan. 23 hip surgery, he wants to make sure he’s healthy before deciding whether or not to retire.... If he decides to play, Mannelly said, it will be only for the Bears. 'It would be tough to put on another helmet for another team,' he said. Mannelly received the team’s Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, and will fly to San Diego on Tuesday night to continue to rehab his hip at EXOS. He’s finishing the third month of a recovery period that takes four to six months. If he decides to return, Mannelly said he’d likely be able to participate in OTAs." - Chicago Sun-Times

April 7, 2014 - long snapper Chad Rempel signed
"The plan is for Pat Mannelly to return for a club record 17th season as the long snapper of the Chicago Bears this season but he’s yet to complete rehabilitation following offseason hip surgery. So the club is taking a look at other long snappers and preparing other options, leading it to sign Chad Rempel to a three-year contract Monday, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Rempel, a native of Alberta, Canada, is a CFL veteran who had two stints with the Montreal Alouettes under coach Marc Trestman. Rempel, 31, has also played for the Edmonton Eskimos, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts." - Chicago Tribune

March 17, 2014 - punter Drew Butler sees opportunity
"Butler, who spent the entire 2012 season punting for the Steelers, and Tress Way, who was with the Bears as a camp leg last summer, are the only two punters on the roster. Adam Podlesh was released before free agency opened. With a 90-man offseason roster, it is possible the Bears will add a third punter to the mix at some point but chances are the team will only take two to training camp because practice reps become scarce.... He beat out former Bills Pro Bowl punter Brian Moorman in training camp and preseason to win the job in Pittsburgh last summer, but the Steelers brought in ex-Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko for a tryout and chose him over Butler before the season opener. Mesko lasted seven games and then the Steelers turned to Mat McBriar.... Butler had a 43.8-yard gross average in 2012 and a net of 37.8. He landed 26 punts inside the 20-yard line and forced 20 fair catches.... Way, an undrafted free agent from Oklahoma last year, showed a big leg in training camp but wasn’t always consistent. He averaged 38.2 yards on six punts in preseason with Podlesh getting the bulk of the work." - Chicago Tribune

March 7, 2014 - long snapper Patrick Mannelly wins award
"The longest-tenured Bear of all-time, long snapper Patrick Mannelly will receive the Ed Block Courage Award on Tuesday, April 8 at a luncheon at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. The award is presented to one player on all 32 NFL teams who 'best exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage and serves as an inspiration in the locker room. The award recipients, who are voted for by their teammates, symbolize professionalism, great strength and dedication, and they are considered community role models'.” - HubArkush
March 5, 2014 - punter Adam Podlesh released
"The Chicago Bears announced that they have terminated the contract of P Adam Podlesh on Wednesday. Podlesh, 30, still had two years remaining on his five-year, $10 million contract. He would have made $1.4 million for the 2014 season and counted $1.825 million against their salary cap. Chicago will save $1.025 million by releasing him." - Yardbarker

January 22, 2014 - minor surgery for long snapper Patrick Mannelly
"Mannelly will undergo minor hip surgery soon and if all goes expected, he will have a job with the Chicago Bears when he’s healed up. Multiple sources said Mannelly, 38, will have an opportunity to return as the team’s long snapper if he chooses. The veteran told the Tribune he was going to take some time to map out his future after the season, also revealing he had surgery forthcoming." - Chicago Tribune

January 4, 2014 - punter Robbie Gould gets bonus
"The Chicago Bears dipped into remaining resources for 2013 and gave kicker Robbie Gould a $3 million signing bonus in the four-year contract he received before the end of the regular season. The timing of the contract allowed the team to pro-rate the signing bonus over five seasons, including 2013. The contract is worth a total of $15 million with $8.85 million fully guaranteed against injury." - Chicago Tribune