Jeff DickersonESPN Staff WriterClose
- Dickerson covers the Chicago Bears for ESPN’s NFL Nation. He is the co-host of “Dickerson & Hood” on the ESPN Radio national network, and is heard in Chicago on ESPN 1000.
The early results from Friday are not encouraging.
Bears coach Matt Nagy instructed all eight kickers to attempt a 43-yard field goal in front of the entire rookie minicamp roster at the end of Friday’s practice. It was the same distance that Parkey, who the club released in the offseason, famously missed from at the end of a bitter playoff loss to thePhiladelphia Eaglesin January.
The final verdict: Chicago’s kickers combined to go 2-of-8.
“That’s not good enough,” Nagy said. “Now I will say this: We always look at the end result of what happens, which is 100 percent what matters, right? But as we’re learning, two of those eight holds and snaps, it wasn’t 100 percent, all right. I’ll leave it at that.
“So it’s not always, ‘So we’ve got to work through that.’ That’s why after today we’re not going to just go about and make rash decisions or anything. We’re going to play it out.”
The Bears currently have four kickers under contract and four at rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Chicago plans to eventually whittle the number down and have a full-blown kicking competition when the team reports to training camp in July.
“We have a method to our madness and, again, I think for us, just besides finding a kicker and being able to see what they can do in practice, we want to be able to see as much as we can in game situations, how they handle that too,” Nagy said. “Because it’s one thing to be able to go over and bang 8-for-8 when it doesn’t really matter. But what about when it matters? You know that’s what we’re trying to figure out too, because we have young kickers and we’re trying to create that.”
The Bears have been unable to stabilize the kicker position since they released veteranRobbie Gould— the team’s all-time leading scorer — prior to the start of the 2016 regular season.
TheSan Francisco 49ersapplied the franchise tag to Gould in the offseason, but he told ESPN last week that he wants to be traded and will not report before the 49ers’ season opener on Sept. 8.