Bernstein: Bears' Kicking Stuff Just Too Much

The volume approach was fun initially, but the Bears just need to find an answer.

Dan Bernstein
May 07, 2019 - 2:17 pm
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(670 The Score) I think I've reached a familiar tipping point, and it's one I associate more with childhood family car trips than I do NFL football.

We've stopped at someplace along the way to wherever it is we're going, and I grab a bag of some candy or another. It's root beer barrels, pink wintergreen lozenges, salt water taffy, caramel bulls-eyes or those orange marshmallow circus peanuts, and back on the road we go. The first three handfuls are a heaven of indulgence, an all-too-fleeting feeling that soon gives way to a sweaty and green unease that renders me not only unable to consider eating any more but incapable of understanding how I could have wanted them in the first place.

I'm there now with the whole Bears placekicker search.

Pretty sure it was the viral video of Eddy Pineiro making the 81-yard field goal at a University of Florida practice in 2017 that did it, ending the fun of the novelty of it all and curdling it into cramps.

Embracing and owning the Cody Parkey experience was smart of Bears coach Matt Nagy, keeping the misadventure from growing in the darkness into something that might persist. But the truth is that the position has been a problem since general manager Ryan Pace took over and committed to Connor Barth. After that, it has been Cairo Santos and Mike Nugent, a flier on Roberto Aguayo and then the big money for Parkey, so it's lingering regardless of all the sunlight.

And the volume approach -- throwing kickers at the problem until one sticks -- started out in entertaining enough fashion with a series of post-season signings, drama regarding the franchise-tag contract future of Robbie Gould in San Francisco and then the post-draft flurry of additions that culminated in the Halas Hall Kicking Circus of rookie minicamp last week. Eight dudes were swinging their legs at footballs: Elliott Fry, Redford Jones, Casey Bednarski (he of his own wacky video), John Baron II, Chris Blewitt, Emmit Carpenter, Spencer Evans and Justin Yoon.

Only Fry and Blewitt were left standing after that, the rest presumably destroyed humanely or thrown into the maw of the Sarlacc pit on Tatooine, to be digested over the next thousand years. Then on Monday, Pace traded a conditional 2021 seventh-rounder to the Raiders for Pineiro, who sat out all of 2018 with a groin injury. And there are still more competitions to come and more names to be added. This could last well into and beyond training camp too, with tantalizing veteran options becoming free agents right on the eve of the regular-season opener. 

We have to get used to this, and the freshness has already long worn off. Pass the Zantac.

Find a guy. Stop missing kicks.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​​​​