Chicago Bears: Matt Nagy is nuking the kicker situation

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears head into the 2019 season with uncertainty at the kicking position…is Head Coach Matt Nagy over thinking it?

The headlines have been all over Chicago sports media over the past several months with respect to the Chicago Bears‘ open competition at the kicker position.  In the aftermath of former Bears kicker Cody Parkey‘s double-doink heard round’ the World in the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs against the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year, Matt Nagy, has been on a mission to turn a perceived weakness into a strength…but is he over thinking it?

Never mind that Parkey’s missed 42-yard field goal attempt was slightly tipped at the line of scrimmage as video evidence would suggest.  Parkey was downright awful in 2018, connecting on just 76.7 percent of field goal attempts, good for 28th in the NFL.  Despite this, Parkey probably should have gotten another opportunity to prove himself, given that the year prior he connected on 91.3 percent of his field goal attempts and the hefty price tag they paid to get him (4 years/$15 Million). After cutting ties with him, the Bears will take a $5.2 Million cap hit in 2019.  That’s a lot of dead money for a team looking to contend and maintain financial flexibility should they need to make a move.

Players are going to have off years and Parkey’s tipped/missed 43-yard field goal isn’t the only reason the Bears failed to advance against the Eagles, no matter how much Nagy would like you to believe that.  Parkey is probably better than most, if not all of the kickers the Bears have brought into camp thus far.  That aside, the Bears have signed, drafted, or traded for five kickers since the end of January.  Redford Jones, Chris Blewitt, Eliott Fry, John Baron II, and Eddie Pineiro have all been brought in to make the organization and Bears fans forget about Parkey. After lackluster results,  only Fry and Pineiro remain.

Nagy has pulled every trick in his coaching bag to “ice” these kickers during minicamp. From all-out silence to stopping every activity in practice and having all eyes on these kickers, he’s creating pressure and trying to replicate the scenario that doomed the team in the opening round of the playoffs. The spectacle has become downright embarrassing for a franchise that was just starting to find its mojo again.  Bears fans aren’t stupid and if the Bears don’t contend for a Super Bowl title this year, it will be due to a lot more than just the kicking game.

Next. Will Mitch Trubisky breakout in 2019?. dark

Here’s hoping that this competition ends soon and the Bears find their man at kicker.   This will allow Nagy to focus all his efforts on ensuring that Mitch Trubisky and this offense can produce in all four quarters of a playoff game, and not just in the last few minutes to set up a field goal attempt for the win.  With the resources invested in this team, Bears fans expect no less.