Chicago Bears: Kicking competition is heating up at training camp

Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

It’s not secret that all eyes will be on the kickers throughout the duration of Chicago Bears training camp.

How could they not? After all, it was one play which defined the 2018 season. The Chicago Bears were sent home after a 43-yard field goal attempt was missed off the upright by Cody Parkey.

All offseason, this has been the hottest topic amongst fans — as it should be. The Bears are not lacking any true weakness, except at kicker. That’s it. Just one often-overlooked, yet incredibly valuable position.

The Bears did not pick up a kicker from this year’s rookie class, nor did they sign any notable free agent at the position. Instead, they signed former South Carolina kicker Elliot Fry and traded for Eddy Pineiro, formerly of the Oakland Raiders.

Over the first weekend of training camp, both kickers were tested. But, head coach Matt Nagy has conducted the competition in an unusual way thus far.

On the first day, it was only Fry who kicked. He went 7-for-8 overall, with a long from 60 yards. Pineiro did not kick.

On Sunday, the following practice saw Pineiro take the field while Fry did not kick. Pineiro went 7-for-8 as well, with a long of 63 yards.

Who would have thought, just two days into camp, and both kickers have been nearly lights-out with longs from 60-plus. Sure, it’s only a few days in, but if they keep this up, both Ryan Pace along with Nagy will look like geniuses.

From a fan’s perspective, this is all you could ask for. Aside from somehow being able to land Robbie Gould before he agreed to his extension or adding one of the top college prospects, fans didn’t have much other hope. Instead, they are getting to watch two virtual no-names light up the field early on in cap.

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If you’re driving into Bourbonnais looking to see the likes of Khalil Mack or Mitchell Trubisky, I’m right there with you. But, chances are, both of these kickers are close behind on your list of priorities to watch. This competition is that important to the team, and hopefully, Fry and Pineiro continue to show out.