Last season, the Chicago Bears were a field goal away from making the NFC Divisional Round. In order to avoid suffering more setbacks from their special teams unit, the coaching staff is holding an intense kicking competition during camp.
The two kickers battling for the starting job are Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry. They’ll have to replace Cody Parkey, who infamously missed a 43-yard field goal in the playoffs.
Pineiro missed one of his field goal attempts in the preseason opener, whereas Fry connected on both of his kicks.
With the position battle still taking place in training camp, Pineiro seems to be on edge. He spoke to the media about the competition and even described it as “exhausting.”
“Yeah, it’s a little exhausting,” Pineiro said. “Just every day you feel like, ‘Oh damn, if I miss this kick am I going to get cut? Are they going to trade for somebody else?’ It does get annoying, but I can’t control any of that. What I can control is showing what I can do on the field, and hopefully we get some more opportunities this next week.”
Chicago has all the makings of a championship contender this season. Head coach Matt Nagy and quarterback Mitch Trubisky have another year of experience under their belt, meanwhile Khalil Mack anchors an impressive defense.
The biggest question mark for the Bears might just be their kicking game.