In What Seems Like a Totally Logical Move, Cody Parkey Might Start Practicing at Soldier Field

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In What Seems Like a Totally Logical Move, Cody Parkey Might Start Practicing at Soldier Field

Chicago Bears News

One day after kicking his way through an all-time gut-wrenching performance, Cody Parkey might be in line for a change of scenery *angry comment section interrupts BUT YOU SAID HIS JOB WAS SAFE FOR NOW!* Let me finish …

… At least, with respect to practice:

Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy confirmed again that the Bears wouldn’t be hosting kicker tryouts this week, but hinted that Parkey could practice at Soldier Field this week.

And it’s great that logistical concerns are no longer deemed to be an issue, because reporter Cheryl Raye Stout pointed out that commute issues played a role in Parkey not practicing during the week at Soldier Field, a move that would allow him to get a better feel for kicking conditions in his home stadium. Considering that he’s been better on the road (8/10 FGs, 12/12 PATs) than at home (5/8 FGs, 8/10 PATs), perhaps the fix is as simple as acclimating himself with the conditions of his home turf. Because while Halas Hall provides a solid facility, the practice environment there is vastly different than the stadium conditions near the lake.

The idea of change should be embraced after Parkey missed two extra points and two field goals – each of which nailed an upright – on Sunday. If you’re new to the game of football 1) I’m glad you’re here and I’d love it if you made yourself at home and 2) this is where I point out that the goal is to put the ball through the uprights and over the crossbar. There are no points rewarded for striking iron. Thank you for allowing me to explain that particular nuance of this wonderful game. It can be very confusing at times.

In an interview with the Bernstein and McKnight Show on 670 The Score, retired Bears long-snapper Patrick Mannelly underscored the importance of carving out practice time at Soldier Field, which proved to be valuable for him, punter/holder Brad Maynard, and kicker Robbie Gould:

Parkey’s normal routine is to practice with his teammates at Halas Hall in Lake Forest and not at Soldier Field, so this would be a change in his routine leading up to game day. But a performance like the one we saw on Sunday suggests something has to change. And maybe this is the change that’s needed to get him going in the right direction.

And if you’re Parkey, aren’t you willing to try ANYTHING the coach/team suggests one day removed from that performance?

In fact, it’s crazy to think this hasn’t happened already. After all, Parkey had never kicked at Soldier Field prior to this season. Seems like a bold strategy not try and do a little extra to get a feel for your own stadium. But kickers are peculiar folks, and in my experience, it’s better to not try and get in their heads.

The Bears’ public backing of Parkey has to feel good for a kicker who had what might have been the worst game of his life. But starting this week, Parkey can go about re-paying those kind words by honing his craft and practicing at a place he’ll call home for three more years after this one. That is, if he makes it through to the end of his deal.


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.