If there is one thing we can take from the Cody Parkey saga is that his head coach and special teams coordinator have his back.
In Thursday’s press conferences, Head Coach Matt Nagy and Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor expressed their belief in Parkey’s ability to bounce back after a performance that was so unforgettable for all the wrong reasons, you wish you could forget it happened in the first place. Hitting the iron of a goal post four times (!!!!) against the Lions in Week-10 is one of the rare all-time performances we hope never happens again.
So with that in mind, yeah, it’s probably a good thing that the Bears have been a bit over-the-top in their support of the kicker. Because while it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it probably means a lot to a kicker like Parkey – who is on his fourth team in as many years – to get assurances from the guys in charge that they’re behind him all the way. Because sometimes, all you need in life is a pat on the back from the big boss man.
And that’s precisely what Parkey received today:
Matt Nagy says Cody Parkey had a "good night of kicking" last night at Soldier Field.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) November 15, 2018
Cody Parkey had a good night of kicking at Soldier Field last night per special teams coordinator Chris Tabor according to HC Matt Nagy. "This kid is able to rebound back and that's what we want." @WBBMNewsradio
— Jeff Joniak (@JeffJoniak) November 15, 2018
Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said Cody Parkey's late-night kicking at Soldier Field was, "awesome."
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) November 15, 2018
Having self-confidence is one thing, and it’s good that Parkey seems to have it. But it means so much more when others have faith in you, especially when you’re feeling your worst. Moving forward, Tabor confirmed the Soldier Field practices would continue for Parkey as the team prepares for its Sunday showdown against the Minnesota Vikings with first place in the NFC North on the line. Because you’d just hate for the kicking game to be the deciding factor in a divisional grudge match between heated rivals.
Tabor said he felt good about Parkey moving forward, citing his experience coaching him while the two were with the Browns. And why wouldn’t he have those positive vibes? Parkey made 80 percent of his kicks while in Cleveland, which is impressive because things didn’t necessarily get off on the right foot there. Parkey went 3-for-6 in his first game with the Browns, then rebounded by making 16 of his next 17 attempts (that’s a 94.1 percent success rate in case you’re keeping score at home) over the next 12 games – including what amounted to be the game-clincher in a 20-17 win against the San Diego Chargers in what was Cleveland’s only win that season.
If the beauty of baseball is that there’s always a game tomorrow for redemption, the agony of football is that you have to wait a week to bounce back. If Parkey can make the most of the time between games and make some kicks down the stretch for the Bears, then it won’t be long before we’re looking back at his game against the Lions as a blip on the radar.