The Chicago Bears’ kicking competition has unearthed the first challenger to take Cody Parkey’s job:
— EnterSports Management (@EnterSportsMgmt) January 25, 2019
According to his agency, Redford Jones has signed with the Bears. Jones was part of the kicking caravan who rolled through Halas Hall on Friday for a tryout. In addition to Blair Walsh, Nick Folk, and Austin MacGinnis, ESPN’s Field Yares reports that Jones, Josh Gable, and Ernesto Lacayo were also in on the festivities.
It’s not a group of household names who inspire a ton of confidence, but sometimes the best kickers come from anonymity. I mean, who knew who Aldrick Rosas was at this time last year? It doesn’t matter, because now he is a Pro Bowl kicker for the New York Giants. See … they can come from anywhere!
Now that he has emerged from the pack, let’s get to know Redford Jones.
Jones kicked at Tulsa for three seasons, making 50 of 67 kicks (74.6%) and 169 of 172 (97.9%) extra-point attempts. His best season came as a junior when he made 80.8 percent of his field goal tries (21-for-26) and all 67 of his PATs. On November 28, 2016, Jones won the American Athletic Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week award after scoring 10 points (including a pair of important fourth-quarter field goals) in a 40-37 overtime win against Cincinnati. It was Jones’ 22-yard boot as time expired that forced overtime, so at least we know he has some experience making clutch kicks.
The Bears’ search for a new kicker probably isn’t going to end with Jones, but even the greatest adventures can have humble beginnings. Considering how Chicago’s season ended, Halas Hall should probably have an open-door policy for anyone with any kind of significant kicking experience.