I don’t want the Chicago Bears attempting too many 80-yard field goals, but this certainly has my attention:
— Dan DeYoung (@DanDeYoung80) April 5, 2019
Nick Rose was one of the kickers to participate in a recent tryout at Halas Hall. Rose was a standout in the AAF, where he made all 14 of his field goal attempts (including a pair of 50-yard boots) before the league suspended operations last week. The tweet above featuring the 80-yard kick is more of a conversation starter highlighting Rose’s leg strength than something that is reasonable to expect in an NFL game … but it’s fun to watch and talk about. And that counts for something, right?
Rose hasn’t signed with the Bears or any other NFL team as of this post, but a kick from 80 yards away represents the latest data point showing GM Ryan Pace’s exhaustive search is focusing in on kickers with strong legs. It’s something Pace has explicitly stated he wants from Cody Parkey’s replacement, so it’s no surprise Rose was invited for a workout after seeing what he can do from a pure leg strength perspective. Further, the Bears’ interest in Rose and the other top kickers from the AAF point to a shifting philosophy on how the franchise goes about solidifying the kicking game. Let’s take a breath and a step back to examine the big picture, if only for a moment.
The Bears have already signed free agents Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt. Adding another free agent to this group will only add to the early competition. And if Chicago’s front office can unearth another kicker on draft weekend (via the draft itself or an undrafted free agent after its conclusion) to what they have in camp right now, it will create the type of in-camp competition that would allow for a better approach toward finding the right replacement for Parkey. At minimum, this approach should put them in far better shape than they were going into this offseason.
Beloved special teams coach Dave Toub endorses this approach and I can see why. Find the best guys, bring them to camp, and let the best man win. Frankly, this is what the Bears should have been doing after parting ways with Robbie Gould in 2016. Better late than never, I suppose.