What better way to hand an extension to a head coach than in a Friday news dump on a day when the Cubs are playing their chief rival and the Bears opened their rookie mini-camp headlined by a never-before-seen kicking competition?
We discussed that (and more) in Episode 17 of the Talkin’ Toros podcast. Give it a listen as you take a break from worrying about the Bears’ kicking situation.
- In case you missed it, the Bears’ are down to two kickers on their 90-man roster. The weekend started with eight kickers (four who were signed to free agent deals, four in town for tryouts) and has since been trimmed to two. Elliott Fry and Chris Blewitt are the last lets standing after the team released Redford Jones and John Baron II. And yet, it feels as if this derby is far from being decided.
- There are still four months until the season gets underway. Between now and then, there are veteran mini-camps, training camp practices, and preseason games to be played. It’s quite possible that the Bears’ Week 1 kicker isn’t even on this roster right now. Heck, it’s plausible that their future kicker isn’t on any roster at this moment. There are still way too many bridges to cross before the Bears can get to where they need to be.
- Part of me enjoys the competition aspect of the situation at hand. After all, if it’s good enough for Dave Toub and a proven method to find a solution to a problem, then it’s good enough for me. On the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice to have some certainty at a position that has caused us so much anxiety in the offseason?
- Outside of some loose connections, the Bears weren’t strongly connected to the best free agent kickers this offseason. Jason Meyers ended up in Seattle and Stephen Gostkowski re-signed with New England, but Matt Bryant remains a free agent. The team passed on drafting a kicker and the one they signed as an undrafted free agent has already been given his walking papers. And if 49ers GM John Lynch can be taken at his word, then trading for Robbie Gould is out of question. The Bears don’t need to make a move for the sake of it, but there are moments when I stop and ask myself if they’re doing enough to remedy the situation. When it gets down to it, the Bears need to make a winning decision. If not, it could result in a stumble no one in Chicago wants to see.
- Ugh, my stomach is turning just thinking about this possibility:
Does anyone doubt that the Bears/Packers game Week 1 will be decided by a Game Winning Field Goal attempt from 43 yards?
— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr) May 6, 2019
- Casey Bednarski made the big kicks on Sunday, connecting from 32, 43, and 48 yards away to close out mini-camp. He also seemed to impress reporters watching the competition throughout the weekend, but didn’t make the cut. And it’s a shame, because he seems like he would’ve been a worthy competitor in the Bears’ kicking competition:
The advantage of signing a player like Casey Bednarski is that he could kick and punt for the Bears (or any team) and contribute on special teams, allowing teams to allocate additional roster spots to other positions. Experience kicking in the cold as well #NFL #ChicagoBears pic.twitter.com/aqI6kl6pMa
— KJ Eichstaedt (@KJEichstaedt) May 4, 2019
- I hope Bendarski’s cut had nothing to do with ending festivities with a backflip. If so, it’s a tough look for the “BE YOU” era of Matt Nagy football – especially when celebrations were welcomed with open arms all last season. Now, I probably don’t want Bednarski doing flips when he’s making kicks he should be making in regular season games because no one wants to see Bill Gramatica happen all over again. But still … this could’ve been fun. Maybe the Bears will reconsider and bring him back down the line? I won’t rule it out. It’s hard to imagine this is the end of the line for the Bears’ kicking competition.
- Weekend mini-camp wasn’t just for kicks:
- David Montgomery, Riley Ridley, and Duke Shelley give me good vibes. I know it’s just a three-day mini-camp and there is a ton of time between now and when games of consequence will take place. But the Bears’ first three picks from their 2019 draft class figure to be the latest Ryan Pace picks to provide an instant impact as rookies. How can you not be excited about that?
- It was cool to read Larry Mayer (ChicagoBears.com) write about ex-Bears such as Charles “Peanut” Tillman and Matt Forte return to Halas Hall to mentor rookies at mini-camp.
- Duke Shelley left with a strong impression after meeting Peanut Tillman. So much so, he took on his number without flinching:
- That’s brave.
- I always find myself gravitating toward rooting for an underdog story at camp, and my gut says Stephen Denmark is going to be that guy for me this year:
Raw? Very. Intriguing? You bet.
— Chicago Sports (@ChicagoSports) May 6, 2019
- A long and strong corner with pro size, plus athleticism, and upside to dream on? Count me in.
- We’re officially less than four months away from Khalil Mack having fun at the expense of the Packers’ offensive line:
- Chuck Pagano has to be looking forward to this:
- Any self-respecting Bears fan who picks the under is a punk:
The Bears are projected to have 9.5 wins next season despite ending 2018 with 12 wins.
Will Chicago finish with over or under 9.5 wins in 2019? pic.twitter.com/E258AGOXGk
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) May 5, 2019
- Deals of the Day today at Amazon include electric toothbrushes, sewing machines, jewelry, and more.