The Chicago Bears are going to great lengths to find the right kicker for the 2019 season. Since parting ways with Cody Parkey, they have signed free agents who excelled at kicker camps, added a leg from now-defunct professional leagues, snagged undrafted rookies, put together an aggressive tryout during rookie mini-camp weekend, and even hired a kicking consultant. But the Bears’ latest move might be its boldest yet.
“For Chicago’s first OTA practice, the goal post looked a little different. A second set of uprights were built inside the standard-width uprights, a method to narrow the target space for the kicker and increase the difficulty for each attempt.”
Wow! The Bears are quite literally moving the goal posts in their quest to find a new kicker.
I must say I approve of the idea being employed here. Leg strength is desired, but accuracy is at a premium. So by narrowing the goal posts, the Bears could get a better of idea of which kickers are driving them through the middle. What a concept!
And while this idea might come off as gimmicky, this practice isn’t completely new. During the early stages of his professional career, Robbie Gould (yes, that Robbie Gould) and his brother used to practice kicking through Arena League goal posts, which are nine feet wide as opposed to NFL goal posts, which are 18 feet wide. Hey! If it’s good enough for Robbie Gould, it should be good enough for the tryouts at Halas Hall.
It’s evident that outside-of-the-box thinking was needed for this situation, so kudos to Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor and team consultant Jamie Kohl for some taking a different path to what will hopefully a better solution than what the team had last year.