As expected, the Chicago Bears’ kicking competition is taking center stage at training camp. But what few (if any) might have seen coming is one of the combatants embracing the limelight like nobody’s business.
Eddy Piñeiro knocked through 7-of-8 field goal tries on Sunday, with the best of the bunch being an impressive 63-yarder. And after Piñeiro let his leg do the talking one day after Elliott Fry went 9-for-10 — including a 60-yard kick of his own, he chimed in to explain how little pressure he is feeling about the battle at hand despite the fact that the Bears sent a conditional draft pick to Oakland to bring him into camp.
“Not at all,” Piñeiro said. “The Raiders gave me up for pennies.”
Trading with the Raiders worked well enough for the Bears last summer, so why not go back to the well if you can?
Piñeiro has a certain swagger to him that is easy to pull for if you’re looking for a kicker to back in this competition. After all, this is the same guy who had the nerve to ask for Tim Tebow’s uniform number when he was kicking for the University of Florida.
It’s good that Piñeiro is as long on confidence as his leg is strong. Because while he might not feel pressure now, bigger kicks are on the horizon for him between now and when the regular season kicks off on September 5. Piñeiro will need that leg and that swag in order to come away as the winner of this training camp showdown.