It’s been so far, so good for kickers at Bears camp.
At this point, I’d almost go as far to say things are going pretty well (or as well as they could go to this point). But that doesn’t mean the Bears are ready to ease up right now. In fact, Matt Nagy is having the exact opposite reaction.
While discussing his team’s kicking situation with SI.com’s Albert Breer, the Chicago Bears head coach continued to ramp up the pressure: “We’ve worked our tail off to get to this point, we’ve worked hard, we’ve done a lot of different things to figure out this kicker position,” Nagy said. “It’s come down to these two guys. But we also know, if they don’t produce, if they don’t show us what they can do, we’re going to find somebody else.”
Ahhhhh, nothing like some good old-fashioned pressure through a national publication to drive home a point. Just like they used to do when I was a little boy growing up reading the sports section with my chocolate milk.
The message Nagy is sending through Breer is quite clear. And frankly, I’m down with it. If either Elliott Fry or Eddy Piñeiro wants to land the job, they’ll need to keep it up or else the team will look elsewhere. It’s not the first time that message has been sent across like that … and it doesn’t sound like it will be the last.
It is an undeniable positive that things have started off on the right foot in Bourbonnais. Elliott Fry got the competition started with a 60-yard bang to raise his profile. Not to be out-done, Eddy Piñeiro followed up with a 63-yarder that capped his strong showing. Fry kept the good vibes coming with a solid showing while kicking through the wind and rain. Seriously, things aren’t all that bad! And we have seen how quickly things can spiral at the position. As far as I am concerned, I’ll gladly take all the positive vibes I can get from the place-kicker battle whenever I can get them.
In the end, it is good the Bears are happy with the start both of their kickers are having to training camp. Essentially, it means the team did a good job in whittling down the competition to two deserving candidates. And they are surely pleased that both Fry and Piñeiro are positively responding to the pressures of kicking in front of crowds who are passionately into a special teams position battle. But at some point, someone needs to stand above and beyond in the competition. If not, it sounds like the Bears will not be shy about testing the market for other options.