Bears kicker Robbie Gould issued a statement of apology to the grounds crew at Solider Field, but not before suggesting he might leave Chicago on account of the grass.
Gould was critical of the conditions during a driving rainstorm that dumped two inches of rain during last week’s loss to the Texans, saying the grounds crew didn’t have a handle on the weather, and should have pulled a tarp before the game.
Gould then issued a tail-between-legs statement.
“I need to apologize to the grounds crew at Soldier Field and our grounds crew for my recent comments regarding the field,” the statement said. “I have since learned a lot more about the NFL’s policies and the measures that are taken at Soldier Field to ensure a reliable and safe playing surface. It was my mistake to speak prior to having a full understanding.
“That’s not why I missed a field goal on Sunday, and it’s not why I’ve missed the other field goals this year.”
But prior to the statement, he said the field conditions would have an impact on his future with the team. He’s under contract through 2013, but said he’d think about leaving if things didn’t get better.
“If those are the [field] conditions we’ve got to play in, I just have to adjust, and obviously those are the type of situations you look for in re-signing with teams,” Gould said, via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I have a year left on my contract. I hope to stay a Bear. And those will be situations that I’m going to take into [consideration]. I don’t know if I want to deal with that as I get older as a kicker.
“But at the same time, I’d love to retire a Bear. I’d love to be here. I’ve got a year left before we start talking about that, but those are things that guys like myself in my position think about.”
Gould has every right to pursue perfect conditions to kick in when he becomes a free agent. But he also chose to sign a six-year contract in 2008, after having kicked at Soldier Field for three seasons. So it’s not as if he was surprised that the field is traditionally among the worst in the league.