Bears had tryout punter kicking field goals during minicamp

AP

As it turns out, the Bears didn’t just bring in a clown car full of kickers to their rookie minicamp, they were stuffing another pair of big shoes in there once it arrived.

Via Nathan Brown of the New Orleans Advocate, they actually had their tryout punter join the eight kickers they dragged in for rookie minicamp, letting him try his hand (or foot, as the case may be) at field goals.

McNeese State punter Alex Kjellsten got another look with the Saints, but said of the Bears experience: “it seemed like the whole camp was about finding a kicker.”

They had four on the roster and brought four more in on a tryout basis. They kept two of them, and then traded for another afterward. During the rookie minicamp, they had each of the candidates try a 43-yarder at the end of practice with everyone watching, replicating Cody Parkey’s playoff miss. Only two hit it, so on the second day they had Kjellsten kicking as well.

He was surprised by the level of detail they went to in the search.

“They brought in something like 14 specialists, and the organization did a great job of constructing pressure situations for us, and it was very competitive,” Kjellsten said. “Every kick was charted, and they had all this technology on the goalpost.

“Then, at the end of practice, they had all the kickers line up, and everyone was standing on the 50-yard-line. It was silent, like you could have heard a pin drop. Every kick held a lot of weight — even if you made the kick, if the ball wasn’t rotating the right way or if it knocked off the upright and then went in, it was no good to them.”

It’s easy to view that as obsessive, if not excessive. While it’s clearly important for a team to find a reliable kicker, the way the Bears are setting up this search also puts the job in more of a spotlight than it naturally brings. Now, as soon as the next poor soul to hold that job misses a kick and the Bears lose a game, he’ll become the focus of the larger failure. They made Parkey a pariah, partly for the miss and partly for his television appearance in the aftermath, and now they’re ensuring his replacement will be under even more pressure.

21 responses to “Bears had tryout punter kicking field goals during minicamp

  1. This whole effort is so embarrassing. They’re really making a mountain out of a mole hill. Just sign a veteran kicker and move along like everyone else. Hell, bring back Parkey.

  2. This is just sad. If they were smart, they’d go ahead and trade for Kaare Vedvik who killed it last year’s preseason for the Ravens and they are only going to look to trade this training camp/preseason anyway. But no one has ever accused a team who has brought in a dozen kickers as being smart.

  3. they got rid of parkey not only for that kick but he missed he cost them the dull fins game and missed like 20 extra points during the season. they can say it was tipped all you want but the bottom line is he choked yet again! if the guy touched it it grazed his fingernail and that’s it. if guys can’t handle the pressure now then they sure as hell will not be able to in a game. the guy they got from the raiders should e able to do the job.

  4. What a complete disaster this has become. I smell a 7-9/8-8 season coming for the Bears.

  5. Yeah a real disaster, come on, they bring in a bunch of young kickers to test them to see if they’re NFL ready , that’s it. They don’t want to pick up somebody else’s trash and how else do you find a Young kicker? And this one guy comments that the Bears will go 7-9 because of it that makes no sense at all. Robbie Gould was struggling when his contract was up and was demanding big money, San Francisco bit and Robbie got his act together. Now he’s playing games with San Francisco and holding out, a freaking kicker holding out, no thanks, find a young kicker and move on

  6. Isn’t this an overreaction? I mean there are plenty of good kickers out there. I get the psychological decision of letting Parkey go, the fan base needed that and he probably did too. But keeping the K position in the media spotlight isn’t going to help erase the stigma that came with the double-doink, if anything it will add to the pressure of whatever guy gets the job.

  7. I was at Halas hall yesterday looking at a job they want me to bid. The maintenance guy showed me one of their new ractice fields. The goalpost had 2 sets of uprights, one inside the standard width.

  8. Lost the Dolphins game… ?

    The offense had 3 turnovers, the defense gave up 31 points but the kicker missing a 53 yard FG on grass is the reason they lost? All kicks from 50-59 were completed at about 63% last year. Factor in grass, outdoors, and that it was not from 50,51, or 52 and you are looking at a coin flip. This is like blaming a QB for not completing a hail mary.

    Parkey >>> Clowns

    I love that the Bears are paying him a ton of money to go away because he had 1 bad game vs the Lions and Treyvon Hester tipped the ball in the playoff game.

    Parkey missed 3 extra points all season. The league average was about 2 misses.

  9. The had a chance to check out Stephan Gostkowski when the Patriots let him go to free agency. Still unsure as to why they didn’t. Another doink.

  10. skippyx says:
    May 17, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Lost the Dolphins game… ?

    The offense had 3 turnovers, the defense gave up 31 points but the kicker missing a 53 yard FG on grass is the reason they lost? All kicks from 50-59 were completed at about 63% last year. Factor in grass, outdoors, and that it was not from 50,51, or 52 and you are looking at a coin flip. This is like blaming a QB for not completing a hail mary.

    Parkey >>> Clowns

    I love that the Bears are paying him a ton of money to go away because he had 1 bad game vs the Lions and Treyvon Hester tipped the ball in the playoff game.

    Parkey missed 3 extra points all season. The league average was about 2 misses.

    ______________________

    Yes he did cost the Bears the Dolphins game and that directly effected their 1st round bye spot that they would have had over the Rams. Parkey hit the goalposts four time in one game against the Lions last year. This wasn’t just because of the Eagles game you imbecile. Maybe research topic a bit further before spouting off stupidity!

  11. Parkey is a terrible kicker and going on the Today show to blah blah blah about how bad he is without the Bear’s consent was his demise. Anyone that thinks Parkey got cut single handedly from the Bears because of the playoff miss is a total ignoramus!

    Also blaming lack of offensive production to win the game makes the biggest ignoramus in the world~! The kicker should always be an option when the game is on the line.

  12. Jim Schranz says:
    May 17, 2019 at 10:20 am

    “Robbie Gould was struggling when his contract was up and was demanding big money, San Francisco bit and Robbie got his act together.”

    Robbie Gould was cut, he wasn’t looking for bigger money. Your facts are a little off.

  13. A) It was tipped.
    B) Osweiler torched Fangio and The Bears took the Dolphins easy.
    C) NFC Playoff game was WEAK. Trubisky (I’m a huge fan) was a checkdown master. No aggression on a depleted Eagles Secondary. Also, Fangio had 10 men on the field for one of the TDs. The Bears inexperience was felt hard in that playoff game. They learned from it.
    D) Parkey went on the Today show. His segment was 2-3min. Not like the days of Marshall flying back to NYC to do a TV broadcast. Pinning the failed season on Parkey is a pretty shoddy excuse.

    Bears will be fine. Deep playoff push. Book it.

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