The Bears are trying to find a kicker they believe will do well under pressure and one of the ways they’re trying to suss that out is by borrowing from the world of golf.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy took in The Masters this year and he brought back the idea of “Augusta silence” to the team’s practices. When Chris Blewitt, Elliott Fry and Eddy Piniero are summoned to kick in front of the team, the entire roster goes silent in what Nagy calls an “eerie” scene.
While NFL games are rarely silent, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said the lowering of the volume is designed to “add pressure each and every day.”
“It just randomly happens that at some point in practice,” Tabor said, via Kevin Fishbain of TheAthletic.com. “It could be in the middle of a drill, offense and defense, they just have to leave and they go to the side of the field and we put him out there and it’s a pressure-packed situation. Kicker might not know when it’s coming. So therefore how does he handle adversity. ‘They just called me, boom there’s an interception, I’ve got to change gears right now and I’ve got to go out there and kick this game winner.’ And then it’s just, it’s quiet.”
Nagy said the team has yet to decide if they’ll bring all three kickers with them to training camp to continue a competition that’s already seen several kickers discarded in the search for one the team can count on come the fall.