It’s only the middle of June, and the Bears’ kicking situation sailed (wide) past ridiculous weeks ago.
And the longer this goes, it seems the worse it’s going to get.
According to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, all three of the kickers on the roster at the moment missed 40-yard field goals during minicamp practice, with Eddy Pineiro stirring the echoes by hitting the upright.
Ordinarily, that might not be the case with a talented team that made the playoffs under a rookie head coach last season. But by scapegoating Cody Parkey and taking the search for a new kicker to comical lengths — such as bringing eight kickers to minicamp and even letting a punter try, having them kick while everything else has stopped to create pressure, or the silly “Augusta silence” gimmick last week — the Bears have turned it into a story.
“Whatever went through your mind went through my mind,” Nagy said of yesterday’s misses.
What went through at least this mind is the Bears have only themselves to blame. They weren’t able to sign Robbie Gould, but they could have picked one, and moved on, and not turned it into a months-long conversation (or joke, depending on your perspective).
They’ve now created a situation where no matter what happens, the kicker will be the focal point of their result, with everyone forgetting that their offense didn’t really do much in the loss to the Eagles in January, before Parkey’s miss provided the punctuation. But by making it all about the kicker, all offseason, it provides insulation for the other 52 players on the roster and the coach, since any (inevitable) failure can just be laid at the feet of whichever poor bastard happens to be kicking for them at the moment.
“We have to just keep trusting our evaluation of these three kickers,” Nagy said. “It’s not just one person, it’s all of us together. We talk it through and we figure it out and we do everything we possibly can to make sure that in the end, when we get to the very end, we have the right guy there.”
They clearly haven’t found him yet. And they’ve built in so much pressure — by evaluating it the way no other position on the roster is being evaluated — that they might not.