The Bears didn’t make the playoffs or meet expectations or anything, but at least they found a kicker.
Which is good news for the rest of us, since we won’t have to listen to them talk about kickers all offseason again.
Via the Chicago Tribune, Bears General Manager Ryan Pace said the team was encouraged by the work of Eddy Pineiro this year.
“The goal the whole time was to hit on a young kicker that we can grow,” Pace said. “And we feel like we’ve done that with Eddy. He finished the season strong. . . . We feel like he’s going to continue to get better.”
Pineiro was 23-of-28 on the season (82.1 percent) on field goals, and 27-of-29 on extra points.
He went through a midseason slump when he was 3-of-7, but hit his final 11 field goals of the year.
“We never wavered or lost confidence in him,” Pace said. “Just to see him keep his head up and see the team rally around him, it’s all good.
“Again, I really liked the way he finished. We talked about it walking up the stairs of the plane after the game [Sunday]. I told him, ‘You should be very proud of what you’ve done.’ But he said to me, ‘I’ll never forget where I came from.’ And I just think him, having that attitude and never getting complacent is going to carry him a long way.”
After their exhaustive (and exhausting) search this offseason, which included nine guys kicking at a rookie minicamp, and gimmicks like the “Augusta silence ” to artificially create pressure in practice, it’s good that they found their guy.
At least until he isn’t, and they need another scapegoat.