I know it’s now the second month of baseball season and both teams are entertaining to watch. The Cubs have shown their playoff timber of late with great pitching and some very timely hitting. The Sox ova on da sout side have really looked up graded and ready to compete. Both teams have been fun to watch, but even though the weather is warming and Spring is in the air I still can’t get that double doink echo out of my head or the picture of it out of my brain. That’ s why I was so interested in Rich Campbell and Dan Widener’s piece in this mornings Trib. It’s rookie mini camp for the Bears, but there’s something much more important happening.
It doesn’t get more dramatic in the NFL in May than the kicking battle royal the Bears hosted at their rookie minicamp. Eight men entered Friday and a ninth joined Saturday. Through three practices, more than 300 field-goal attempts were tracked and analyzed with the help of Doppler radar technology. A few juicy, high-pressure kicks were contrived, the final one ending with a backflip. By Sunday night, when the thuds of shoes hitting pigskin finally subsided, only Elliott Fry and Chris Blewitt remained under contract at Halas Hall. And the roster churn didn’t stop there. On Monday, the Bears acquired Eddy Pineiro from the Raiders for the low, low price of a a conditional 2021 seventh-round draft pick .We now have a much clearer sense of how painstaking this kicker search is. Seeing nine rookies in a competition overseen by their new kicking consultant, Jamie Kohl, brought to life the Bears’ determination to fix this problem. But after watching such an ordinary group, and after a trade for Pineiro that amounted to little more than a waiver claim, there’s one adjective I’d use above all others to describe this search: ongoing. Over three days, we received a decent snapshot of just how challenging this kicker search is, has been and will continue to be. Of the eight kickers the Bears had on hand, none jumped out as elite to the naked eye. Unlike the Bears’ decision-makers, we didn’t have the benefit of video review or Doppler technology to study the velocity, trajectory and get-off time for each guy. But I’m not sure we needed it to come to this conclusion: this search is a long, long way from being over. The trade for Pineiro reinforced that notion, So buckle in. This kicker storyline isn’t going away for a long time. Inevitably, the anxiety will still be lurking into January 2020. Who knows if, at that point, kicker fatigue will be replaced by full-fledged kicker panic? The Bears seem to have taken for granted what they once had in Robbie Gould. And they’re still paying for the misstep, still looking to find a kicker they can trust. Fifteen months ago, they guaranteed Parkey $9 million and endorsed him as a proven veteran who had been to the Pro Bowl and had a healthy previous relationship with Tabor. Ultimately, none of that meant anything. Click here for the full article: