Bears' Kicking Battle Continues On, With No End In Sight

June 05, 2019 - 3:22 pm

(670 The Score) The Bears saw their kicking competition go from one in Cody Parkey in 2018 to eight during rookie minicamp tryouts in May and now three as their offseason continues on.

It's all part of the process as the Bears seek their next kicker and a replacement for Parkey, who was officially released in March after a trying season that included crucial misses in clutch moments. The ongoing kicking competition has three participants in Elliott Fry, Chris Blewitt and Eddy Piniero.

"It's going well," Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor told reporters at Halas Hall on Wednesday. "It really is. All three of them are doing a good job. We're finding stuff out about them each and every day. That's been really good. The longer this thing goes, the more you know about the player, what's underneath the hood. We're going to keep staying that course right now."

The Bears have used their offseason program as a platform to test these three kickers, hoping one can rise to the occasion and earn the starting job for 2019.

Tabor has been leading this detailed process, testing not only the kicking abilities of each player but also his mental fortitude.

"You just try to add pressure each and every day," Tabor said. "Obviously, we're doing the Augusta (National-like) silence. That's been awesome. When you stand back there and it's silent, you're alone out on the field, it's different than standing here on the sideline. Different things on who goes first, who goes second, who goes third. The way that we rank them and score after each and every day, give them the results, it adds pressure. It's an ongoing thing, but I like where we're at."

The Bears have maintained there's no set date on deciding on a starting kicker. They're using this time to create a greater sample size with the three -- and perhaps could even add to the mix if needed.

Tabor has embraced the ongoing process of finding the Bears' next kicker.

"It's a funny position," he said. "You can see a guy one day and, boy, he has his A game, he just plays unbelievable, and the next day he's totally different. Obviously, if you have them for a long time, you can figure it out.

"Well we’ll definitely have to have somebody Thursday night against Green Bay (in the Sept. 5 season opener). I feel good about that."