Joniak: Bears Waive Kicker Elliot Fry, Leaving An Open Shot For Eddy Pineiro

Jeff Joniak
August 18, 2019 - 3:32 pm

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LAKE FOREST (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Bears have waived kicker Elliott Fry, the team announced Sunday morning. Coach Matt Nagy first revealed the news during a news conference with reporters at Halas Hall, which means the team is moving onto Eddy Pineiro as their lone kicker. Here are the notes and observations from the day's news.

-- One kicker remains in the months-long journey to find the “right” one.  Elliot Fry is out and Eddy Pineiro remains with no guarantees. “Everything is still open,” Pineiro said. “Who knows if they bring somebody else in. It does give me a confidence booster that I have a shot to be the guy.”

-- Pineiro has never kicked in an NFL regular season game, so no matter what transpires, he is a projection and he knows it. “They got us on thin ice here,” he said. “Just try to make all my kicks and move forward.”  The Bears will continue to vet other options as the cut to 53 approaches.

-- Fry missed a 47-yard kick in Friday’s loss to the New York Giants, while Pineiro made two kicks. “I think he’s going to play in the NFL for a while,” said Pineiro. Each kicker made 3-of-4 field goals or extra point attempts in two games.

-- Pineiro feels getting all the kicks right now will help him with his consistency. He also knows he needs to continue to earn trust. “The way I look at it is I have not won the competition.” 

-- Coach Nagy said starting left guard Cody Whitehair (finger) is okay. Right tackle Rashad Coward (elbow) is not likely going to be ready for this week against the Colts. Nagy said more will be known in the next 24-hours.

-- Kyle Long apologized to his teammates for his actions at the night practice last Wednesday. Nagy continues to say it is an internal matter. “Kyle is extremely remorseful, and now he’s got to prove it.”

-- Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks has practiced and played against Long since 2013 and knows they both are wired with a fuse. “Everybody has a temper,” Hicks said. “He is a fiery guy. He gets after it.  He is special. He is a special guard.  It’s great to have him back healthy and we look forward to him playing some really good snaps for us this year.”

-- Former Bears receiver coach Darryl Drake and former Bears running back Cedric Benson have passed away within a week of each other. Drake the Steelers receivers coach died last Sunday after complaining of chest pains, while Benson, the former fourth pick in the 2005 draft, was killed in Austin, Texas in an overnight motorcycle crash, an accident that also reportedly claimed his girlfriend.

-- Drake was receivers coach at Texas before he joined Lovie Smith’s Bear staff in 2004, a year before Benson was drafted. Drake knew Benson better than most, and Benson respected Drake. It’s crazy to think they both passed in this time frame.

-- It was always an awkward time in Chicago for Benson, from his 36-day rookie holdout, to his knee injury in the Super Bowl in 2006. In between, Benson flashed becoming a significant and productive part of the run game in the lead up to the Super Bowl. However, he never enjoyed his time here. He admits that.  Thomas Jones topped the depth chart and respected for his work ethic and production, had the favor of teammates on both sides of the ball.  Benson was unable to negotiate that vacuum. 

-- However, the Bears traded Jones to the Jets in 2007, and Benson still never took root suffering an elbow injury and modest production. It led to the drafting of one of the best backs in Bears history in Matt Forte in 2008.

-- The Bears eventually released Benson in 2008 after two arrests in five weeks. He went on to have three straight 1000-yard seasons with the Bengals. His 189-yard effort against the Bears in a 45-10 Bengals win, was an emotional one for one of the best running backs in University of Texas history.

-- There are obvious differences in Vic Fangio and Chuck Pagano, but defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is ready to ride with the former Colts head coach. “I look forward to playing for the guy,” Hicks said. “He gives you that feeling of understanding and want to.  You want to play for Chuck.”

-- Nagy predicts it will be an emotional return to Indianapolis for Pagano next Saturday night when the Bears play the Colts. “We’re so lucky to have him and it will be a special day for him.  

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.