The Chicago Bears kicking competition has become the most talked-about topic of training camp early on. Both Elliot Fry and Eddy Pineiro have been extremely impressive in their training camp debuts, despite it still being early. A competition that some had doubts on may now actually work out.
Head coach Matt Nagy has given each kicker a day each so far through camp. Fry went first on Saturday and scared some by missing on his kick which was shorter than 40 yards. He rebounded to make good on his next nine kicks including his last kick which was a 60-yard attempt.
Pineiro responded on Sunday as he connected on seven of eight attempts. His last attempt was the most impressive kick of camp as Pineiro drilled a 63-yard attempt right down the middle and that still had considerable distance:
On Monday, Fry went 8 of 10, missing two kicks in the rain as he slipped on one of them.
The hot start by both kickers is much need for a Bears organization that has exhausted all efforts to resolve their kicking woes. General manager Ryan Pace and his organization may not have to look elsewhere if his two kickers continue to be equally impressive. There was fear that if both kickers failed to win the position battle, the Bears would have to find a veteran kicker via free agency or trade.
Those fears have been squashed for the moment given both Fry’s and Pineiro’s great debuts. If both kickers compete fiercely through the rest of training camp and the preseason games, it could benefit the Bears. With Nagy’s out of the box thinking, the Bears could choose to give their kickers as many possible attempts in the pre-season games. This could lead to the offense being highly conservative on third down in field goal range.
If both kickers succeed with many attempts during the pre-season games, the Bears would feel better about their situation. It would also make for a tough decision roster-wise.
The hot start by both kickers is exactly what everyone around the Bears needed given what took place over the off-season. It is still early in camp and both kickers could falter the rest of the way but at the moment both are going all out to win the competition.