Bears, Nagy getting kick out of PK competition

Field Level Media

July 29, 2019 at 6:35 pm.

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy went from staging pressure situations in the offseason to watching the last two standing in the placekicker competition excelling on a surprisingly bright stage at training camp.

With more than 13,000 total fans flocking to Bourbonnais, Ill., and Bears training camp over the weekend, Nagy and his 90-man roster came out pleased with the results of what became a can-you-top-this showdown between Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro.

The Bears got to this point by failing to secure a replacement for dispatched kicker Cody Parkey. His missed 43-yarder, which clanked off the left upright, then the right, only to land short in the end zone, ended Chicago’s season in a playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in January.

Nagy, fans, and most everyone on the team have a very strong interest in the outcome of the only legitimate position battle in Bears camp.

On Saturday, with more than 8,300 fans in the stands, Fry made eight consecutive kicks and then was given the “dealer’s choice” opportunity by Nagy. This amounts to the chance to end practice with a field-goal attempt from any distance. Fry opted for a 60-yarder and punched it right through.

Sunday afternoon, Pineiro had a better day, and then pulled a 63-yarder out of his sleeve to end practice.

Pineiro felt the energy from fans when he pushed the 63-yarder through the uprights.

“I’ve never seen so many people cheer so loud in a practice before,” Pineiro said. “I’ve heard it in a game, but in a practice it’s unreal. It’s awesome.”

Nagy hopes not to be gritting his teeth through dramatic kicking moments this season. For now, he’s enjoying the competition.

“How do you not love two kickers battling for one spot, competing their tails off after everything that’s gone on with our team and our city?” Nagy said.