More Thoughts on the Kicker Situation (With Assistance From You)

| July 19th, 2019

The best place kicker in movie history?

I. A Tweet from Data.

Data did a nice thread on Super Bowl kickers and this Tweet was the basic summation.

I agree with his basic conceit that the Bears don’t need a great kicker over the duration of the NFL season to have a great NFL season. But how many times do we need to see kickers make SIGNIFICANT kicks in the postseason to understand that this position makes and breaks postseason runs almost every season. I’m not questioning whether the Bears can win ten games with one of these kids kicking their field goals. They can. I’m questioning whether they can win a title. And that’s the goal now.

II. A Comment from the Comments

From “That Guy”:

Vinatieri was unknown. Gould was a nobody.

Kickers come out of nowhere. Often they go back to nowhere.

Absent signing a “proven” guy to an overpriced contract (ahem, Parkey), you’re gambling.

If kicker is the biggest problem we deal with all season, we’re winning the Super Bowl.

I’ll take these point-by-point because these are basically ALL the points.

(1) What does Vinatieri and Gould were unknown mean? Their rookie years for the Patriots and Bears were 1996 and 2005, respectively. The teams they started for in those seasons were coming off 6 and 5 win campaigns, respectively. Both teams had wonderful seasons but had almost zero expectations. You can gamble with young players at pivotal positions when your expectations are low.

(2) “Absent…you’re gambling” is something you write when your team just missed the boat on a kicker signing. There is a dramatic difference between signing a kicker to an expensive multi-year contract and hosting a camp battle between two men who’ve never attempted a field goal in the league. Wouldn’t bringing in Matt Bryant – who barely missed a kick last season – make some sense? You could still give one of the kids the job but at least have the veteran, reliable option.

(3) Kicker was the biggest problem the Bears had heading into January last year and the Bears missed a chip shot field goal to advance in the playoffs.

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