The Chicago Bears kickers have been on the wrong end of several jokes over the past few months. No surprise given what happened at the end of last season. Cody Parkey misses his 11th kick of the year, costs them a playoff win, goes on the Today Show, professes how sorry for himself he feels and then gets cut. Since then the team has brought in eight different kickers as part of a massive competition.
Then over the course of several weeks from rookie minicamps through OTAs and veteran minicamps, seven of those initial kickers either went unsigned or got cut. The last man standing was Elliott Fry, a former AAF standout hailing from South Carolina. He was soon joined by trade acquisition Eddy Pineiro from the Oakland Raiders. Those two survived the gauntlet and will reach the next phase in training camp.
It’s left time for plenty of people to constantly list the position among the worst in the NFL. Not that such a statement is hard considering neither kicker has any prior regular season experience. However, it seems one notable group is considered an even bigger question mark than them.
The Green Bay Packers running backs.
Bears kickers only have one spot to worry about
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com ranked his top seven position groups in the league right now he considers the thinnest. Groups with loads of question marks. Among the “leaders” on the list include the New York Giants defense (#1) and New England Patriots receiving corps (#3). The Bears kickers? They’re actually at the bottom with the Packers running back two spots ahead at #5.
“Under-utilized during the latter stages of the Mike McCarthy regime, play-making tailback Aaron Jones hasn’t done himself any favors by carrying extra weight and suffering MCL sprains in each of his first two seasons.
Should he miss time this year, new coach Matt LaFleur will be forced to rely on speed-challenged receiving specialist Jamaal Williams, who has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season compared to Jones’ gaudy 5.5 mark.
Neglecting to add veteran depth this offseason, the Packers’ insurance policy appears to be sixth-round rookie Dexter Williams, a straight-line runner out of Notre Dame who was suspended for the first four games of last season for violating team rules.”
A big concern is the new offense of Matt Lafleur. Williams is currently the only notable back added by the team with him in charge. Optimism that Jones and Williams can thrive isn’t necessarily true. Everybody saw what happened with Jordan Howard last year under Matt Nagy. If they’re not careful, it may be on Aaron Rodgers more than ever this season.