Bears kickers still can't convert from 43 yards out

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Finding a kicker has become as difficult for the Chicago Bears as it was for their last one to convert a clutch attempt against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the aftermath of Cody Parkey missing -- it was technically blocked -- a now-infamous 43-yard field goal attempt against the Eagles in the Bears' 16-15 NFC Wild Card loss, the Bears have been searching for a new kicker.

The search has missed its mark thus far.

The latest missed attempt(s) came Friday during coach Matt Nagy's kicking competition.

With John Baron II, Chris Blewitt, Elliott Fry and Redford Jones on foot at the Bears' first day of rookie minicamp along with four other camp invitees, all attempted kicks from the dastardly distance of 43 yards and combined to go two for eight.

"Two for eight, that's not good enough," Nagy told reporters after the practice. "Now I will say this: We always look at the end result of what happened, which is 100 percent what matters, but as we're learning, two of those eight holds and snaps, it wasn't 100 percent. I'll leave it at that. We've got to work through that. That's why after today we're not going to go out and make rash, brash decisions or anything. We're gonna play it out.

As for the distance of 43 yards?

"They know loud and clear why," Nagy said via The Athletic's Adam Jahns.

The two makes are greater than the combined amount of NFL games played by the quartet on the roster, which adds up to zero.

Parkey was released in March.

Prior to that, Jones, who converted 74.6 percent of his field goals at Tulsa, inked a reserve/future deal in January.

Blewitt, who made just less than 70 percent of his kicks at Pitt, was signed in early March following a tryout.

Following a perfect 14-for-14 showing for the AAF's Orlando Apollos, Fry came aboard the Bears' roster in mid-April and Baron II, a San Diego State product with a 83.3 percent accuracy on his field goals, was an undrafted free agent.

So, currently the four kickers on the Bears roster have no NFL experience and they combined for just two field goals in eight tries. They were joined by Casey Bednarski, Emmit Carpenter, Spencer Evans and Justin Yoon, who were invitees.

A double-doink miss concluded Chicago's turnaround 2018 season and the best hope to remedy the ills of the kicking game going into the 2019 campaign remains hard to find for the Bears.

"We have a method to our madness," Nagy said. "I think for us, just besides finding a kicker and being able to see what they can do in practice, we want to be able to see as much as we can in game situations as they handle that too. It's one thing to go out there and bang eight for eight when it doesn't really matter. But what about when it matters?"
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