LAKE FOREST, Ill — The Chicago Bears announce the team has waived kicker Elliott Fry leaving Eddy Pineiro as the team’s lone kicker. Nevertheless, it is still unclear if Pineiro will be the Bears’ starter against the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach Matt Nagy spoke with the media today explaining that he and others in the Bears’ front office collectively decided to release Fry. Now, Nagy says it allows Pineiro to prove himself over the next couple of weeks.
“Well, I think the biggest thing is what it enables us to do now with two preseason games left is get more kicks essentially,” Nagy said. “Whether that’s in practice now you’re not splitting reps in the preseason games. And, I think too, there’s a little bit of the mental mindset as well for Eddy. “
Nagy did mention that the team is always looking for the best possible player for any position, including kicker. Yet, he said that they are happy with Pineiro’s progress.
“I think for Eddy, he needs to understand we feel really good at where he’s at,” Nagy said. “Now, he’s never kicked in an NFL game before. So, that could go a couple of different ways. It could go really good or really bad. We don’t know that answer. For right now we feel good for where he’s at.”
Nagy said he wants Pineiro to continue to do what he has been doing and progress along the way, however, he restated that until the final roster is down to 53 men, that the kicker position, like others, are wide open.
Pineiro took to the podium after Nagy and expressed that he understands that regardless of Fry being cut, he must prove himself or he will be next.
“Honestly, it doesn’t change anything,” Pineiro said. “Still gotta make kicks. If I don’t make kicks, I’m going to be gone just like everybody else.”
Pineiro said now that he is the only kicker, he can become more comfortable in game-like situations. Additionally, he said getting the opportunity to kick more will help him a lot. Yet, he restated that he realizes that at this time, he is not the guaranteed kicker for the Bears.
“So, the way I look at it, I haven’t won the competition,” Pineiro said. “Everything is still open. Who knows if they bring somebody else in. I mean, but it does give me a confidence booster like okay I have a shot to be the guy and prove to the coaches, like hey I can be the guy that they want me to be. I feel a lot more confident, yeah.”
The Chicago Bears next preseason game will be in Indianapolis against the Colts on August 24.