BOURBONNAIS, Ill — Going into the 2019 season, the Chicago Bears are making it a priority finding a kicker that they can rely on. The wounds from last year’s loss at Solider Field against the Philadelphia Eagles are still fresh as the Bears’ season ended on a missed field goal.
Fast forwarding to present day, it was Elliott Fry’s opportunity to prove what he is capable of doing not only to his team, but the thousands of fans in attendance for opening day of training camp that he could be the kicker that the Bears desperately need, and he did just that.
“I know obviously it’s going to be the first question I get asked,” Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy said. “It was a pretty good day for our kicker.”
Fry kicked his first field goal and missed it as it flew high and right from roughly 33 yards. Many that were in attendance groaned in disappointment.
Then, it happened. Fry would attempt seven more field goals and nail them all, even one from almost 60 yards. His ability to regain his confidence in the face of adversity made Nagy proud of the 24-year old.
“Yeah, so it’s his first kick, it doesn’t matter he missed it, but it tailed off at the very end. So, for him mentally that’s the first kick of the day in front of everybody and he missed it but he bounced right back. I look at it from that point of view, he was mentally strong enough to bounce back and make the rest of them, and he put the cherry on top with the 60-yarder.”
Nagy was very matter of fact about the importance of this team finding a kicker. After leading the division and being 12-4 on the season, the Bears had their sights on the Super Bowl last year but saw an early exit in the post season due to a failed field goal attempt. With that in mind, Nagy said he and his coaching staff have laid it out on the table for their kickers going into training camp.
“We’ve been very honest with them about how we’re going about this thing,” Nagy said. “I think when you’re honest with them it’s no surprises. And, it’s on them. It’s not on anybody else but them to make it and produce.”
Nagy said that the kickers will alternate regardless of weather. Sunday will be Eddy Piñerio’s day to prove what he is made of.