Robbie Gould- Gould is coming off a bad season for Chicago, but he’s been with the team a long time and isn’t going anywhere in 2016. If Gould struggles again, the Bears might start looking elsewhere, but the front office and coaching staff expect him to bounce back and be the field goal kicking ace he’s been for years.
1. Pat O’Donnell- O’Donnell has only been in the league for two seasons and has proven to be decent. He was selected by Phil Emery in the sixth round of the draft and when you spend a draft pick on a punter, you usually expect better results than O’Donnell has shown. If O’Donnell doesn’t start improving this year, the Bears might start looking elsewhere.
2. Benjamin LeCompte- While O’Donnell will most likely win the position, the Bears did bring in LeCompte to push him during training camp and preseason. LeCompte is an undrafted rookie out of North Dakota State. While it’s a long shot he makes the roster, his presence shows that the Bears’ front office questions if O’Donnell is their long-term answer at punter.
1. Aaron Brewer- Aaron Brewer is another John Fox guy that played with him in Denver. He was brought in this season and is expected to win the job out of camp. Brewer performed well for the Broncos but was released by Gary Kubiak and John Elway for “behavioral reasons.” The Bears will have to make sure Brewer is focused on football moving forward.
2. Patrick Scales- Scales was picked up last season as the Bears long snapper and remains on the roster currently. The Bears will only keep one long snapper on the roster and Brewer has the upper hand. Scales will have to outperform him significantly to wrestle the job away from him during the preseason.
Marc Mariani- Mariani isn’t a lock to make the roster, but he performed decently for the Bears at WR and also showed some skill as a punter. if Mariani makes the roster, he will most likely keep his punt returning duties, but if the Bears go another direction, any number of players could take this spot such as Eddie Royal.
Deonte Thompson- Thompson is another guy that has no guarantee of a roster spot. Thompson was signed to the Bears practice squad towards the beginning of the season and was activated to the roster in November. He performed well on kicks, but is by no means an elite returner and he will also have to show abilities in the receiving game as well to keep a roster spot.