Chicago Bears: Is Eddy Pineiro’s job already in jeopardy?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears 2019 offseason was somewhat of a circus. The kicking competition that took place overshadowed most everything else. Could it all have been for nothing?

Last season the Chicago Bears hosted a kicking competition like no other. The team had parted ways with Cody Parkey after the playoff debacle in 2018 despite still paying him for his time in 2019. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy brought in multiple kickers last offseason and even a kicking specialist in Jamie Kohl.

After multiple kickers were released, the competition came down to Eddy Pineiro and Elliot Fry. After a few preseason games, Eddy Pineiro won the job and Fry was out on the street. Pineiro had a rollercoaster of a season. He started out strong, making his first four attempts, including a game-winning 53-yard field goal over the Denver Broncos.

After being deemed a hero, things started to go downhill for Pineiro. He missed his first field goal the following week. The miss meant little as the Chicago Bears dominated Washington. However, was it signs of worse to come?

Pineiro was nearly perfect through the first six weeks of the season. In Week 8 though, Pineiro only made three of his five attempts. These misses were important as the Bears found themselves losing to the Chargers 17-16. Had Pineiro made just one of his misses, the Bears would likely have won the game. Instead, the loss marked a three-game losing streak for Chicago.

Pineiro did not make a field goal attempt in Weeks 9 or 10, However, he did miss an extra point versus the Eagles in Week 10. The Bears lost 17-7 in Week 11 to the Rams. This game was closer than the score looked. The game was 10-7 going in the fourth quarter. Pineiro missed both of his field-goal attempts in this game. Could the momentum have shifted had he made one or both?

The following week, Pineiro redeemed himself by hitting both his field-goal attempts but missed another extra point. Pineiro finished the 2019 season strong with seven successful field goals and nine extra-point attempts. His job is likely secure, as he made 82 percent of is field goals last season, but maybe not as secure as we thought?

Teams were recently in talks with NFL Draft prospects at both the East/West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. The Bears met with multiple players from many positions, but I was a little shocked to see the team met with a kicker at the Senior Bowl.

The Bears met with Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. Blankenship has been at Georgia for the last five years. He redshirted his freshman season and did not kick until his second season, but he never lost the starting kicking spot. Blankenship finished his collegiate career with an 82.5 field goal percentage and a long of 55 yards. He also never missed an extra point in four years. He is arguably the best kicker to play for Georgia and one of the better NCAA kickers too.

The Chicago Bears are likely just doing their due diligence by meeting with Blankenship. We know that Ryan Pace likes to be somewhat secretive when it comes to his draft prep each offseason. That said, the team has not been linked to meeting with any of the top quarterback prospects from the Senior Bowl.

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Is Mitchell Trubisky‘s job safer than Pineiro’s? Again the answer is likely no, but we must follow the signs we are given. Hopefully, Pace takes the quarterback position as seriously this offseason as he did the kicking position last offseason.