The Chicago Bears held their first practice of rookie minicamp on Friday afternoon at Halas Hall, and while the focus may have been on getting youngsters acquainted with the team, another competition will likely raise some eyebrows among fans.
The Bears invited a total of eight kickers into their minicamp this week, and had them go through an interesting exercise at the end of practice: kicking a field goal from 43 yards.
What seems like a random distance actually holds special significance to head coach Matt Nagy and the team. That is the distance of the kick that Cody Parkey hit his infamous “double-doink” kick from during a playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
We also have a bit of bad news: according to the Bears’ coach, only two of the eight kickers made the kick.
“I wanted to put them in situations that put a little bit of heat on them,” Nagy said after practice. “We did eight at the end there, and I think that’s good for them. You said we went 2-of-8, which isn’t good enough.”
Nagy did not elaborate on which kickers made the kick, but Redford Jones, one of several free agents the Bears brought in for a workout, hit the upright on his kick, according to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.
Nagy also conceded that the kick distance was a deliberate decision, saying that it was chosen “on purpose.” He was quick to say that the Bears aren’t going to read too much into a single drill in practice, saying that they want to let the process play out and avoid “rash decisions.”