Bears

Bears cut Chris Blewitt as kicking competition takes another turn 

Bears cut Chris Blewitt as kicking competition takes another turn 

The Bears waived kicker Chris Blewitt Wednesday morning, leaving Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry as the remaining members of the twisting-and-turning kicking competition at Halas Hall. 

Blewitt initially signed with the Bears after a tryout in February and, along with Fry, emerged from rookie minicamp’s eight-kicker tryout with a roster spot. The Bears traded for Pineiro shortly after rookie minicamp. None of those three kickers has ever kicked in a regular season NFL game. 

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor described Blewitt as having a “big leg,” though the Bears are able to quantify just how big that leg is. The team has used tracking devices to collect data on ball speed and trajectory, as well as charting makes and misses and evaluating each player’s mental approach, to paint a full picture of their kicking competition. 

“A guy could make a field goal and the ball goes through sideways and it doesn’t look like an NFL kick,” Tabor said. “And everyone says boy, he made it — but that’s what I call an ugly make. And when you’re doing that in practice it’s probably going to translate into ugly misses in the game. So when you look at ball speed, how fast does he get the ball up and those type of things, those are important factors that are realistic at their position.”

During Tuesday’s veteran minicamp practice, though, Matt Nagy called for each of the team’s three kickers to attempt a 42-yard field goal with “Augusta silence,” and all three missed. 

“For today, we can't have that,” Nagy said. “We are going to figure this thing out but 0-for-3 today, no good."

As things stand with two days of veteran minicamp left, the Bears will head into their summer break with two kickers on their roster. That could change for the start of training camp, though Nagy has previously indicated some discomfort with carrying more than two kickers on the roster, let alone to Bourbonnais. 

So Fry and Pineiro will battle in front of throngs of fans at Olivet Nazarene University still scarred from Cody Parkey’s miss, and still hoping Robbie Gould could wind up getting his way and returning to Chicago. That’ll provide a pressure-packed environment for both even before Nagy throws each a few curveballs (which may or may not involve the media). 

There’s a chance one could be cut during camp and another kicker could be brought in. And there’s similarly a chance the Bears could declare a “winner” by granting a roster spot on cut-down day, and then release that “winner” a day later in favor of a player added via the waiver wire. 

"We have to just keep trusting our evaluation of these three kickers,” Nagy said Tuesday, prior to the team cutting Blewitt. “It's not just one person, it's all of us together. We talk it through and we figure it out and we do everything we possibly can to make sure that in the end when we get to the very end, we have the right guy there."

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense. 

 

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

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Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

Scenario: you're walking down the street and randomly walk into a marriage proposal. What do you do?

For former Bear and current Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, the answer was to capture the magical moment on video. 

Olsen was in Nashville this week to give a keynote speech at a healthcare conference. While walking back to his hotel on Thursday, he randomly stumbled into a marriage proposal. His first response: hit record on his phone and capture the whole thing on video.

"Did she say yes? I got it on video, dude," Olsen said emphatically. "I'm going to send it to you!

"She said yes and I got it all on video, and you don't even know me, but I'm going to send it to you."

The couple, according to the Panthers, is Max Harvat and Brooke Hartranft. The two were visiting Nashville for the week, but Harvat didn't necessarily plan the proposal. It was as much of a sporadic moment for him as it was random for Olsen.

"Oh my god, you're my hero," Harvat said to Olsen after the proposal.

As it turns out, Harvat grew up a Panthers fan. However, he had no idea that Olsen was the person recording the proposal in the moment, only happy that someone caught it on video. When he stood up, he realized who the mystery man was.

“When I stood up, I looked over and I started having a mini heart attack," Harvat said to panthers.com. "I was like, ‘I’m 90 percent sure that’s Greg Olsen from the Panthers!’

“I'm a huge Carolina fan. I was like, ‘Oh my God, you're telling me that Greg Olsen just recorded the whole thing?’ I was so excited. It was amazing."

The moment wasn't just special for Havrat and Hartranft, though.

"It's the best thing I've ever witnessed," Olsen said in the video.

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