This fairy tale Robbie Gould reunion tour talk has gone too far. It’s natural to romanticize the past, long for the one who got away — especially when you see them having success in other places — but it ended for a reason.
It’s over. Let’s all move on.
Ryan Pace cut Gould before the 2016 season because he was missing kicks. Key kicks at the end of the 2015 season, and more kicks in the 2016 preseason. Gould himself has said that getting cut forced him to reinvent himself, leading to his success on 82 of 85 kicks since.
And that’s great. But hardly a guarantee of future success.
The rotating door and failure at kicker that culminated in the Bears' cruel exit from the playoffs makes it easy for those nationally — like former NFL kicker Jay Feely — to say “Why didn’t they just keep Robbie Gould?” Dan Pompei of the Athletic is the latest locally to suggest a reunion, and they’re both hardly alone as the drum beats louder to bring back Robbie.
But welcoming the 37-year old Gould back into the fold is far from the surefire fix that will get this team to the Super Bowl next season and beyond.
If you bring back Gould, you’re doing exactly what the Bears did with Cody Parkey — guaranteeing him a spot on the roster regardless of his performance. The decision — or lack of — to bring in any competition for Parkey after his disastrous Week 10 against Detroit gave Parkey a free pass. And it cost the Bears the season.
What happens when and if Gould misses a key kick in October? That doubt starts creeping in, it hangs over the entire team and fanbase, and you’re telling me the Bears should just ride or die with Gould just like they did with Parkey?
Start fresh, make it purely performance based, and for the love of George Halas, hold that position accountable. Chicago area native Jake Elliott won a Super Bowl with the Eagles last year in his rookie season, but not before starting the season with 2 misses in his first two games.
Then this happened:
Elliott went on to make 88 percent of his field goals the rest of the season including a perfect 7-for-7 in the playoffs.
No one told Parkey “no more misses” and no one’s gonna do that with Gould. Make whoever lines up for those game winning kicks earn it. Every week.