Remember "Augusta Silence"? The most infamous stunt that Matt Nagy and special teams coach Chris Tabor pulled during the weeks-long process of finding the Bears' kicker in 2018? Where practice would randomly come to a total halt and become completely silent while Eddy Piñeiro and Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt and Elliott Fry and Alex Kjellsten and Casey Bednarski and John Baron II all tried to nail field goals? Usually from one very specific distance?
Well, good news. It's all falling into place now. When talking with Chicago media on Tuesday afternoon, Piñeiro mentioned that, actually, having to hit pressure kicks while surrounded by an eerie silence in 2018 may actually help him hit pressure kicks while surrounded by an eerie silence in 2020.
"I was just thinking about that. I think it probably will be, yeah," he said. "That's how it was in practice. Nobody talking, nobody screaming. It was a little awkward, a little weird. But if that does happen, I think I'll be ready for it because we did a lot of that last year, we probably will do a lot of that this year too. So I'll be ready for it."
In his first full season, Piñeiro connected on 82 percent of his field goal attempts (23-28), tied for 17th in the league. He admitted that there were times last year when he struggled with the adjustments that switching between indoor and outdoor NFL stadiums on a weekly basis require, and that even Augusta Silence wouldn't compare to actually playing without fans in seats.
"I don’t think I’ve ever played a game without any fans," he added. "I think that it would be weird because you’re so used to running out in the stadium and having people cheer and stuff like that, but I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know, I’ve never done it before."