Bears not concerned about kicking battery timing being off


Bears not concerned about kicking battery timing being off

A week before Robbie Gould missed a pair of field goals — including what would’ve been a game-winner — the Bears swapped snappers, waiving Thomas Gafford and signing Patrick Scales.

Bears special teams coach Jeff Rodgers admitted changing one-third of a field goal battery can throw off the timing of the operation, but said he didn’t think the switch had anything to do with those two debilitating misses that helped send the Bears to an overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

“There’s always an adjustment,” Rodgers said. “That whole process is, from the snap to the hold to the kick, along with the protection — there’s a lot of elements that go into being successful or unsuccessful. I don’t believe that had a lot to do with it in terms of those two particular kicks, nor do I think that having a new snapper contributed to the ones that he made in the game.

“I just think it was an unfortunate deal that happened at a critical time, but we have total confidence in Robbie to come back and have a good last quarter of the season.”

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Gould didn’t do any finger-pointing after Sunday’s game and continued to take full responsibility for his misses on Wednesday, saying the holding and snapping hasn’t been a problem all year.

For whatever reason, though, the Bears decided to part ways with Gafford and bring in Scales, who turned pro in 2011 but didn’t make his NFL debut until December 2014 with the Baltimore Ravens. He bounced between the Ravens, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ravens again before signing with the Bears Nov. 28, so he’s familiar with the learning curve that comes with working with a new kicking battery.

“It takes a while,” Scales said. “It just takes a lot of reps. You gotta get comfortable with one another, there’s no set amount of reps or anything like that. The more you do it, the more comfortable you are.

“They know that it’s going to take some adjustment. They gotta get used to my snap speed, I gotta get used to their cadence, so the timing initially’s going to be off, but as the days go on, the perfect aspect is expected.”

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Scales said working with Gould and holder Pat O’Donnell has been a smooth transition, with Gould not leaving any gray area in what he wants from a snapper. Scales added that he thought the work he had with Gould and O’Donnell in practice rolled over well to Sunday’s game.

So Gould’s two costly misses come down to his own mistakes, though he remained confident that his issues on Sunday won’t affect him going forward.

“Look at my track record,” Gould said. “I started out the season on a pretty good streak, got to the bye week and probably haven’t been as strong as I had been in the beginning of the season. And I look forward to starting a new streak. That’s usually what I do in these situations. The guys, blocking, holding, snapping have done a great job all year, really it’s just me stepping up to the plate and getting it done.”

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."