Bears

A day in the life of Bears kicker Robbie Gould

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A day in the life of Bears kicker Robbie Gould

We're now less than two weeks away from John Fox's first Bears training camp, so it's only fitting that Comcast SportsNet starts ramping up its Bears coverage ahead of the daily updates from Bourbonnais. In addition to Friday's debut of "Inside Look: Jim McMahon," this weekend's unveiling party also includes the season's first edition of "Bears Life, Presented by Xfinity." If we wanted to lengthen the title to give you a better idea of the concept, it's be "A Day in a Bear's Life," in which we follow around one member of the team for a day.

In the videos below, you can follow around kicker Robbie Gould on the day he recently hosted his golf tournament benefiting his charitable organization, "The Goulden Touch Foundation."

CSN special projects WizKid Ryan McGuffey mic'd up Gould, we followed his every step with a camera and our 14-time Emmy-winning Executive Producer/Editor Sarah Lauch makes it all move seamlessly as Robbie shares thoughts on his continuing relationships with the likes of Patrick Mannelly and Brian Urlacher, taking punter Pat O'Donnell under his wing, embracing the toughest conditions in the league at Soldier Field, and shows us how he managed to outdrive former teammate Israel Idonije off the tee.

[MORE BEARS: Four positions worth special attention as Bears camp looms]

The 10-year veteran also expresses his passion for helping out (GouldenTouch.org), as when he assisted the Bears organization in recovery efforts following the 2013 tornado in downstate Washington.

"A lot of what being a dad is...you look at kids and situations a lot differently. I can't imagine my 18-month-old son having cancer. You'd never know how to handle it. So to be able to help families through a tough time or do things to lighten that pain is something special," Gould says. "You always do clinics, camps, and visit elementary schools - kids are the foundation of what this country's going to be about down the road. To give them an opportunity that was given to me, or inspire them a little bit means a lot."

Besides Mannelly, among the other celebrity guests we hear from at Gould's tournament are Chris Collins, Joe Carter and NBC/Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing, who explains why Gould will have a job like his once his playing days are over. And then there's Kevin Butler, the Bear he's currently tied with for most field goals in franchise history (243), and trails (by 37) for most points scored in franchise history.

"To be able to listen to his stories, and how he kicked at Soldier Field, and the record he's held for 30 years, it's pretty special to have him around and I'm looking forward to sharing that (record-breaking) moment with him," says Gould. "He's been a mentor to me. We talk a lot about what the game means and what it means to be a Chicago Bear."

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

And Butler was shown how to react to the imminent record book change by perhaps the greatest Bear.

"I remember the day I broke Walter's record (Payton's, for points scored in franchise history), he was right there and congratulated me, and that was a great thing. That's what Chicago Bears are about. To do what he (Gould) has done, and the level he's done it, it's incredible. I've enjoyed watching it. I appreciate how hard it is. It doesn't come easy, there's no doubt about it. I don't know of too many other positions in any other sport, with exception of a hockey goalie, that demands an 85 percent success rate. You want somebody like this to break your records, because you know that they've worked hard and achieved what you've done before."

**Following the debut of "Bears Life: Robbie Gould" Saturday at 5 p.m., CSN-Plus will re-air the episode Saturday at 8:30 p.m., Sunday, July 19th (4:30 p.m.), and Friday, July 24th (5:30 p.m.). It will also re-air on CSN's main channel Sunday, July 26th (3:30), Sunday, August 9th (noon), Friday, August 21st (8:00 p.m.), and Sunday, August 23rd (2:00 p.m.). Schedule is subject to change.**

Bears Life: Robbie Gould, Part 1

Bears Life: Robbie Gould, Part 2

Bears Life: Robbie Gould, Part 3

NFC North standings: Bears’ division lead on life support after loss to Dolphins

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears’ division lead on life support after loss to Dolphins

A tie is all that separates the Bears from the rest of the NFC North division. Chicago’s Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins dropped the team to 3-2, which just barely leaves them in first place.

Because the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings tied in Week 2, they sit just behind the Bears at 3-2-1 in the division. The Week 5 bye week also kept Chicago a little bit ahead, but they’re only a game away from dropping down to third.

They still control their own destiny, but Matt Nagy will need an upset win over the New England Patriots on Sunday to maintain their leading position. The Packers are on a bye week, so they would assume first place if the Bears lose.

The Vikings take on the New York Jets for a chance to take sole possession of the NFC North crown, but Chicago is guaranteed to stay ahead of the Detroit Lions, who also have a bye week.

These early season losses are tough on a Bears team trying to grow a division lead before they take on their NFC North foes midseason. The bigger cushion they can build now, the more wiggle room they’ll have when they face the Lions, Vikings and Lions back-to-back-to-back in November.

Film review: Albert Wilson's 75-yard TD shows how Sunday was an aberration for the Bears' defense

Film review: Albert Wilson's 75-yard TD shows how Sunday was an aberration for the Bears' defense

(For a bonus film review, check out the video above of Akiem Hicks' forced fumble on the one-yard line)

When Eddie Jackson didn’t stay on top shoulder of Randall Cobb in the fourth quarter of the Bears’ season opener, there was a clear coaching point from that 75-yard backbreaking touchdown. The Bears’ defensive mantra the week after was to focus on “plastering” receivers, which this defense did a good job of over the next three weeks. 

There surely are coaching points leveled by Vic Fangio and his assistants after the Bears were carved up by Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins in Sunday’s 31-28 loss in Miami. But maybe the over-arching though here is this: The Bears didn’t, during the off week, go from being one of the league’s more sure-handed tackling teams to one of the worst. 

A defense that swarmed to the ball over the first four weeks looked a step slow and frequently out of position on Sunday. The more likely explanation for that development isn’t the plot to Space Jam 3, where a group of cartoon aliens steal the athletic power of an entire defense to use for their own. More likely, it was the heat in south Florida that sapped this team’s energy over the course of a long afternoon.

In this week’s film breakdown, we’re going to look at Albert Wilson’s 75-yard touchdown, which was wildly uncharacteristic of this defense. 

Image 1: the Bears are in nickel man coverage with Wilson (red circle) lined up in the slot across from Bryce Callahan. Danny Amendola goes in motion to the boundary (green arrow), with Danny Trevathan (green arrow) following him, though safety Adrian Amos will be the guy covering the Dolphins receiver. Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Bullard are the two down linemen in the interior, with Leonard Floyd rushing from the left and Khalil Mack from the right. 

Image 2: Mack is chipped by tight end Nick O’Leary (yellow circle), with Roquan Smith (yellow arrow) responsible or covering him. Trevathan (green circle) is in space with Amos (blue circle) picking up Amendola. With Mack chipped, the Bears have three pass rushers to go against five offensive linemen. 

Image 3: There’s about 10 yards of space between Mack and Osweiler (yellow arrow) after Mack comes free of O’Leary’s chip. Trevathan (green circle) is in a good position here, with Amos (blue arrow) closing on Amendola. Wilson works into space ahead of Callahan (red arrow), while both Dolphins outside pass-catchers run go routes to clear cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Kevin Toliver II out of the play. 

Image 4: First, the white circle — Hicks had his helmet ripped off, with right tackle Jesse Davis the apparent culprit. He still manages a good pass rush against a double team that could’ve hit home, or forced Osweiler to Mack (who’s about five yards from Osweiler when the ball is released) or Floyd, had the play extended longer. Meanwhile, when the ball is released, Callahan (red arrow) and Trevathan (green arrow) are in good position to bring down Wilson, while Amos (blue arrow) is there for help if Wilson were to turn upfield to the far sideline. 

Image 5: Wilson catches the ball and goes to the far sideline, away from Callahan (red arrow) and toward Trevathan (green arrow). After O’Leary and Smith engaged, the rookie linebacker is the farthest back from the play of these three when the ball is caught. 

Image 6: Trevathan (green arrow) seems to over-commit, giving Wilson a lane toward the boundary to cut upfield. 

Image 7: Amos (blue arrow) still has a chance to bring down Wilson short of the sticks.

Image 8: Amos misses the tackle, and Trevathan is blocked by O’Leary. That leaves Jackson (yellow arrow) as the last guy who can stop Wilson from breaking this play open. 

Image 9: In missing the tackle, Amos tripped Wilson a bit, which Jackson admitted threw him off (“but that’s not an excuse for it,” he added). Wilson re-gains his balance, cuts inside, and Jackson whiffs on the tackle. 

“Probably just try to shoot my shot on the tackle instead of just guessing, just probably should have shot my shot,” Jackson said of what he felt he should’ve done differently. 

Wilson goes to the house, and the Dolphins tie the game one play after the Bears took the lead. The last image here is Wilson’s route chart from NFL Next Gen Stats, which shows just how much running he did after the catch on that play — yardage-wise, it was 71 yards, but by distance it was much further. 

“We talked about how many tackles we missed,” Jackson said. “Some of that could have really changed the momentum of the game if we would have made some of those tackles. Unfortunately, two of them resulted in big play touchdowns.”

No members of the Bears defense were willing to use the heat as an excuse, instead opting for thumb-pointing instead of blaming teammates, coaches or the sun. But there’s a good chance we look back at Week 6 in Week 10 or 11 and can say with some confidence that the Bears beat themselves more than the Dolphins did, and it’s something that hasn’t happened since. 

“We know we made mistakes, that don’t kill our confidence,” Jackson said. “That don’t kill our swagger. We know what we gotta do, we know what we gotta correct. So we come in here, we’re going to play Chicago Bears football that we’re used to playing.”