Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Why didn’t Bears try 57-yard FG?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

I was very excited to see Eddy Pineiro make a 58-yard field goal against the Colts. But the Bears had a chance to have him try a 57-yarder in the fourth quarter but opted to keep the offense on the field on fourth-and-long. Why did they do that?
Alan G.
Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Bears coach Matt Nagy said that he was tempted to send Eddy Pineiro to try the 57-yarder. But the kick was a few yards outside the range that special-teams coach Chris Tabor had given Nagy before the game. Pineiro’s 58-yarder had been kicked in the other direction, where he had a longer range, presumably because of the wind. (The retractable roof and a wall behind one of the end zones in Lucas Oil Stadium were open). Here’s what Nagy said about passing on the field goal and keeping the offense on the field on fourth-and-17: “We had a different number going the other way and we used that number for the kick. I really thought about wanting to kick it. But we as coaches, we need to stay disciplined. There’s a reason he’s telling us that number, so we stuck to that.”

It seems to me like running backs Ryan Nall and Kerrith Whyte Jr. may be competing for one roster spot. How do the Bears compare the two given that they have such different styles of play?
Pete F.
Lansing, Michigan

It’s certainly not easy, especially given that both Ryan Nall and Kerrith Whyte Jr. have made impact plays in preseason games. I’d imagine that their value on special teams will have a lot of to do with their chances of earning a spot on the 53-man roster. (I don’t necessarily see either Nall or Whyte becoming a regular contributor on offense given that there are three running backs ahead of them on the depth chart in Tarik Cohen, David Montgomery and Mike Davis.) Here’s what coach Matt Nagy had to say about the competition between Nall and Whyte: “They are very different; I like that, though. What it does is it challenges us as a coaching as to, ‘What are you looking for?’ Special teams comes into play with them. They’re both good in special teams, so they’re pushing each other. They’ve both done well in the last two games.”

As a Michigan fan, I’m really pulling for tight end Ian Bunting. Do you think the Bears will keep him (even on the practice squad) or is the position just too deep?
Neil A.
Beaverton, Oregon

I think there’s a good chance that tight end Ian Bunting will stick with the Bears beyond this weekend—either on their 53-man roster or their practice squad. The 6-7. 255-pounder possesses an excellent combination of size and athleticism and has consistently made plays in practice and the preseason. In the preseason opener against the Panthers, Bunting caught three passes for a game-high 77 yards, including a 45-yard reception from Chase Daniel that set up a field goal on the last play of the first half.

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