Kickers end offseason program on right foot

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Bears kickers Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry ended minicamp Thursday at Halas Hall with a second straight strong day, much to the delight of their teammates.

At the conclusion of the outdoor practice, Pineiro and Fry both made 40-yard field goal attempts, enabling the rest of the team to get out of running sprints.

“We put a little heat—shocking—on the kickers,” said coach Matt Nagy. “They both nailed two 40-yarders down the middle, so our guys got out of gassers, which was nice. If you heard any cheering, that’s why. It was a win for them today.”

It was actually a win for everyone in a Bears uniform.

“It always feels good to have a little incentive on certain things in practice,” said receiver Allen Robinson II. “Being able to not run today was definitely good.”

In Wednesday’s practice inside the Walter Payton Center, Pineiro and Elliott combined to make 4-of-5 field-goal attempts in what the Bears have dubbed “Augusta Silence.” Pineiro converted both of his tries from 45 and 53 yards, while Elliott hit from 45 and 53 yards and missed a 53-yarder.

The final two days of minicamp were a vast improvement over Tuesday’s first practice when Pineiro, Fry and Chris Blewitt all missed from 42 yards. Blewitt was waived later in the day.

With Thursday’s practice marking the end of the Bears’ offseason program, Nagy is pleased that the kickers ended—pun intended—on the right foot.

“It’s very important just because, like a few days ago when we were 0-for-3 out there, there was a little bit of a lull,” Nagy said. “You could feel it. But that’s just part of us trying to grow and figure out where we’re at and what we need to do.

“Being able to respond to adversity, I want to give those kickers credit. We didn’t change it because we want to feel sorry that they missed. Matter of fact, we made it tougher and they came through and executed.”

Pineiro and Fry both performed better Wednesday and Thursday after Blewitt was waived Tuesday. The Bears weren’t trying to send a message with the roster move, but it seems as if it ultimately did have that type of effect.

“That wasn’t the intention, but at the same time that’s what they see, that’s what our team sees,” Nagy said Wednesday. “So now when they’re put in a similar situation and knowing what happened, then you understand that it naturally just creates more pressure. Any human’s going to feel that way. I was proud of those guys for being able to bounce back and then make those kicks.”

Roster move: The Bears on Thursday signed offensive lineman Jordan McCray, who had tried out with the team during the rookie minicamp in May as well as this week's full-squad minicamp. This spring McCray played for the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football. His twin brother, Justin, is also an offensive lineman who has played in 25 games with 13 starts the past two seasons with the Packers.

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