After missing an extra point attempt in the first quarter of Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Titans, Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro knew exactly what he had to do.
“[Coach Matt Nagy] is always telling me, ‘If you miss one, just bounce back,’ and that’s what I tried to do,” Pineiro said. “I tried to bounce back from that miss.”
Pineiro accomplished that goal, making all three of his kicks the rest of the game—field goals of 32, 39 and 35 yards in a 19-15 loss to Tennessee at Soldier Field.
“Showing them that I can bounce back, that was the biggest thing,” Pineiro said.
The second-year kicker dealt with swirling winds at Soldier Field Thursday night, but he wasn’t making any excuses for his errant extra point.
“Just missed it,” Pineiro said. “It was pretty windy, but [as a] professional athlete, you’ve got to put it through the uprights.”
In four preseason games, Pineiro made 8-of-9 field-goal attempts and 3-of-4 extra-point tries. Asked if he felt he had done enough to win the Bears’ kicking job, he said: “I hope so. It’s up to them. It’s not up to me.”
Great job: After offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich called plays last Saturday night in Indianapolis, quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone handled those duties Thursday night.
“He did a great job,” Nagy said. “This is a great opportunity for us as coaches. It’s not always that easy, and it's getting into personnel and trying to look one play ahead. But I thought he did a really good job, and it was very fluid. There wasn’t any confusion. It's nice, too, he has the luxury of working with [quarterback] Tyler [Bray] every day, so that communication process was good.”
Back in action: While the Bears held more than 30 key players out of Thursday night’s game, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch started and played into the second quarter. It was the first reps of the preseason for Lynch, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
“His was more just a reps thing,” Nagy said. “He hasn’t had a lot of volume of reps, so a little bit of conditioning, seeing what he could do. I watched a few plays of him, and he had that batted ball. But [the Bears played Lynch] just to be able to see where he’s at conditioning-wise and then where he’s at just playing.
“I think he had right around 15 plays today, and our number was around 15-to-20.”
Opportunity knocks: With Rashaad Coward already unavailable due to an elbow injury, undrafted rookie guard Alex Bars filled in at left tackle last Saturday night against the Colts after veteran T.J. Clemmings sustained a season-ending quad injury.
With Coward still sidelined Thursday night, Bars started at left tackle versus the Titans.
“I think he played great,” said Bray, who was sacked three times while passing for 334 yards. “I didn’t feel pressure from his side. The whole offensive line played great. The times I got hit were me moving and kind of making their blocks harder.”
Nagy said that he was eager to watch tape of the game to see how Bars and the rest of the offensive line performed.
“I’m excited to check it out later tonight, pop it on and see how those guys did,” Nagy said. “But I felt like overall in general the pocket for Tyler was pretty good. He had a lot of green grass there to throw.”
News and notes: Tight end Dax Raymond exited Thursday night’s contest with a concussion, while left guard Blake Blackmar left with an ankle injury. … Linebacker James Vaughters and nose tackle Daryle Banfield recorded sacks for the Bears. … Running back Josh Caldwell led the Bears in rushing with 68 yards on 16 carries.