In Sunday’s press conference at Halas Hall, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy confirmed Eddy Pineiro would be their kicker for Thursday night’s season opener against the Packers.
“We feel like he’s certainly earned it,” Nagy said. “He made it through a lot of mental challenges, physical challenges, working through the highs and lows.”
Bears special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor gave the news to Pineiro on Friday. The Miami native celebrated with a dinner at the Cuban restaurant Havana with his father.
“It’s a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders,” Pineiro said. “Excited to be the guy. This organization believes in me and giving me a shot to be where I’m at. Just want to make them happy.”
Nagy said it was Pineiro’s overall “body of work” that helped them make the decision. The second-year head coach spoke often about keeping an eye on how Pineiro bounced back from failure. After missing an extra point in Chicago’s preseason finale against Tennessee, the 23-year-old came back to make three straight field goals.
“A lot of [being a kicker] is mental, especially in a place like this,” Pineiro said. “It’s not every other place. You’ve just got to be mentally strong and block out everything – block the media, block the fans, block everything out and just make kicks.”
The Bears host the Packers to open up the regular season on Thursday, September 5th. Kick off is at 7:20 PM/CT.