LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Lost in the buzz over Andrew Luck’s unexpected retirement Saturday night in Indianapolis was the performance of Bears’ kicker Eddy Pineiro. Only days after beating out Elliott Fry for the job (at least for now) Pineiro delivered on field goal attempts of 21 yards and 58 yards.
The 58 yard connection gave the entire team a lift on the sideline. Matt Nagy took notice.
“How cool was it to see the team react the way they reacted to him making that?,” said Nagy Monday afternoon during press conference at Halas Hall. “To see Eddy react the way he reacted because he knew it was a big kick, so now he gets more opportunities this week hopefully.”
The 58 yard field goal was booted in the first half while the Bears’ offense was marching in one direction. Pineiro could have had another long field goal opportunity from 57 yards out in the second half going the other way, but Nagy decided not to to for it. Instead the Bers went for a first down on 4th and 17 from the Colts 39. Nagy told reporters Monday that special teams coach Chris Tabor had given Nagy a maximum distance for a field goal attempt going each direction and that a 57 yard attempt in the second half would have been beyond that point.
“Tabs and I before the game and then coming out a halftime, he gives me a number to the left side and to the right side so that number there was 35 (yard line) and I think we were at 37. I could be wrong, but I think we were a couple yards outside of it, so more than anything could we have tried the field goal, yea, but it was funny because Tabs even said to me you know we as coaches when you say something like that and you come out at halftime or before the game you’re saying it for a reason, and so we had a different number going the other way and we used that number for the kick, but he even told me, because I really thought about wanted to kick it, but we as coaches need to stay disciplined. There’s reason why we set that number. There’s a reason why he’s telling me that so we stuck to it.”
Nagy understands why fans and members of the media wanted to see Pineiro get another shot from long range. He says sometimes a coach has to go with his gut feeling.
“To me the beauty in coaching is making sure you have the pulse of our players. There’s a method to the madness. Everybody has their own opinion on how people handle things, and that’s okay, but for me it’s kind of a ‘feel’ thing.”
Pineiro will like get more chances to prove he’s the right guy for the kicking job this Thursday night when the Bears host the Tennessee Titans in their final preseason game.