Chicago Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro finds himself in another battle for the starting job. He’s worked hard in the offseason, including bulking up, so he can be strong throughout the season.
Last season, Eddy Pineiro was the last man standing in the Chicago Bears search for a new kicker. After Cody Parkey missed the game-winning field goal attempt in the Wild Card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bears decided they had to part ways with him.
In their search for a new kicker, the Bears brought in a small village of players to compete. Pineiro waded through the humanity and became the last man standing, earning the starting job.
Despite winning the job, Pineiro had his ups and downs in 2019. He made his first five field goal attempts and eight of his first nine. Three of them included a 52-yard attempt and the game-winning 53-yard attempt as time expired in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos.
Then he hit a wall and struggled. Between Weeks 7 and 10, He missed four of his seven attempts. Among those, he missed a possible game-winning attempt against the Los Angeles Chargers and two early attempts against the Los Angeles Rams that would’ve helped the Bears win the game. That was his low point.
Pineiro straightened out, however. He made all 11 attempts from Week 11 through the end of the season. He finished strong so he gave many people hope for the 2020 season.
If Pineiro thought he was in the clear with his strong ending of the 2019 season he thought wrong. The Bears signed Ramiz Ahmed to battle with Pineiro. Pineiro finds himself in another fight for the job. This time, instead of fighting to get the job, he’s fighting to keep it.
Pineiro does everything the Bears ask of him
The Bears wanted Pineiro to put some weight on his body so he could stay strong throughout the season. They felt he ran out of gas in the middle of the season before getting his second wind and finishing strong.
Pineiro did what the Bears asked. He went from 179 pounds to 187. Also, he lowered his body weight. He is in fighting weight and ready to defend his job.
I’m going to be honest with you, the first day we went out and kicked — I hadn’t seen him kick since the Minnesota game — you’re looking at a bigger, stronger Eddy Piñeiro. I was very impressed… He actually decreased his body fat and you can tell he is much stronger. When we went out and kicked, the ball is jumping off his foot really well.
Pineiro is better prepared for battle this year than he was in 2019. He made adjustments on the fly in his first season as a professional. The wind at Soldier Field is difficult to handle and he had some late-game situations to get accustomed. He has experience under his belt and a new body to help him perform better. The team doesn’t want to hand him the job but the coaches feel confident that he can get the job done and help the Chicago Bears win games.
UPDATE: Pineiro looked so good coming back to camp that the competition is over before it really started. The Bears waived Ahmed. Pineiro will be the kicker for the Chicago Bears barring any injury.