Fry and fellow kicker Eddy Pineiro competed against each other for the job since Chicago opened camp on July 26, but head coach Matt Nagy told reporters on Sunday that Pineiro earned the opportunity to handle all kicks in practices and games over the final two weeks of the preseason.
“Both kickers for us had done a really good job competing,” Nagy said. “It wasn’t an easy decision for us. Both kickers had done a lot better [in the preseason] than where we thought they were in OTAs.
“But what this enables us to do now with two preseason games left is get more kicks [for Pineiro]. Now you’re not splitting reps in the preseason game and I think there is a mental aspect too for Eddy with him now able to get out there and kick in these final two preseason games and get those reps. The volume will pick up for him. It’s a great opportunity for him to see what he can do.”
Pineiro went 2-for-2 on field goals (41, 27) in Chicago’s preseason loss to the New York Giants on Friday night.
Fry missed his lone attempt from 47-yards at MetLife stadium, but did convert a 43-yard kick versus the Carolina Panthers in the Bears’ exhibition opener, which happened to be from the exact distance and direction that Cody Parkey missed the infamous double-doink field goal in the Bears’ playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles back in January.
Nagy, however, stopped short of declaring that Pineiro won the job outright.
“Like any position, we’re always out there looking for the best,” Nagy said. “Eddy hasn’t attempted a kick in an NFL regular season game, so like any player, that can go either really good or really bad. But we like where we are with him right now.”
“The way I look at it, I feel like I haven’t won the competition,” Pineiro said. “Everything’s still open. Who knows if they bring somebody else in. But it does give me a confidence boost, like OK, I have a shot to be the guy and prove to the coaches that I can be the guy that they want me to be. So yeah, I feel a lot more confident, yeah.”