Matt Nagy defended the manner in which his team conducted its offseason kicker search after multiple kickers who attended the rookie minicamp in May on a tryout basis and left without a contract were highly critical of the process.
Sports Illustrated published a story Wednesday that quoted several of the nine kickers, some of them anonymously, whom the Bears brought in for an audition at rookie camp.
The kickers’ range of complaints included Nagy’s obsession with Cody Parkey’s missed 43-yard field goal attempt in Chicago’s playoff loss to the Eagles, the way the Bears used metrics to evaluate the kickers, the overall negative mood in the special-teams room and a perceived bias that involved kicker consultant Jamie Kohl, whom the Bears hired to aid them in their search.
“All of Jamie’s guys, they could have shanked the kick, and it was like, ‘Oh, you have really good rotation, your foot is wrapping around the ball,'” one kicker told SI. “I don’t think this situation will be solved or will be what the team needs to be until Jamie Kohl is gone. The way he very much tries to control a room, tries to be the alpha.”
Another kicker added: “All the vibes they gave us during the specialists meetings just did not seem positive whatsoever. It didn’t seem like anyone did well. The vibe and the energy was off.”
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