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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Matt Nagy responds to controversy over Bears’ kicker search

The Chicago Bears faced controversy on Wednesday after several anonymous kickers who tried out for the team’s kicking position criticized the franchise over its search for a new kicker.

Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler quoted several Bears tryout kickers who were critical of the process. They suggested that coach Matt Nagy was obsessed with Cody Parkey’s 43-yard miss that cost the team a playoff game and even made kickers watch video of it before they tried out. They also said there was a negative mood from the organization. They criticized kicking consultant Jamie Kohl for both his “alpha” demeanor and for favoring those who had kicked at one of his camps.

Nagy defended the organization from those critics when asked about them Wednesday.

“I understand — we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here,” Nagy said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN. “To me, I look at it as a positive, in the fact that we said we’re going to turn over every stone to find whoever’s out there. We felt like we, at that point in time, when we brought in a bunch of kickers, we’re going to test them all out and see what they can do.

“And then, within that time frame, we also put in some situations with the Augusta silence early on to see how they could handle it. Is it exactly the perfect science? I don’t know that, maybe not … I just really like how we’re going through this thing. [Bears general manager] Ryan [Pace] and I talk about no regrets, right?”

We got a glimpse of Nagy’s obsessiveness when he made tryout kickers replicate Parkey’s 43-yard attempt in front of the entire team, with poor results. It sounds like there were some legitimate gripes about the process that aren’t a great look for the Bears coach.

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