In an offseason filled with the usual quarterback controversy, Cedric Benson’s legal troubles, and Brian Urlacher’s whining about his contract, the Bears actually did something right: they signed Robbie Gould through 2013.
Not only does it give the Bears long-term strength at the kicker position, it gives them a peace of mind. Gould has already put up better numbers at this point in his career than the Bears’ last kicker Paul Edinger did. Through his first three seasons, Edinger had made 69 of 86 field goal attempts (80.2%). Gould has converted on 84 of 99 attempts (84.8%).
In addition, Gould has received more honors in his short career. He was first in the league in field goals in 2006 and second in 2007. In 2006, he went to the Pro Bowl, was named first-team All-Pro, and was the NFC’s top scorer. He also kicked the field goal that gave the Bears an overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks in their NFC Divisional Playoff game. Edinger never even came close to all those credentials with the team. It was just a matter of time before he dropped off dramatically, which he did.
It’s hard to imagine Gould was just a construction worker when the Bears asked him to try out. Add in Devin Hester and punter Brad Maynard, and this special-teams unit is going to be a force to be reckoned with for the next couple of years. If the two more important units, the offense and defense, can get it together like they did in 2006, the Bears will be a legitimate contender in the NFC once again. Let’s see if they can get past the off-field troubles, too.
Whatever happens the rest of the offseason though, Bears fans can say at least part of it was as good as Gould.