The Bears had seen enough of Chris Blewitt and compiled plenty of data on him to decide to cut him prior to Wednesday's veteran minicamp practice, this after he was part of disappointing back-to-back-to-back misses in the middle of Tuesday's practice at Halas Hall. Matt Nagy said, though, the Bears weren't trying to send a message to Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro by jettisoning Blewitt in the middle of veteran minicamp.
"That wasn't the intention, but at the same time that's what they see, that's what our team sees," Nagy said. "And so now today, when they're put in a similar situation as yesterday and knowing what happened yesterday or this morning, then you understand that it naturally just creates more pressure. Any human's going to feel that way."
For what it's worth, Pineiro and Fry responded well, making three of their four kicks during Wednesday's indoor practice. Both made kicks from 45 yards, and Pineiro thumped a 53-yarder while Fry missed his attempt from that distance (after making a kick that was wiped out by a timeout).
"I was proud of those guys for being able to bounce back today and then make those kicks," Nagy said.
Still, not giving Blewitt a chance to kick for two more practices before summer break felt a bit telling regarding not only his own performance, but the performances of the rest of the members of this kicking competition.
"We don't have any set days where we say hey, we're going to cut somebody here, we're going to have this number of kickers here or there," Nagy said. "… We had enough after yesterday up until that time on all the guys. Again, we collaborate, we talk about it, we know through more than what everybody just sees publicly. There's other stuff, other kicks that go on and so that's just the direction that we decided to go and we wish him nothing but the best, and now here we are with these two guys."
The Bears will wrap up their offseason program Thursday, with a five-week break following before players report to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais for training camp. For now, Fry and Pineiro are the two kickers on the roster, though neither are guaranteed to still be on it in a month and a half.
"We're always going to be put into a position to where if don't feel like we have the answer, we're always going to look," Nagy said. "We're going to do that with every single player. So right now, if I told you, 'No, we're not looking at everything right now.' … Those guys, we're going to have them compete. They know that right now. Our own kickers know that. They need to win to the job.
"At the same time, they realize up to where we're at right now that we got to keep evaluating them. And yesterday, yeah, it wasn't a good day. They know that. It doesn't take much to see that, and they want to be better. But they'll be better. We're going to keep moving with this thing and letting them know that we're going to keep supporting them but, in the end, it's about production. So with every position, we're always going to try to stay open."