The Chicago Bears have finally whittled down their kicker group to just Eddy Pineiro, but some of the players who took part in the team's months-long search have taken issue with how the process played out.
In a story by Sports Illustrated's Kalyn Kahler on Wednesday, multiple kickers who attended the Bears' rookie minicamp in May criticized head coach Matt Nagy's fixation with Cody Parkey's 43-yard miss that cost the team a playoff game last season, and the perceived bias of kicker consultant Jamie Kohl.
Nagy defended his team's actions when asked about the controversy.
"I understand - we brought in a lot of kickers that came in here," Nagy said Wednesday, according to ESPN's Jeff Dickerson. "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?"
Kahler quoted several of the Bears' nine kicker candidates - some anonymously - including Justin Yoon, who said the insistence that the kickers attempt field goals from Parkey's distance was counterproductive.
"It's not efficient for the team to continuously beat that one dead horse the whole time," Yoon said. "You have to build a system of confidence for your kicker. I don't think that's how the Bears are running it."
An anonymous kicker called out Kohl for favoring the players he'd previously worked with at one of his camps.
"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,'" the kicker told Kahler. "I don't think this situation will be solved or will be what the team needs to be until Jamie Kohl is gone."
The tryout kickers also took issue with Chicago's method for analyzing them and the overall negative mood in the special teams room.
Pineiro was picked over Elliott Fry after the first two preseason games, but the Bears have said they're open to adding more competition. The NFC North club could look to do so when teams around the league cut down their rosters to 53 players Aug. 31.