I'm back with one of the most highly anticipated Windy City Gridiron series of the off season (by me anyway), The 10 Most Important Bears in 2010! I'll use the same criteria I used last year, in trying to rank the Bears in order of who'll need to contribute the most for them to have a successful season. I'm not only going to look at any potential on field impact they may have, but also depth at the position (would losing him be a huge blow or not) will come into play, the individuals leadership will be a factor as well. This list will be so subjective, there really is no right or wrong. My hope, as it was last year, was that this will spark some solid off season debate and discussion.
I can't believe I'm going to write this but... Kicking off the list, #10 - Robbie Gould. Not unbelievable because I went a with a kicking pun (I have no shame...), but because I never thought I'd weigh the importance of a kicker so high.
But Robbie Gould just ain't any kicker, the number four all time Bears scorer should move past Bob Thomas to number three at some point in 2010. Gould only needs 55 points to pass Thomas, and if the Mike Martz offense is exploding like we all anticipate, and if Jay Cutler can cut down on throwing so many gosh darn red zone picks, I think he'll become number three around week 8. He's the most accurate kicker in Bears history (and 4th all time in the NFL), and last year he even got the 50+ monkey off his back (making 2 of 3), and if he can simply maintain his accurate ways I think a return trip to the Pro Bowl could be in his future.
Those two if's up there are critical to the Bears and to Gould in racking up points, and critical to my ranking him number 10. I think many of us take for granted what Gould brings to the team. Getting his start the way he did, signed off the street a few games into the '05 season, he didn't start his career with any type of pedigree. And even though he's had his share of game tying and game winning field goals, playing on a losing team the last three years did little to raise his profile league wide. But looking at his stats, in his short career, he's one of the best kickers in the history of the game. That's why I'm giving him his due, and putting him on the list this year. Even though he's just a kicker...