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Chicago Bears Training Camp Preview: How special will the specialists be?

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last year was a historic one for Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould as he became the lading scorer in franchise history, currently sitting at 1,207 points. He also holds the record for most field goals made in Bears history and is 10 field goal attempts away from that Bears’ record as well. He’s 15 extra point attempts and 9 extra points made away from those two marks too.

His FG made percentage of 85.449% is 9th best in the history of the NFL and last year he had the best start to his 11 year career by making his first 16 field goals. He also set career highs in both FGA (39) and FGM (33), including a career best 7-9 in field goals of 50 or more yards.

But he had a couple of rough stretches last year where his misses led to Bears’ loses, so some fans are down on him.

After that 16-16 start to the season he was 1 for 4, followed by making 9 of his next 9 field goal tries, then an 0-3 stretch, but he ended up making his final 7.

The Bears have yet to add a camp kicker to compete and/or rest Gould’s leg, and that speaks volumes about how the Bears view the 34 year old Gould.

Roster Locks

Gould isn’t going anywhere and either is his new long snapper Aaron Brewer.

The Bears signed Brewer after he had a perfect four years of snapping for the Denver Broncos. Brewer was available because the Broncos waived him for behavioral reasons after inking him to a 4 year, $4 million deal in 2015. Word on the specific behavioral issue hasn’t been reported, so we’ll have to assume it was something the Bears were comfortable with.

A good bet to make it

Punter Pat O’Donnell improved from his rookie year, but not enough that the Bears didn’t want some camp competition this season. If he has improved his game again in year three, I think he sticks around.

On the bubble

But if O’Donnell falters, undrafted free agent Ben LeCompte could capitalize. As a local kid from nearby Barrington, Illinois, he may have a good cheering section down at training camp, but he’s still a long shot to knock off MegaPunt. For comparisons sake, during LeCompte’s senior year at North Dakota State he averaged 45.9 yards per punt, and during O’Donnell’s senior year at Miami he averaged 47.1.

EDIT: LeCompte was waived on 7/29, so the Bears must be happy with O’Donnell.

Long snapper Patrick Scales was added late last year, so he’ll have a punchers chance to beat out Brewer.

What are your thoughts on the Bears specialists?