The Chicago Bears’ special teams will be less dangerous with Devin Hester gone, but they have promising candidates to replace him. Robbie Gould will stick around as their kicker.
Robbie Gould is entering the tenth season as the Chicago Bears’ kicker, and he has been a model of consistency since the beginning.
Gould has never missed more than three games in a season, and he has made at least 83.3 percent of his field goal attempts since making 77.8 percent in his rookie season.
The former All-Pro made the longest field goal of his career from 58 yards out, and the Bears rewarded his reliability with a contract extension through 2017 with $9 million guaranteed.
The Bears will have a new punter in Pat O’Donnell, who was selected in the sixth round of the draft. They released Adam Podlesh, who struggled and caused the punting unit to finish dead last in the NFL with 40 yards per punt in gross average.
The return game will be much different for the Bears after Devin Hester’s release. Hester will go down as one of the greatest return specialists of all time, and he will be difficult to replace.
Eric Weems was signed to provide depth at wide receiver and compete for the return job. The former Pro Bowler excelled in the return game for the Atlanta Falcons. Also competing for the job will be players such as Chris Williams and Michael Spurlock.
Williams is an undrafted free agent who has explosive speed, as demonstrated by his 4.39 40-yard dash time. He is still raw as a receiver though.
Spurlock has more experience with eight years under his belt, and the journeyman has scored five return touchdowns throughout his career.
Gould is set to continue as the Bears’ kicker, and O’Donnell will be their new punter. The competition for the return job is wide open though, and the coaching staff may not be able to decide until the regular season begins.