NFC Notes: Bears, Buccaneers, Falcons

     

Bears

Bears K Eddy Pineiro kicked for the first time without another kicker competing against him on the roster during Thursday night’s preseason game. Pineiro didn’t inspire confidence, shanking a kick that ended up nowhere near the goalposts. However, Bears HC Matt Nagy seemed to indicate he preferred the devil he knows over the one he doesn’t, saying it would be “a major concern if you go get somebody to come in here that has never kicked in here.”

“We’re going to continue to work through it right now,” Nagy said, via the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane. “We have a couple days here. Part of that answer right now, from what I’ve seen, is I’ve liked what I’ve seen. He comes out and he misses that extra point. Right away, we all [did] one of those deals of, ‘Here we go again.’ But what I thought was pretty powerful was that he came back and made the next kick. And then made two more after that. We talk about it’s not how you start; it’s how you finish. I like the fact that he came back and made those.”

Nagy said the team would obviously look at all of its options, but added the team wanted to see Pineiro succeed. He told reporters the team needed to stay patient with Pineiro and not end up like a cat chasing its own tail. 

“With Eddy’s situation, he has been with us now for a while,” Nagy said via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. “He has had a lot of kicks. He has been through a lot of different challenges that we’ve given him. To his credit, he has worked through and fought through all that. No matter how we handled it, however we decided to handle the way we went, he got through it all. I told you guys that the true test was going to be the games in the preseason. I don’t know his exact numbers, but I think he missed one extra point and one field goal. And then he hit the 58-yarder…”

“But I’ll go back to: I want to see a great success story from this kid,” Nagy added later. “Hopefully we all do. Hopefully he is somebody we end up going with and we stick with and we wins us games. But the next couple days here, a lot of stuff can happen. So you just never know.”

Buccaneers

  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said LB Lavonte David will practice Tuesday ahead of Week 1, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. 
  • Arians added DT Vita Vea has a chance to return from his knee injury in time to play in the opener as well. 

Falcons

Falcons first-round OT Kaleb McGary finally made his debut for Atlanta during the fourth preseason game Thursday night against the Jaguars. A cardiac ablation procedure sidelined McGary through much of camp and preseason, but he started Thursday night against the Jaguars and played 40 snaps.

McGary admitted his conditioning wasn’t back yet, but he was competing to start before his procedure and could have put his name back in the mix. 

“I think we’ll have to take him through the practice week,” Quinn said via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter. “But let me go back and watch through it. I’m sure, once we get a chance to look better at it and see how he did. He’s been in practice against our guys.”

  • During the team’s preseason broadcast Thursday, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said they were “very close” to a contract extension with WR Julio Jones: “Obviously Julio is a special player for us and, of course, we’d like to have it done as soon as possible.” 

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