NFC Notes: Bears, Eagles, Vikings

     

Bears

Bears K Eddy Piñeiro won an intense battle for the starting job last preseason and managed to hold onto his role with Chicago for the entire 2019 season. Piñeiro will enter 2020 as the Bears’ starting kicker and is looking to build off of that momentum in his second season. 

“The first year with the Bears was a good learning experience,” Piñeiro said via Larry Meyer of the team website. “I think there’s a lot of room for improvement. I think I can get better. And I’m hoping for another successful year this year. Hopefully I can get my percentage up a little bit. The biggest learning experience for me was kicking in a windy game and then going to a dome, that transition. I feel like I’ve matured a lot as a kicker and hopefully this year goes good for me.”

Piñeiro was 23 for 28 on all field goals, with most of his misses coming in the 40-49-yard range. He also was 27-29 on extra points. As a signal of how comfortable they feel with Piñeiro in 2020, the only competition the Bears added was undrafted K Ramiz Ahmed. But Piñeiro still doesn’t feel like he can let up. 

“Obviously, there is pressure,” Piñeiro said. “They brought in somebody to compete, so I’ve got to compete. I’ve got to win my job like everybody else. Everybody has to compete and win their job.”

Eagles

Eagles rookie OL Jack Driscoll says that he is ready to play any position, especially now that the team has lost veteran leader RG Brandon Brooks for the season due to a torn Achilles.

“Like I said earlier, the more positions you can play, the better off you are, and the easier it is to find a role,” Driscoll told Mike Kaye of NJ.com. “But for me, I’m just focused on getting in shape mentally and physically and doing all of my position work. And then, whatever the coaches ask me to play, whether it’s center, guard, tackle, I can do it. I can step up and do it to the best of my ability. So really, I’m just focused on everything, that way I can find a role and help this team win ball games because that’s ultimately my goal.”

Vikings

  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap admits he thought the Vikings would allow S Anthony Harris to walk in free agency and was surprised they opted to franchise him. 
  • Fitzgerald says it might make more sense for the Vikings to extend Harris and walk away from S Harrison Smith, but it seems as if they are waiting to decisions on the safety position until next year.
  • Although, Fitzgerald mentions that if the Vikings are planning on a long-term deal for Harris, then not extending him now makes little sense. Harris will likely be looking for around $13 million per year.
  • According to Fitzgerald, the Vikings made the same mistake with LB Anthony Barr a few years ago, ultimately having it cost them more in the long run.
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