UA-59049186-1 2020 Chicago Bears Preview: Special Teams - Good if it Goes

2020 Chicago Bears Preview: Special Teams

Eddy Piniero returns after being acquired from Oakland for a seventh-round pick a year ago. Piniero was the champion of Kickerpalooza 2019 and quickly became a hero in the Windy City after a 53-yard game-winning kick against Denver in week 2 of the season. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all milk and honey for Piniero last year, as he was injured in the weight room and erratic at times. One of those times was the end of the game against the Chargers, where Piniero missed what would have been the game-winner. Kickers giveth and kickers taketh away. Piniero finished the season well and was going to be the unquestioned guy at the position were it not for a groin injury in camp.

Rather than gather everyone in the tri-state with two functioning legs again in an attempt to find someone to fill in for Piniero, the Bears made the decision to just go with Cairo Santos. Santos had a solid run in Kansas City, where Matt Nagy made his acquaintanceship. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil posted a career-high 88.6% rate on field goals in 2016 in Kansas City, but was released during the 2017 season after he injured his groin and was Wally Pipp-ed by Harrison Butker. Santos hasn’t caught on anywhere since with stints in Chicago, Los Angeles with the Rams, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee. He was let go by the Titans after going 4-for-9 on field goals there. Now he’s back for another run in Chicago, starting on the practice squad. Hopefully, he can be at least steady if needed.

Pat O’Donnell returns as the punter, something we hope to see him do as little as possible. In six years as the Bears’ punter, he’s been solid. He also possesses a perfect career passer rating after throwing a touchdown in his only passing attempt on a fake punt against the Vikings on Monday Night Football in 2017.

Patrick Scales is the long snapper. This space wishes to recognize the importance of the position by mentioning Scales in the season preview. So here is that mention. The nature of the position being what it is, we hope to never hear his name mentioned during the game outside of commentators naming who he is prior to a kick, unless he goes viral for a video of him snapping loaves of bread or something, like Bryan Pittman did a few years back while with the Texans.


Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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