Center or Left? Bears say there was no miscommunication on Pineiro’ field goal placement

Chicago Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro (15) misses at 41-yard field goal during the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bears' 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

LAKE FOREST – It was an interview moment that Eddy Pineiro would like to have back, and he knew it a second after it happened.

It came when the kicker was being asked about the ball placement on his 41-yard game-winning attempt against the Chargers. Kicking from the left hashmark, Pineiro hooked it to the left, giving San Diego a 17-16 win at Soldier Field on Sunday.

So on Tuesday, Pineiro continued to be asked about the miss, including the placement of the ball on the field.

“Did you want the left hash?” asked a reporter of the final kick.

“No, I didn’t but, I mean, it is what it is,” said Pineiro.

“What would you prefer on that?” was the follow-up to that question.

“God, he just got me on that one,” responded Pineiro.

“Is the center ideal for that position,” was another follow-up.

“I guess, I don’t know,” said Pineiro, trying to backtrack from his previous statement.

By no means was he trying to get out of his responsibility for that moment, telling reporters on Sunday and Tuesday repeatedly that it was on him to make that kick work.

“The snap, the hold, everything was perfect, just could have aimed a little bit more right,” said Pineiro. “The wind was really going really hard right to left. I’m mean, I could go back, I’d just aim a little bit more right.”

Naturally, Matt Nagy was asked on Wednesday if there was a miscommunication on where the kicker wanted the placement of the ball. The head coach said that there were no issues and that everyone involved, including Pineiro and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, were in the loop.

While not specifically saying if Pineiro asked for the middle of the field, Nagy dismissed the idea that there was a communication breakdown.

“I think yesterday when you all were talking to him; there’s a lot of things that go through a kicker’s minds in a lot of different ways throughout a game. Whatever his was, we completely support it. Again, there’s a lot of communication that goes on, that’s what we did. We felt good. When that kick went up from that distance we felt really good that he was going to make it and so did Eddy.

“He didn’t make it and, again, I lost zero trust in him as a kicker and if we get into a situation again, he’s going to nail them.”

So maybe the placement of the ball will be an afterthought instead of a minor controversy.

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