Kicking Dilemma Continues

Lake Forest - The Bears have been looking for a kicker for more than two years. Whether or not Robbie Gould will be the answer remains a question, but it was Doug Brien's time to go.

Being a team that is built around a strong defense with a commitment to the running game, a missed field goal can mean the difference between a win and loss.

Head coach Lovie Smith understandably wanted an improvement over Paul Edinger's 62.5 percent conversion rate, but Doug Brien proved to be the wrong choice.

The 12-year veteran connected on just 1-of-4 field goals in three games with the Bears. Following the bye week he had a back problem after flying to California and back to Chicago.

Brien missed the matchup with the Browns, which forced the team to sign a kicker. While names like Steve Christie and Tim Seder were brought into Halas Hall, in the end the Bears went with an undrafted free agent with a strong leg.

Robbie Gould spent the preseason with the New England Patriots and also had a brief stint on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. The Penn State product won a one-day competition with the Bears on the Friday before the Cleveland game and inked a one-year deal a day later.

"His leg strength was far and above everybody else's who was here for the workout and he was consistent also," said special teams coach Dave Toub.

In his NFL debut, Gould put the ball through the uprights on his first attempt (44 yards) and went wide left the second time around (48 yards). Ultimately, the Bears feel he will become more consistent with time. He converted 39 of 61 field goal attempts (63.9 percent) in four seasons at Penn State, but lacked a consistent situation at holder and long snapper.

Another benefit the Bears see in Gould is his depth on kickoffs. Neither Edinger nor Brien had the leg strength of Gould and often had a hard time getting the ball inside the 10-yard line on kickoffs.

Between tryouts with other teams, Gould was working the construction business with a friend back in Pennsylvania.

"As a rookie, you look for a break, and now you've got your break, so now you've got to make the best of your opportunity," Gould said.

Welcome Back
Ruben Brown partially tore his pectoral muscle against Cleveland, which led to the Bears re-sign Steve Edwards to a two-year deal. Edwards was waived on Sept. 4, after appearing in 32 games with 24 starts for the Bears from 2002-04.

Edwards had worked out with Tampa Bay and Cleveland since being waived by the Bears last month. In one of the more curious cuts, the Chicago native is glad to be back with the Bears.

"Obviously there's some disappointment when you're released," Edwards said. "I got past the cut date and then the next day they released me. It was tough, hard to swallow, but that's the business and I know how it goes. I knew I was going to get on somewhere, but I never expected to come back. But this is obviously where God wanted me, so I'm happy to be here."

Injury Report
Along with Brown, RB Thomas Jones (knee) and LT John Tait (ankle) are questionable and missed practice on Wednesday. DE Adewale Ogunleye is probable with ankle injury and also sat out of practice.


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