Positional Analysis

The Bears have a great one-two punch in punter Brad Maynard and placekicker Paul Edinger.

Maynard was arguably the Bears best off-season acquisition in 2001. Maynard had a Pro Bowl caliber season in 2001, as he averaged 42.5 yards per punt with a net average of 37 yards. He consistently pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line and set a new franchise record for punts downed inside the 20.

With a conservative offense the game of field position became that much more important to Chicago. Maynard gave the Bears the edge they needed to shorten the field for the offense. On one occasion he was an offensive weapon as he threw a 27-yard TD pass to Brian Urlacher on a fake field goal attempt against the Redskins.

It's hard to believe, but in 2001 Edinger improved upon his rookie season in which he converted 77.8% off his field goals. The Bears placekicker hit 26 of 31 attempts good for an 83.9%. He also set a team record for hitting 13 field goals from 40 yards and beyond.

The only complaint about the Edinger was his lack of depth on kickoffs, which was especially apparent in the playoff loss to the Eagles. The January weather seemed to affect Edinger, as he struggled to get the ball passed the Philadelphia 20-yard line.

Although, it's difficult to replace a kicker with an 81% success rate on field goals, but GM Jerry Angelo has continued to look for competition for Edinger. However, no one has been able to unseat him. It's doubtful the team could afford to carry Edinger as the placekicker s and a kickoff specialist.

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