Robbie Gould takes ‘chip’ shot at Bears
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org July 25, 2013 3:10PM
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Updated: August 27, 2013 6:29AM
Bears placekicker Robbie Gould, rebuffed in efforts for a contract extension earlier this month, said he holds no hard feelings toward the Bears, but will go into the 2013 season ‘‘with a chip on my shoulder’’ and contemplated the possibility he could play elsewhere in 2014.
Gould, 32, is coming off hamstring surgery after suffering an injury that forced him to miss the final three games of last season. The Bears signed rookie placekicker Austin Signor in the offseason, so Gould could be playing just for a spot on the roster this season.
‘‘I’m motivated. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. I’m ready to play,’’ Gould said at Bears training camp in Bourbonnais. ‘‘ I’d love to stay a Bear — that’s always been my goal. That’s why I asked to renegotiate two weeks ago. I’m not focused on it. But I’m playing for a deal. [But] the deal’s not in my hands.’’
Gould is the most accurate field-goal kicker in Bears history and the fourth most accurate in NFL history, making 208-of-243 attempts (85.6 percent) in his eight-year career. He has hit his last 10 attempts of 50-or-more yards and 13-of-15 over the last four seasons.
But the injury leaves some room for doubt about his future with the team. That’s the life of a kicker — even when he’s healthy that’s the life of a kicker.
‘‘I’m not too worried about it, to be honest with you. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen,’’ Gould said. ‘‘I worked my butt off to get to where I’m at today. Especially coming back from an injury and a pretty big surgery. I think I’ve showed the organization and I showed myself that I’m ready to play at the high level I’ve always played at. I always play better with a chip on my shoulder. I spent the last five weeks trying to find it. I found it and I’m ready to go.’’
Gould reiterated his desire to stay with the Bears, but understood that the timing might not make that possible. He intimated he would have taken less money to get an extension if the Bears were willing. But general manager Phil Emery said Wednesday that the team would not negotiate any contract extensions during the 2013 season.
‘‘There’s no room to do a deal. They don’t have any money,’’ Gould said. ‘‘Is it good or is it bad for a player? I don’t know. I’m not worried about it. Obviously whenever you do a deal early you’re going to take a little less money. I’m happy to be a Bear. I want to be a Bear the rest of my life. But if they don’t want to do that, when the timing’s right, then I’m going to have to move on. It’s part of football.’’
Gould was 21-of-25 on field goals last season, including two attempts that were blocked. He was 2-for-2 from 50 yards or longer. He holds the top six single-season field goal percentages in team history and holds the franchise record for field goals in a season with 32 in 2006. He has kicked 10 game-winning field goals, including a 49-yarder in overtiome in the NFC Divisional playoff game against the Seahawks in 2007.
As he said repeatedly, he’d love to be a Bear for life.
‘‘There are records I want to break, championships I want to win. and hopefullly it’s in a Bears jersey,’’ Gould said. ‘‘I’m here to win football games. I’m here to win championships. I’m here to do my job. And I busted my butt to get there and I’m ready to go. I’ve got a chip on my shouder. And when I play games and I go into seasons with that chip on your shoulder, you can talk to any of my teammates, I play really well when I have that.
‘‘You want to always prove a naysayer wrong. I’m excited about it. I think there’s a lot to be excited about as a team about this training camp, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.’’