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Gould gets his kicks in golf tourney

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 25, 2013 – 9:07 am

Bears kicker Robbie Gould isn’t only accurate on the football field.

In the days leading up to training camp, Gould tied for 15th in the 24th annual American Century Championship, a premier made-for-TV charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe that featured more than 80 sports and entertainment celebrities, including many Hall of Famers.

“American Century puts on an awesome tournament with NBC,” Gould said. “It’s fun to go out there and see some guys that either you grew up watching or that you were a fan of when you were a kid. It’s great to end the summer that way, and now we’re excited to get back to training camp and have some fun and get ready for the upcoming year.”

Participants in the event included stars in football (Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, John Elway, Aaron Rodgers, Emmitt Smith and Brian Urlacher), baseball (Rich Gossage, Greg Maddux, Ozzie Smith and John Smoltz), basketball (Ray Allen and Charles Barkley) and hockey (Martin Brodeur, Brett Hull and Jeremy Roenick).

During three rounds, Gould got a chance to play with former NFL great Marshall Faulk, NHL Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr, former baseball star pitchers Bret Saberhagen and David Wells, and fellow NFL kickers Sebastian Janikowski (Raiders) and Ryan Succop (Chiefs).

“I had great pairings,” Gould said. “It was awesome to be around guys who have been successful at their individual crafts. The whole outing was a lot of fun. It’s a beautiful place and you’re playing golf for five straight days, so you can’t really go wrong with that before training camp.”

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Gould backtracks from critical comments

Posted by Larry Mayer on November 14, 2012 – 4:22 pm

After criticizing the Soldier Field grounds crew for not covering the playing surface before Sunday night’s game against the Houston Texans, Bears kicker Robbie Gould offered an apology.

The field reportedly was covered from Friday through Sunday morning. It didn’t begin raining until about two hours before the 7:20 p.m. game, and NFL rules require that tarps be off the field 90 minutes before kickoff, a process that takes about 30 minutes.

“I need to apologize to the grounds crew at Soldier Field and our grounds crew for my recent comments regarding the field,” Gould said. “I have since learned a lot more about the NFL’s policies and the measures that are taken at Soldier Field to ensure a reliable and safe playing surface. It was my mistake to speak prior to having a full understanding.”

Co-hosting a radio show Tuesday night on ESPN 1000, Gould complained about the field being soft and uneven.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” Gould said. “This year our field has been really bad. It’s been tore up. There have actually been some places on the field where some portions of it have actually sunk to a new low level, and the other spots are high.”

Bears coach Lovie Smith was asked about Gould’s critical comments.

“You have to talk to Robbie about that,” Smith said. “To me, our surface, I mean, it’s November in Chicago. There’s a certain type of surface you’re going to get at Soldier Field. If it is soft and things like that, to me it’s to our advantage. That’s the only way we can look at it.

“Field-wise, there are different surfaces you’re going to play on. As long as both teams are playing on the surface, that’s never going to be an issue you’re going to hear me talk about.”

Bears general manager Phil Emery also weighed in on the issue later Wednesday.

“I very much appreciate our relationship with SMG and the Chicago Park District,” Emery said in a statement.  “We have assembled a strong team of members from our staff and theirs that work together to evaluate the field and keep it in excellent condition. They have done a great job working with us to ensure we have the best playing surface for our players.”

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Gould giving Bears leg to stand on

Posted by Larry Mayer on October 5, 2012 – 3:01 pm

The Bears continue to rely on the strong right leg of kicker Robbie Gould.

The eight-year veteran has made all eight field goals he has attempted this season, including a 54-yarder, and is tied for fourth in the NFL with 16 touchbacks on kickoffs.

Gould has connected on nine straight field goal tries from 50 yards and beyond since 2010. He is 12 of 14 from that distance the past four seasons after going 0 of 2 in his first four campaigns.

“Technically, he’s really good, but we didn’t give him a lot of opportunities [early in his career],” said special teams coordinator Dave Toub. “I think he always had the ability to do it. We kind of held him back a little bit. We were kind of playing field position a little bit more.”

After recording 43 touchbacks last season, Gould is on pace for 64 this year.

“He’s really in a groove right now,” Toub said. “He’s hitting it well. The trajectory of his ball right now, it’s going out of the back of the end zone at a 3.7. As the weather gets colder, he’s going to have to try to get a little bit more hang time because he won’t be able to drive the ball as far. But right now he’s in a groove and we want to keep it going.”

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