Bears Special Teams Coach Waves Off "Hash Mark Gate"

Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor called the controversy over the placement of the ball for Eddy Pineiro's missed kick nothing but talk.
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Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor cleared up nothing about Eddy Pineiro and Hash Mark Gate.

The Bears kicked from the left hash at 41 yards, Pineiro missed it, they lost 17-16 to the Chargers, and on Tuesday Pineiro said he would have preferred kicking it from the center of the field instead of the left hash mark where Mitchell Trubisky was told to down the ball one play earlier.

"It doesn't matter, I mean, to be honest with you we practice all the hashes," Tabor said. "The middle kicks there's probably more hash kicks than there are middle kicks. 

"So you seem to have more of those in practice, but we hit them all the same."

Tabor tried to bottom-line the situation.

"At the end of the day, wherever the ball lays, it's our job to kick the ball and make it."

This is right, of course, but his kicker apparently didn't communicate his desire to kick in the middle well enough.

"The player, he did what he was supposed to do in regards to playing the line and where he was playing it," Tabor said. "Unfortunately, it did not go through.

"It's something that we will learn from here on out and go for it next time."

He didn't specify whether by "go for it," he meant putting the ball in the center of the field.

"All I can say, without getting into everything because then I'm talking about strategy and those type of things, our line of communication, like coach (Matt Nagy) said is spot-on," Tabor said. "And we talk and there's things that happen in a game that go on.

"We were prepared to kick the field goal from wherever. It makes no difference."

Tabor did say the right-to-left wind greatly impacted the kick.

"I don't know if you noticed during the TV timeouts I was sending Eddy out there to get a feel for the wind, so the preparation for that and that whole thing that went through, it was good. It was good," Tabor said. "We missed the kick, bottom line. It hurts, it stings, but I will tell you this as we move into Philadelphia."

The wind can be fickle at Soldier Field, swirling, sometimes gusting. This was blowing off Lake Michigan.

"As I have stated here multiple times, and I told the kid 'You hit your ball, you play your line. If mother nature takes it, we will have to talk to mother nature,' " Tabor said. "And I've also said that sometimes it's also going to hurt if it's in that type of situation."

The hurt still lingers, as does the controversy over where the ball was downed and when.

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