Austin MacGinnis' success just adds to Bears kicking frustration

Gene Chamberlain

The Bears kicking disaster just keeps getting worse and worse.

Former Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis is the lastest to kick dirt on them, in an AAF game.

You might remember MacGinnis from a brief stint with the team. He was brought in for rookie camp last year, but was only a camp leg and not a serious competitor for Cody Parkey.

MacGinnis did enough in his brief stay to leave somewhat of an impression because after Parkey's meltdown, he was brought back by Ryan Pace for this offseason's one-day kicking derby with Redford Jones, Blair Walsh and Nick Folk, among others. Pace kept Jones and again MacGinnis was told thanks for coming.

MacGinnis had been working as a financial advisor with Salomon & Company in Lexington, Ky., when he was signed by coach Mike Singletary's Memphis Express.

He replaced Josh Jasper, who had been 3-for-5 on the year.

“The consistency at that position is critical, especially in a game like this,” Express coach Mike Singletary told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

Where have we heard this before? Almost word for word, it was what Pace and coach Matt Nagy said after the regular season.

So in his first game Saturday night, MacGinnis made all four field goal tries. He hit field goals from 46, 35, 40, and 46 yards. The last 46-yard kick came with just under three minutes remaining for the winning points in a 26-23 win by Memphis over Mike Martz's San Diego Fleet.

"I wanted to be playing in the NFL, but didn’t really get my shot,” MacGinnis told reporters. “This opportunity came up and I made the most of it.

"I just like to win. It felt good to get out there because the guys put so much work into it. To come through in the clutch for them was great.”

By the way, 46 yards for the win was 3 yards longer than 43 yards for the end of the season off the left upright and crossbar.

In Indianapolis, at the combine, Pace said he expects to add one more kicker to compete with Jones, and wouldn't be opposed to two more.

Perhaps they should phone MacGinnis, and not just to get some financial advice.

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