BOURBONNAIS — Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro had a chance to take a big step forward in the kicking derby, but neither did Monday.
Pineiro, arguably the leader after making 12 of 12 field goals at Soldier Field at Family Fest on Saturday, went 6-for-9 at practice, missing from 39, 44 and 53 yards. Fry was 7-for-9, missing from 45 and 43.
The competition is close to even, with the Bears’ preseason opener Thursday against the Panthers at Soldier Field. Fry has made 41 of 49 field goals (83.7 percent). Pineiro has made 39 of 46 (84.8 percent). Neither kicker has missed consecutive attempts.
“They know they’ve got to be better,” coach Matt Nagy said. “[Monday] wasn’t their day. But how do you respond the next time? That’s all.”
After alternating kicking days last week, Fry and Pineiro both will kick again Wednesday and — opportunity pending — in the preseason opener.
Starters are expected to play sparingly throughout the preseason as Nagy emphasizes good health and not showing his hand before the regular season.
“I think you guys know where I stand — a little bit big picture,” Nagy said.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky played 40 snaps in the preseason last year. Offensive linemen Cody Whitehair and Bobby Massie had a team-high 49 snaps. Akiem Hicks had 17, Allen Robinson 11 and Prince Amukamara none.
Trubisky doesn’t figure to play much again this preseason, but he’s willing as usual.
“You know me,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m ready to compete at any time, so if Coach says, ‘Go out there,’ I’ll go out there and be ready. If he says rest, it’s another opportunity for someone else to shine.”
More than likely, the preseason opener will be an opportunity for players trying to make the roster or the practice squad to show what they can do.
“I just love watching the new guys,” Trubisky said, “the rookies, guys who have a great opportunity to make the team on special teams. So I’ll be watching a bunch of the young guys and trying to help them everywhere I can.”
Montgomery’s learning curve
The Bears have been impressed with just about everything rookie running back David Montgomery does since drafting him in the third round — including his ability to learn well. Montgomery had a rude introduction to pass protection from Roquan Smith early in camp, but since has improved.
“He’s gotten better each day,” running backs coach Charles London said. “I told him, ‘Ro’s a pretty good rusher. That’s not the first time Ro’s beat a back there.’
“That was his first day. We studied it on film. We talked about ways to improve, and it’s carrying over. I don’t think he got beat once [Monday]. I think [it] was one of his better days. He’s just that type of kid. We try to find something — ‘Let’s get better at this today’ — and he attacks it and goes for it.”