Robbie Gould said he wants to be the best kicker ever. So he’s eating plenty of M&M ice cream sandwiches and Reese’s ice cream at night.
It’s part of the offseason plan the Bears put in place for Gould, who is 34 years old and entering his 12th season. The goal is weight gain. He’s at 187 pounds and wants to be at 191 before the season begins.
“I just know that putting on weight for me is difficult and I’m not a junk food eater,” said a smiling Gould, who was honored as the Bears’ 2016 Ed Block Courage Award recipient at the team’s annual luncheon at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines on Tuesday.
“I’ve been able to become a garbage gut. It’s kind of disgusting. … Before I left for the offseason, we put a really good plan in place, and I followed that pretty much to a ‘T.’ I’m really excited. It’s something to be excited about because usually I only put on weight when I’m down at training camp. So to be this heavy at this time of year is something that’s good for me.”
It should help Gould’s strength as he pushes himself to new limits. Gould said he started his offseason training regimen earlier than ever this year. He’s working out six days week, which includes kicking two or three times based on how he feels.
Overall, Gould sounded like he’s in a good place. Any speculation about the Bears moving on from the most decorated kicker in team history not was only unfounded, but silly.
Last season wasn’t Gould’s best, and he’d be the first to admit that. His six missed field goals, including a potential game-winner against the 49ers in Week 13, were a major blemish. But Gould still broke the franchise record for most career points last year and set a new single-season record by making 33 field goals.
“I think I had a really good year,” said Gould, who recently had breakfast with coach John Fox. “There are a lot of things that I can learn from last year that can help me prepare differently this year. I’ve kicked earlier than I ever have. I’m kicking better than I ever have at this point in the [offseason]. Physically, my weight is heavier than I’ve ever been. And, it’s been because of some of the things that happened last year.”
Last season was the first that featured longer extra points. Gould said initially he didn’t like the move from the two-yard line to the 15, but he later began to enjoy it. He missed only one extra point last season, which came in Week 4 against the Raiders.
“It makes our position more valuable,” Gould said. “You saw some extra points, whether they were missed in the regular season or the playoffs, they cost some teams a win.”
This year, the NFL has moved touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25. It’s a change viewed by many as an attempt to reduce injuries at the expense of further diminishing the potential impact of kickoff returns.
Gould said he briefly talked to special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, but believes he won’t be affected too much. He pointed to the Bears’ switch to a more directional kicking team under former coordinator Joe DeCamillis after typically kicking the ball hard and down the middle with Dave Toub.
“For us, it’s just you’re in a bad-weather place,” Gould said. “So you’re not going to kick touchbacks all the time.”
On a personal level, Gould said being voted the Ed Block award winner by his teammates is special. He’s appreciative of his place as the longest-tenured Bear. His goal and dream, which he repeated often, is to win a Super Bowl.
Of course, he knows his role in that.
“I want to be the best kicker to ever play the game,” Gould said. “The only way to do that is through hard work and by dedicating yourself to doing it. I think it’s been a fun offseason.”
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