K Robbie Gould on Chicago return: ‘No such thing as a revenge game’
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The last time Robbie Gould faced the Bears, he was too emotional — he missed two extra points at a gusty MetLife Stadium last season.
Returning to Soldier Field for the first time Sunday will feel different, he admitted Wednesday. But the 49ers kicker won’t be upset at the team that cut him last year after 11 seasons.
“I have no bitterness to Chicago,” he said Wednesday. “I have no bitterness toward the organization. Everyone wants to say, ‘This is a revenge game for Robbie.’
“There’s no such thing as a revenge game.”
If anything, Gould sounded like he felt bad for his former teammates, mired in a 3-8 season.
“I wish those guys nothing but the best – (coach) John Fox, (general manager) Ryan Pace, (special teams coordinator) Jeff Rodgers,” he said. “I wish for my teammates that they would win more football games. I wish the organization would win a Super Bowl. Those were goals I had when I was there, and I don’t wish any bad or ill will on anyone there.
“I have no animosity. If you look back on the 11 years I spent there, the only thing I didn’t accomplish as a Chicago Bear was winning a Super Bowl — and I told Mrs. (Virginia) McCaskey I was sorry for that, and I deeply mean that.”
Gould’s competitive streak, though, means he’ll undoubtedly want to impress his former bosses. Since Pace cut him on the eve of the 2016 season, he’s improved on his 2015 Bears field-goal percentage —with the Giants last year, and now the 49ers. Gould, who turns 35 on Monday, was quick to say he wasn’t doing anything new.
He’s been better than Connor Barth, who the Bears signed to replace Gould.
The kicker been “pretty much automatic,” coach Kyle Shanahan said.
“Once we get into field goal range, he’s a guy that — you have to earn this with a head coach and play-callers, but I don’t ever worry about him missing it,” he said.
Gould — who will raffle off the Lurie Children’s Hospital cleats he’ll wear Sunday to raise money for charity— still keeps his home in Chicago. He expects to spend his pregame routine talking to old friends, the way he did last year in New York, when “someone was hugging me every kick.”
Once the game starts, he should handle this reunion better — and, he joked, it should be less windy.
“You see a lot of players that go through it that might not have their best game because those situations are difficult, and they’re difficult to go back to,” he said. ”But I think I learned a lot from last year, and I’m excited to get back to Chicago.”