Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky voiced support for teammate Cody Parkey, who drew the ire of coach Matt Nagy for appearing on "The Today Show" five days after missing a potential game-winning 43-yard field goal in Chicago’s 16-15 opening-round playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
“It is what it is," Trubisky said Wednesday at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida. “He made a personal decision, and us being teammates and a family, we’ve just got to support our guys no matter what they do. So whether we agree with it or not it really doesn’t matter. We’re going to support our guys and support our family and when we get back to Chicago we’re going to get back to work and it’s going to be like nothing ever happened.
“He just made a personal decision. ... He’s been going through a lot, taking all the heat from the kick even though it did get tipped -- and making that decision to go on 'The Today Show,' if that’s something that he felt like he had to do, we’ve got to support him as teammates and brothers and we will.”
Nagy expressed disapproval with Parkey's decision to appear as a guest on the network morning show.
"For me, you understand that we always talk about a 'we' and not a 'me' thing," Nagy said at the team's season-ending news conference. "We always talk as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team. You know, I just, I didn't necessarily think that that was too much of a 'we' thing."
Parkey fell short of expectations during his first season with the Bears. Chicago signed the veteran kicker in free agency to a contract that included $9 million in guaranteed money, but Parkey missed 11 total kicks (eight field goals, three extra points), including the ill-fated last-second attempt against the Eagles that bounced off the left upright and hit the crossbar. The NFL later credited Philadelphia with a blocked field goal after slow-motion replays revealed that Parkey's kick was slightly tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Back in Week 10, Parkey hit the upright on four separate missed kicks versus the Detroit Lions.
"You're never going to bat a thousand [in free agency]," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said. "I know Cody wishes he had a better season. We wish he had a better season, too. We've just got to evaluate that now. You've got to be honest with yourselves in these. I think as we go forward, that's when we've got to be real and say, 'Hey, that's an important position for us. It's a position of emphasis.'
"We want more production out of that position, and we're going to get that. We're going to strive for that. That's going to be an area of focus. Our goal, of course, is to hit on every draft pick and every [unrestricted free agent]. But that's just not reality. Sometimes when that doesn't happen, you have to self-reflect and be honest and then improve it going forward."
Pace said Chicago will explore all options at kicker in the offseason, putting Parkey’s future with the club in doubt.
NFL Nation reporter Michael DiRocco contributed to this report.