CHICAGO – Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould accepted responsibility for triggering a verbal confrontation with teammate Devin Hester during the first half of the Bears’ 27-21 victory Thursday night over the New York Giants.
NFL Network cameras caught Gould and Hester exchanging words on the Bears’ sideline after New York’s Jerrel Jernigan returned a Gould kickoff 46 yards with 5:12 remaining in the second quarter. In the video footage, Hester appeared to be the aggressor in the confrontation, but Gould said in the locker room after the game that he was to blame for the incident, citing his below-average kickoff as the catalyst for the argument.
"I love Devin like a little brother," Gould said. "It was just [that] my emotions got in the way. I was at fault. I was the wrong party in that. I love him like a brother. Once it was over, it was over.
"I let my emotions get the best of me. I’m a competitor just like he is. We both want to win. I don’t want to put my teammates in a situation where I hit a [bad] kickoff like I did. There are no hard feelings. It’s like a fight with your little brother.”
Gould approached Hester on the sideline and patted him on the shoulder after Hester returned the opening kickoff of the second half 28 yards.
“We’re just trying to get better and trying to pump each other up,” Hester said. “Everything is cool, most definitely.”
Gould and Hester each reached milestones in the win against the Giants.
Hester passed Glyn Milburn to become the franchise’s all-time leader in kickoff-return yards (4,643), returning three kicks for 73 yards on Thursday night. And Gould’s 52-yard field goal in the third quarter marked the 12th consecutive field goal he’s made from 50-plus yards, which ties Minnesota's Blair Walsh for the longest streak in NFL history. Gould also connected on a 40-yard field goal and is a perfect 10-for-10 on the season.
“Devin got a record tonight, I got a record tonight,” Gould said. “We both had really good games. I’m happy at how well he did tonight and for his record. It’s pretty impressive. There are no hard feelings. Like I said, it’s like a fight with your little brother.”