Gould, Vinatieri give Bears, Colts a leg up

Robbie Gould hopes to have the type of career Adam Vinatieri has enjoyed. AP Photo/Matt Dunham

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- If Sunday's game between the Colts and Bears has to be decided by a field goal, then both teams are in good shape.

That's because the two men doing the kicking -- Adam Vinatieri and Robbie Gould -- have made a combined 574 regular-season field goals in 685 attempts (83.8%) and booted 31 game-winners (Vinatieri 23, Gould 9).

That doesn't even include the postseason, where Vinatieri has played in five Super Bowls, won four rings and connected on the game-winning kicks in Super Bowl XXXVI and XXXVIII. Gould went a perfect 6-for-6 in the Bears 2006 run to Super Bowl XLI that eventually ended at the hands of Vinatieri's Colts, but he didn't attempt a field goal in either the 2005 or 2010 postseason.

The pair of decorated specialists were teammates for a brief time in 2005 when Gould -- the most accurate kicker in Bears' history (187-of-218) and the fifth most accurate kicker in NFL history -- attended training camp with the New England Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Penn State.

"Adam was great," Gould said Friday. "I had a great relationship with those guys in New England. I learned a lot from them. It was kind of unique I got to play in the Super Bowl against him, which obviously we lost. But it was great to play against a guy I idolized growing up and learned a lot from and who helped me propel myself to the career that I've had."

Even at 39-years-old, Vinatieri is still considered the gold standard of NFL kickers, according to Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub.

"(Vinatieri is) one of the best, absolutely," Toub said. "To play that long ... he's unbelievable. He's just so consistent over the years ... he hasn't wavered at all."

Gould hopes to emulate Vinatieri's longevity, which has spanned 17 NFL seasons.

"I'm going to kick until they tell me I can't," Gould said. "It's great that he's had such an awesome career. He's got four rings, played for one of the best franchises in NFL history and was able to play with great players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. He's scored a lot of points and had some fun along the way. I'm hoping I can model my career after his career ..."