Who is Eddy Piñeiro?

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Who is Eddy Piñeiro?

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Andrew Crawford, Staff Writer

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As of now, almost everyone who follows the National Football League knows the name Eddy Piñeiro after his late game heroics during the Bears’ Week 2 game versus the Denver Broncos.  

It is clear, so far, that Pineiro is good at his job on the field. After seeing his lively personality in the postgame interview after his big moment it can be easy to wonder: Who is this new face of the Chicago Bears?

Eddy Piñeiro Jr was born in 1995 in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents — his father being from Cuba and his mother a Nicaraguan immigrant.  

Piñeiro’s father, Eddie Piñeiro Sr, came to the United States at the age of nine during the Mariel Boatlift.  The boatlift was a mass emigration of Cuban people to Florida seeking asylum and refugee status. Eddy Piñeiro Sr had a professional soccer career for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Piñeiro grew up playing soccer and didn’t play football until his senior year of high school.  He was encouraged to try out for the kicking position and he did so. Following a stellar season, he enrolled at Florida Atlantic University and was a Kicker for the football team, however this is not where his kicking career took off.  Academic issues led him to attend a small junior college where Piñeiro played soccer.

In the summer of 2015, Piñeiro was encouraged by his dad to attend an open kicking combine for aspiring special teams players to get exposure from college coaches.  One coach who was in attendance was Alabama’s Nick Saban. Piñeiro would end up verbally committing to Alabama. However Piñeiro attended a tryout at the University of Florida and later ended up committing to the Gators.  

During his 2017 senior season at Florida he led the nation in field goal percentage at 94% and is currently the sixth high scoring kicker in the university’s long football history.  

Piñeiro’s professional career began with him being drafted and later signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2018.  Piñeiro made the team, but would not end up receiving any playing time during his rookie season.

After recent struggles at the kicking position, it was evident that a reliable kicker was needed in Chicago.  And so on May 6th, 2019 The Chicago Bears traded a 2021 seventh round draft pick for Piñeiro.  Piñeiro was one of sixteen kickers the Bears would be trying out. After continuous cuts and tryouts, the Bears had named their Kicker for the 2019-2020 season, and it was Eddy Piñeiro.  

Considering recent history, Bears fans have long been heartbroken, haunted, and nervous by the idea of field goals. This pressure of nearly 9.5 million Chicagoians would seem to be overwhelming, but not for Eddy P.  

Piñeiro is 5/6 through Week 3, including the 53 yard game winner that beat the Broncos 16-14 in Week 2, with one second remaining on the clock.

It is early in the season, but it looks as if Eddy Piñeiro is the reliable kicker that Chicago Bears fans have been waiting for.