Lake Forest, Ill. — Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace wouldn’t say if Cody Parkey will return for another season, and coach Matt Nagy called out the struggling kicker for appearing on the “Today” show last week.
Pace was adamant Monday that the Bears need improvement in the kicking game. He also said “those are things that need to play out” when asked if Parkey will return for a second season.
Nagy, meanwhile, made it clear he wasn’t thrilled Parkey went on the “Today” show Friday. The appearance was just days after the kicker’s potential winning field goal hit the left upright and crossbar in a 16-15 wild-card loss to Philadelphia caught him off guard.
The kicker’s future in Chicago is in question after a breakthrough season.
Gase keeps eyes on prize
Adam Gase’s wide-eyed gazes were the star of his Big Apple welcome.
The New York Jets’ coach was formally introduced Monday at the team’s facility, and social media was quickly abuzz.
No, not with his vision for the team or where he sees quarterback Sam Darnold’s progress going. It was all about Gase’s eyes, which were intensely focused at times throughout the nearly 20-minute news conference.
So, of course it took social media no more than a New York minute to notice – and excitedly create sudden memes and gifs that poked fun at the new Jets coach’s eyes.
A Twitter account called Adam Gase’s Eyes – @Crazy–Gase–Eyes – featuring TV screen grabs and various photos, was also quickly created by an unknown user – and had nearly 200 followers and 27 tweets in just two hours.
“Just keeping my eyes on the prize, guys,” the account tweeted.
The 40-year-old Gase was hired last Friday to replace the fired Todd Bowles. Gase was fired by the Miami Dolphins after three years, going 23-26, including a playoff loss in his first season.
ESPN reporter Cameron Wolfe, who covers the Dolphins, said he got four texts about Gase’s eyes during the new Jets coach’s news conference.
“Those are normal,” Wolfe tweeted. “He’s an intense guy, but he’ll probably be more relaxed in less formal settings.”
Still, that didn’t stop the Twitterverse from making a spectacle of Gase’s eyes.
Kitchens hires coordinators
New Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has hired Todd Monken as offensive coordinator and Steve Wilks to run his defense.
Monken spent the past three years with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers ranked first in passing yardage per game (320.3) and were 12th in points. Monken called plays, but Kitchens is expected to keep that duty following his eight-game run as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator.
Wilks was recently fired after going 3-13 in one season as Arizona’s coach. He has a deep defensive background, spending 12 years as a secondary coach before becoming Carolina’s coordinator in 2017.
Break out the parkas for Sunday night’s AFC title game at Arrowhead Stadium.
The National Weather Service is projecting an arctic blast to settle over Kansas City for the Chiefs’ game against the Patriots.
Temperatures at kickoff could range from 10 degrees to well below zero, potentially making it the coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history.
Sunday’s conference championships
L.A. Rams at New Orleans, 3:05 p.m. (FOX)
New England at Kansas City, 6:40 p.m. (CBS)