*Kicker Robbie Gould joined the Giants in Week 7 after 11 season in Chicago: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When the NFL schedule was announced on April 14, Robbie Gould knew he'd be playing in MetLife Stadium this Sunday. But he thought it would be for the visiting team.
But Gould was released by that that team, the Chicago Bears, a week before the season began after he had been their placekicker for 11 years. On Sunday, Gould will face the Bears for the first time when they visit the Giants. He holds Chicago franchise records for points (1,207) and field goals (276), but insists it will not be weird to play against them.
"It really won't," Gould said today. "It's one of those things that's been good for me. It's a fresh start. It's a new beginning. I think being in a different number, different jersey, playing in a different division is something for me that's been pretty special. I think the history behind not only the Giants organization but kicking in the NFC East and being in this locker room, look at the names (of great figures in Giants history) above these lockers. It says a lot about the character of these people and the type of athlete that has come through here. You just try and uphold the tradition just like I tried to do when I was in Chicago."
Throughout the offseason and training camp, Gould thought he would be playing for the Bears this season. In the preseason, he made five of six field goal attempts (but missed two of three extra point tries). Then he was unceremoniously informed he was being cut.
"(General manager) Ryan Pace called me at 7:30, 8 o'clock at night on Sunday before Labor Day," Gould said. "I didn't expect it. I didn't see it coming. It's part of the business. It's decisions that organizations get to make. That's the decision that they made. My performance wasn't up to their standard. Obviously, that's their decision."
"It was very tough," Bears coach John Fox said of the transaction. "He is a guy that has been here for a long time. I think he is probably one of the few remaining guys from the '06 Super Bowl team. He is very experienced, a leader in the locker room, voted a captain, so those decisions are never easy."
But it worked out well for Gould. He got to spend time with his wife, Lauren, and their two young sons while working on his kicking. On Oct. 20, the Giants called and flew him to London, where he kicked a field goal and two extra points in a victory against the Rams. Gould hasn't attempted a field goal in the last two games, but did kick seven PATs.
And he couldn't be happier.
"I love it here," Gould said. "Our fans are great. The organization has been awesome. I am starting to get settled in now to the area, to the team, to the schedule. The teammates and the guys in this locker room are great. They really get it. They play for one another, they play really hard, the coaching staff has come up with great game plans every week and we have had a great opportunity to win a lot of games. Hopefully this winning streak continues this week, that would be nice."
This will be a special Sunday for Gould, and not because he'll be facing the Bears. Lauren and his children are visiting for the first time, and he will have a large contingent of family and friends at the game.
"Probably 50 people," Gould said. "Some of my buddies are coming and sitting in a suite that they got through work. I have my family and a bunch of people. Some are going in a suite and some have regular seats. All that good stuff."
Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants face the Bears on Sunday
It will be really good if the Giants win. And not because he has hard feelings for the Bears.
"I had a great run there and I hope we have a better run here Sunday than they do," Gould said. "I was talking to coach (Ben) McAdoo at practice - what do I have to be upset about? I got to play with one team for 11 years with a lot of great teammates, with a lot of good memories and they made a decision. I am really happy here, I love being a Giant, I love being in the Giants organization, and I have a lot of respect for the guys that are going to be across from me playing. So hopefully we come out with a win."
• Odell Beckham, Jr. was asked today if winning close games "adds something to this team."
"Stress," Beckham said. "We'd love to come out and beat a team 45-14. Why not? I'm a firm believer that you work all week for 60 minutes of football. As an offense, you're not going to be on the field for 60 minutes. Why not make the most of the opportunity that you have now? Instead, you have to wait a whole week for next Sunday. Like I said, live in the moment and take advantage of the opportunity at hand."
• Victor Cruz missed the Cincinnati game with an ankle injury and Dwayne Harris didn't finish it after suffering a toe injury, but neither wide receiver appeared on the injury report today.
So barring an unforeseen complication, they will play against the Bears.
Not so for left guard Justin Pugh, who will miss his second straight game with a knee injury. Brett Jones, who started for Pugh Monday night but lasted just eight snaps before injuring his calf, has also been declared out. Marshall Newhouse, who played the entire second half, is expected to make his first NFL start at guard.
Running back Orleans Darkwa (lower leg) and guard Adam Gettis (calf) are questionable.
• The Bears listed three players as doubtful: starting right tackle Bobby Massie (concussion), defensive end Mitch Unrein (back), and defensive back Deiondre' Hall (ankle).