Cairo Santos

It’s no secret that Soldier Field, the NFL home of the Chicago Bears, doesn’t have the league’s best field conditions. The poor turf conditions affect placekickers more than most, and Bears kicker Cairo Santos has a hilarious way to prepare during the offseason.

Santos has been kicking for the Bears for the past two seasons, so he knows what to expect. That’s why even when he’s in Florida for the offseason, Santos seeks out poorly maintained public parks to simulate the uniquely bad Soldier Field turf conditions.

“I was going to a turf field at a high school, which was perfect,” the Bears kicker told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was almost like, ‘OK. I’m getting too comfortable.’ So in my neighborhood, there’s a soccer field, and the grass is Bermuda grass. It’s real long. I was like, ‘OK. This is more like it.’

“The ball flies different. It’s not super-even all the time. . . . It’s important to put yourself in that situation.”

Apparently, the offseason preparation works. Santos set a Chicago franchise record in 2020 by hitting 93.8 percent of his field goals and he followed that up by making 86.7 percent of his tries last season.

Still, it sounds like Santos would be a proponent of the Bears potentially moving to an indoor stadium in Arlington Heights.

[Chicago Sun-Times]