Robbie Gould was about to take his son to swimming lessons in Chicago on Thursday night when he got a call from the Giants. On Friday afternoon he was on a plane to London and today he’ll be kicking for the team against the Rams.
“When you get a call like this from an organization like this,” said Gould, 34, “it’s hard to say no to.”
The 11-year veteran, who spent his entire career with the Bears replaces Josh Brown, who was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while the NFL further investigates charges of domestic violence made against him by his wife.
“It’s exciting to be here,” he said. “Looking forward to having some fun.”
Because of the urgency — the Giants only decided that Brown would not join them in London on Thursday afternoon, shortly before their team flight and a day after new documents were released in the case against Brown — Gould was essentially signed sight unseen. He’d been released by the Bears at the end of the preseason, but the Giants did not have him in for a workout or a physical. There was no time. They just needed to know if he had a passport, if he was still interested in kicking, and if he was free this weekend. Yes, yes and yes.
There is no telling how long Brown will be on the exempt list, or how long he’ll remain with the Giants who have said they will reassess his status when they return. In the meantime, it’s Gould’s job. He’ll be the third kicker for the Giants this season after Randy Bullock kicked in the opener while Brown served a one-game suspension.
“I’m really motivated,” Gould said. “When you get the call, you’re excited about the opportunity to come in here and help the team win.”
Coach Ben McAdoo faced Gould 17 times in his eight seasons as an assistant coach with the Packers.
“I’ve seen him make a lot of kicks against me in the past,” McAdoo said. “He’s been successful. We’re hoping that continues.”
Gould is the most accurate kicker in Bears’ history — and the NFL’s 10th-best with an 85.4 success rate on field goals. Gould also holds the Bears’ records for career points (1,207) and field goals made (276).
“At some point you knew it was going to happen just because of turnover, age, performance,” Gould said of being replaced in Chicago. “It was such a great run there. I am so happy that I had the chance to be in one place for so long.”
Born: Dec. 6, 1981 in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania (age 34)
College: Penn State, undrafted
Field goal pct: 85.4
FG/40-49 yards: 75/103
FG/50 yards plus: 23/31
Extra points: 379/383