Gould on the sideline in November 2009
No. 9 Chicago Bears
|Date of birth:December 6, 1981|
|Place of birth: Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania|
|High school: Mill Hill (PA) Central Mountain|
|College: Penn State|
|Undrafted in 2005|
|Debuted in 2005 for the Chicago Bears|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2014
Robert Paul "Robbie" Gould III (//; born December 6, 1981) is an American football placekicker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was originally signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football for Penn State University. He is currently the third most accurate kicker in NFL history. Gould's seven seasons with at least 100 points is a Bears record.
Gould was born to Cheryl and Robert Gould in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. His father was a three-time All-American soccer player who led Lock Haven University to a Division II national championship in 1980. and was drafted by the St. Louis Steamers in the early 80s. He attended Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania, where he won letters in football, soccer, basketball and track. During the 2000 Boys' Soccer District Championship, he scored the game-winning goal with seconds left.
Gould enrolled in Penn State University, where he played for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. Although originally interested in professional soccer, he eventually chose football and asked his high school principal to send a letter of recommendation to Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, who invited him to try out as a freshman walk-on.
After going undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots signed Gould prior to the 2005 NFL preseason even though they already had established Super Bowl winning kicker Adam Vinatieri. Following his not unexpected preseason release from the Pats, Gould signed with the Baltimore Ravens only to be waived three weeks later. He then took a sabbatical from football, working construction for M&R Contracting in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. The Bears signed him on October 8, 2005, following the Week 3 injury of their starting kicker, Doug Brien. Gould kicked his first NFL field goal the next week in a 20–10 loss at Cleveland, and his first game-winner in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints, finishing the 2005 season with a 77% field goal percentage and hitting all but one of his 20 PAT attempts.
He kicked 26 consecutive field goals during the 2006 NFL season, breaking former Bears’ kicker Kevin Butler’s record of most consecutive field goals and winning NFL Special Teams Player of the Month for October 2006 in the process. In addition, NFL fans across the nation voted Gould the NFC’s kicker for the 2007 Pro Bowl. He was also named to the 2006 All-Pro team by the Associated Press. His 25-yard overtime field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave the Bears home field advantage throughout the ensuing playoffs. On January 14, 2007, his 49-yard field goal in overtime against the Seattle Seahawks gave the Bears their first divisional playoff win since 1988, advancing them to the NFC Championship game, which they won but then lost Super Bowl XLI to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. 29–17.
The following season, Gould was named NFC special teams player of the month for December 2008 after making all eight of his field goal attempts including two more overtime game-winners, becoming the fourth kicker of overtime game-winning field goals in back-to-back games in NFL history. He converted 26 of 29 field goal attempts (89.7 percent) in 2008, breaking his own franchise single-season record for accuracy. Going into the 2009 season, he had converted 84.8 of his career field goal attempts. He has missed three extra point attempts in his NFL career.
On May 12, 2008, he signed an extension with the Bears that would keep him on the team through the 2013 season. The contract, reportedly worth $15.5 million, included a $4.25 million signing bonus and made Gould the NFL's highest-paid kicker.
On December 11, 2011, he kicked a then career-long, and then-Chicago Bears franchise record, 57-yard field goal against the Denver Broncos (although the Bears lost 13-10 in overtime). He kicked another 57-yarder in the second game of the 2012 preseason against the Washington Redskins, giving Chicago a 33-31 win, which of course didn't count officially since it came in an exhibition game. (His previous best was 53 yards against the Carolina Panthers during the 2010 NFL regular season.) Gould made his tenth career game-winning field goal against the Panthers in Week 8 of 2012, and his ten consecutive field goals from 50 yards or more without a miss was second behind Tony Zendejas.
Before pregame warmups in Week 14 of 2012 against the Minnesota Vikings, Gould strained his left calf. After limited play during the game, Gould was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the 2012 season.
In Week 1 of 2013 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Gould made a 58-yarder late in the first half, setting the Bears record for longest field goal and tying him with Zendejas for most consecutive 50+-yard field goals without a miss with eleven. In Week 13 against the Vikings, Gould missed a career-high two field goals, tying his two missed kicks in 2006 against the St. Louis Rams; the two field goals were a 66-yarder, which would have broken the NFL record for longest field goal converted, and a 47-yarder in overtime. On December 27, Gould signed a four-year extension with the Bears worth $15 million, with $9 million guaranteed, the most by a kicker. Gould ended the 2013 season converting 26 of 29 field goal attempts and 45 of 46 extra points for a total of 123 points scored. Gould also became the second player in Bears history to record 1,000 points, with 1,025, 91 points behind Kevin Butler.
Despite the difference in spelling, his surname ("Gould") uses the same pronunciation as the element (gold): "gōld". This has prompted some announcers to dub him "Robbie Gould is gold", "Solid Gould" or "Good as Gould" upon his successful field goal attempts.
His younger brother, Chris Gould, is a kicker in the Arena Football League for the Iowa Barnstormers. The two also have a cousin, Brandon Thomas Gould, who played on the offensive line for Bethune-Cookman University.
On December 1, 2013, Gould's wife Lauren gave birth to their first child, a son.
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- chicagotribune.com (2008-05-12). "Huddle Up: Gould's Five year extension makes him highest paid kicker". blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- url=http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/9354/robbie-gould |accessdate=2014-10-13
- espn.com (2008-05-12). "Year after Pro Bowl season, Bears sign kicker Gould to five-year extension". espn.com. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- Seligman, Andrew (2008-05-12). "Bears make Robbie Gould NFL's highest-paid kicker". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2008-05-12.[dead link]
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- Mayer, Larry (2012-12-11). "Gould among three Bears played on injured reserve". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
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- Chase, Chris (2013-12-01). "Marc Trestman blew it for the Chicago Bears, not Robbie Gould". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Rosenthal, Gregg (2013-12-27). "Robbie Gould signs four-year extension with Bears". National Football League. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "2013 Season Highlights". Chicago Bears. 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
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- "Chicago Bears Strike a Gold Mine Signing Robbie Gould through 2013". Bleacher Report. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- Campbell, Rich (2013-12-01). "Gould taken on emotional roller-coaster ride". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-12-02.