MIAMI -- When Bears kicker Robbie Gould was entering the NFL in 2005, he had a choice of three teams with which to sign a free-agent contract -- the Patriots, Steelers or Lions.
He chose the Patriots.
"I thought 'who else better than the New England Patriots?'" Gould said today at Super Bowl XLI Media Day at Dolphin Stadium. "They were the best team in the league and I figured a lot of teams would be looking to take guys from their squad. They had the best kicker in the league and the best coach. I was looking for an opportunity to make myself better and I felt that was the best opportunity for me."
Gould, who attended Penn State, spent four months with the Patriots before he was waived. He was signed to the Ravens' practice squad for 20 days, before he was waived again. Gould signed with the Bears Oct. 8, 2005, essentially on a week-to-week basis.
Now, he's the Bears permanent kicker, having earned a Pro Bowl berth. Gould said part of his success can be attributed to the time he spent with the Patriots, learning from Adam Vinatieri.
"Adam says he hasn't helped me, that's the rumor, but as much as he says he hasn't he has," Gould said. "He's a guy who I asked a lot of questions, but not too many questions. So I just more looked at his preparation, saw what he did in the weight room, to what he does on the practice field and really in games. He's one of those guys I like to watch every weekend if I get a chance. You can just tell in his eyes and in his face that when the lights are on, it's time to go to work."