Robbie Gould, a one-time Pro Bowl selection, has developed a strong reputation as the Bears kicker.
But Gould got his start as an undrafted free agent in 2005 with the New England Patriots.
"I got a lot of praise for Bill Belichick and their coaching staff, and their players," Gould said. "That's where I started. That's who gave me the opportunity to be seen. If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't be in the league right now, and I definitely would not have gotten a chance to get picked up by Chicago."
The Patriots released Gould because they already had Adam Vinatieri, one of the best kickers -- and certainly the most clutch -- in NFL history. But Vinatieri left after that season, signing a free-agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts, and Gould's done well for himself in Chicago.
"Robbie is an outstanding kicker with a big leg. He's a very accurate guy and right at the top as the most accurate kickers. Kicking in a place like Chicago, which is a lot more challenging than other places in the league you can kick in, that says even more about the quality of his performance," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
Asked if he's proven to the Patriots what they missed out on, Gould said, "I think they already know, to an extent."
Gould has made 19 of 23 field goals this season, including a career-long 54-yarder Sunday against the Detroit Lions.