CHICAGO — Like a stadium nose-bleed seat obscured by a pole, Bears wide receiver Javon Wims and well-traveled kicker Cody Parkey have struggled a bit to get a good view.
They may have finally made it to the VIP section.
Parkey wasn't drafted by the NFL out of Auburn.
Wims played Division III football, worked at a clothing store, then enrolled at a junior college before signing with Georgia.
Pro football is a results business and both have produced, though Wims' body of work is limited.
Parkey caught a break when new Bears coach Matt Nagy hired Chris Tabor to be his special teams coordinator. This is Parkey's fourth team (Eagles, Browns, Dolphins, Bears) in five seasons and he played for Tabor in Cleveland.
Entering Thursday night's no-name preseason finale with Buffalo, in which Chicago's starters and most of its backups were held out, Parkey had converted all 10 of his PAT kicks and six of eight field goals.
Parkey became an important piece to Nagy's "new culture" when the Bears gave him a four-year, $15 million contract last March, with $9 million guaranteed, and is now the NFL's 5th-highest paid kicker this season.
The operative word here is "steady."
Robbie Gould's kicking skills questionably appeared to be diminishing when coach John Fox was hired in 2015. The Bears' career scoring leader was waived and a turnstile of inadequate kickers were auditioned.
Connor Barth, Andy Phillips, Roberto Aguayo, Cairo Santos and Mike Nugent were all colossal failures.
Nagy is unveiling a complex offense at a breakneck pace with multiple weapons, so finishing red zone drives will determine a sink-or-swim season.
No more blowing games on missed field goals in the final seconds.
"I've put in my dues so far in the league. I've been on multiple teams. I've had success on all the teams," Parkey told us at his introductory March 4 news conference. "Sometimes, it hasn't worked out. The Bears being committed to me means the world.
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"We're going to be a good team for years to come and playing for Coach Nagy and Coach Tabor has me excited. I'm ready to roll."
Parkey said he "embraces" the opportunity to kick at Soldier Field, where weather is often a deterrent late in the season. He said playing in Philadelphia and Cleveland prepared him for the worst elements.
"I'm well-rounded, not only on my field goals, but I can kick off well, I can go deep, I can go short, my onside kicks are good. I take pride in doing all that stuff," said Parkey, whose 150 points with the Eagles in 2014 set an NFL rookie scoring record.
Remember Kevin Butler? He held the previous mark of 144 in the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl season.
It was all Chicago the first half, 20-0, with Parkey booting field goals of 47, 23 and missing a 39-harder that struck the right upright.
The 6-foot-4 Wims, a seventh-round draft pick, led a deep Bears' receiving corps in preseason with 15 catches for 227 yards (15.1 avg.) and a touchdown.
Wims and Kevin White were not among the 37 players Nagy scratched for Thursday's game.
Wims grew up in Miami, played football briefly at Division III Belhaven University in 2014, then left to work at a clothing store before enrolling at Hinds Community College in 2015.
He became a top-five JUCO receiver prospect and signed with Georgia for 2016 as his draft stock continually rose.
Wims lead Georgia with 45 receptions for 720 yards and seven touchdowns in their SEC championship season.
"There is some areas that I can improve on. I want to go out there and do everything that I like to do," Wims said after last Saturday's 27-20 win over Kansas City when he grabbed four passes for 114 yards and a TD.
"I want to make the most of every opportunity I get."
Neither Wims nor White expected to see action on a night where teammates hanging on by their thumbs hoped to make the 53-man roster.