The Chicago Bears were able to add depth and speed to their defense this weekend with the signing of Pisa Tinoisamoa to a one-year contract. The former linebacker for the St. Louis Rams was their leading tackler for four out of his six seasons there.
Tinoisamoa had been in talks with the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. He decided to go with the Bears on Friday. The 6-1, 240 pounder played under Bears head coach Lovie Smith back in 2003. Smith, then the Rams defensive coordinator, coached the product out of the University of Hawaii in his rookie season. Since then, Tinoisamoa has put together a solid career and reputation. He's smart, quick, and strong which are all qualities of a Smith coached defense. “Productive” is probably another good word to describe Tinoisamoa. He recorded 661 tackles along with 10 sacks during his tenure in St. Louis.
The arrival of Tinoisamoa could spell the demise of another linebacker. He's most likely to start immediately at strong-side linebacker alongside Pro Bowlers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. The strong-side was occupied last season by Hunter Hillenmeyer and Nick Roach. Hillenmeyer is still recovering from sports hernia surgery. General Manager Jerry Angelo knows that adding depth is always a good thing.
"He's a real productive player," Angelo said in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune. "We don't necessarily need more production as much as we're just adding another good football player. It's not an indictment of our linebackers. If this works, great. If it doesn't work, we're still fine."