Worthwhile Starter When Healthy
With linebacker Nick Roach re-signing with the Bears, he is expected to start on the strongside according to head coach Lovie Smith:
“Nick Roach has just done everything we have asked him to do,” Smith said. “We’ve asked him to fill a lot of roles. Nick Roach is a starting linebacker for us. Nick Roach is our starting SAM linebacker. We’re just pumped up he decided to come back with us.”
With that said, the Bears top backup plans after Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Roach: recently signed special teams standout Brian Iwuh and sixth-round pick from West Viriginia, J.T. Thomas.
Translation: there’s need for Pisa Tinoisamoa.
Despite being injury-prone, the Bears are “keeping close tabs” on the former Ram, according to an NFL source.
Two options, if Tinoisamoa isn’t kept: Redskins’ Rocky McIntosh and former Bear Jamar Williams (Panthers).
McIntosh, who was one of the players we were interested in when Briggs was rumored to Washington in ’08, would be considered an upgrade over Pisa.
Pisa started 10 contests at strongside linebacker last season, and finished with 40 (33 solo, 3 in playoffs) regular season stops. He also recorded four tackles for loss, one sack and a forced fumble.
The 30-year old Hawaii product is believed to be in the final stages of knee rehab.
So, it’s yet to be determined whether or not the 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker would be ready for Week 1 against Atlanta.
Forte situation: Running back Matt Forte, his agent met Monday to talk contract extension. A “step forward” for both sides – Forte, Bears.