Chicago Sun-Times

Bears agree to terms with Pisa Tinoisamoa on 1-year contract

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Lovie Smith has a lot of faith in the play caller for his defense this season and the unit just added another part as linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa agreed to terms with the Bears on a one-year deal.

It's the biggest news on a busy Friday at Halas Hall when the team announced defensive lineman Israel Idonije has signed a two-year extension and seven of the team's nine draft picks have come to terms on four-year contracts.

While most of the focus this offseason has been on Jay Cutler and the revamped offense, the Bears will need to make significant strides on defense to compete in the NFC and Tinoisamoa could provide a boost in that regard. He's expected to be the frontrunner for the starting job on the strong side where Nick Roach and Hunter Hillenmeyer were expected to compete for the spot.

Tinoisamoa visited Halas Hall on May 20 and seemed at ease chatting with players and coaches alike on the field during an OTA practice. He passed a physical that day. He visited New England on Tuesday but the Patriots quickly moved to sign another linebakcer, Paris Lenon. There had been talk of a visit to Philadelphia but that never materialized and contract talks ramped up today.

He led St. Louis in tackles in four of the last six season, including during his rookie year in 2003 when he played for Smith and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Bob Babich. He's expected to be a two-down linebacker for the Bears, which last season meant being on the field about 63 percent of the time. Tinoisamoa chose the Bears over the Buffalo Bills, who he visited first after his release from St. Louis on May 8. Tinoisamoa had a relationship there as he knew Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell from his time in St. Louis.

If Tinoisamoa can improve the Bears against the run so the defense doesn't have to stack the line of scrimmage with as many eight-man fronts, his addition will be a success. The Bears were solid vs. the run last season but often times compromised the pass defense to stop it. When they didn't stack the box, they were overrun at times, like the 37-3 loss at Green Bay when the Packers rushed for 200 yards.

It's unknown how his addition will impact the rest of the roster. The Bears are expected to keep six linebackers on the 53-man roster or seven if they find a compelling reason to help special teams. Roach would figure to become a central figure for Dave Toub's special teams unit. FIfth-round pick Marcus Freeman is expected to make the team. That's five linebackers with the inclusion of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, and that puts Hillenmeyer in a battle to make the team. He is due to earn $1.5 million this season and is still recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia. He will need to be healthy in time for training camp to prove his value as a reserve at multiple positions. Jamar Williams and Joey LaRocque were both core members of special teams last season.

Tinoisamoa, who the Rams tried unsuccessfully to trade, is just the latest addition in what has been a busy offseason for general manager Jerry Angelo, who has proven the Bears are more versatile when it comes to constructing the roster, dispelling the notion it is a draft-driven franchise.

``We built this team many different ways,'' Angelo said. ``We've done it through the draft, we've done it through the free agency system, we've done it through trades. When you look at our roster over my tenure here, we probably have done it every which way you can do it. We really have. There are some teams that really abide by the draft. There are some teams that really look at free agency. I think we have had a good mesh of both in how we've done this and in a sound way.''

Tinoisamoa projects to be the fourth starter added since the start of free agency through means other than the draft. The team traded for quarterback Jay Cutler, signed guard Frank Omiyale on the open market and picked up another ex-Ram after St. Louis released Tinoisamoa's teammate Orlando Pace.

What remains to be seen is if the Bears will make a move to add help at wide receiver. The Bears tried to trade for Anquan Boldin and while it appears he's no longer on the market, Plaxico Burress is seeking work. He has drawn interest from three clubs, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus, and the Jets and Buccaneers are believed to be two of them. Burress' legal issues in New York will have to be resolved first, and progress could be made in the next few weeks. The Bears have also been exploring adding an experienced cornerback to their depth chart, bringing in Ken Lucas and Rod Hood for visits. They're out of the picture now but other veteran possibilities are available.

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YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yayayay great move. go bears!

Welcome! I don't blame him....Buffalo?

Everyone seems to be optimistic about the Bears offence. With the addition of Jay, it’s taken for granted that they will move the ball and score points even with sub-par receivers. The trouble starts when you look at the other side of the ball. The stats show that the Bears had trouble stopping the short to medium pass and who is primarily responsible for the short pass, the free safety. This just happens to be the weakest position on the team….. Or is it. I keep hearing that we need safeties but we have a guy that played the position in college and did a good job at it. He can run, cover the short pass and come up and help on the run. His name is Brian Urlacher. Don’t laugh; let’s just think about it for a minute. Urlacher has never been the best at shedding blockers and his back is not 100 % so he’s not going to improve any time soon. What is his strong points, running to the ball, covering ground and playing smart (being in the right place to make the play). So if he doesn’t have to take on blockers he is free to play to his strong points. And since he has had back trouble for the last few seasons this may extend his career a few years. Also, at this point finding a linebacker may be easier then finding a free safety. We could move Briggs to the Mike and let training camp competition sort out who plays the outside. Between Jamar Williams, Marcus Freeman, Nick Roach and Hunter Hillenmeyer we should be able to come up with enough talent to get the job done. And now with the addition of linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, this may be something we can seriously consider.

Bye Hunter, it was nice knowing you. Now you can put that Vandy degree to work.

Im stoked the upside to him and orlando pace is that they have something to prove since both werent shown a lot of interest.. samoans can play some ball and hope he contributes!! he did lead the rams in tackles and looks like hes still in good shape!

No way does Urlacher have the range for FS. Graham will be fine. Great pick up in Pisa

Great news!!! Pisa, will be very good at the SAM and now that he is signed the holes in the D are starting to be addressed. The linebacker core should now be top 5 in the league, the D line top 15, lets first see the new rookies and how Marinelli can do with the pass rush before we crown them as elite. The defensive backs should be top 10 with Tillman, Graham and Vasher solid. The Defense as a whole will finish top 10 to maybe top 3 if the stars align. Special teams top 3 and offense top 15 with the O line top 20, QB top 5, RB's top 10 and WR's top 20 because of Cutler, otherwise the WR's would be top 25 at best.

With that all said what the Bears and JA really need right now is to make another solid run at obtaining Boldin. He is really unhappy as a Cardinal and what a difference a #1 wide receiver like Boldin would make for Cutler this year.

The Bears have the money to pay him what he is looking for as a top wide out. How about trading Ogunleye and a draft pick to get Boldin. Ogunleye will be gone anyway next year and the D line seems to have some depth to it.

JA the Bears are right on the cusp of having a Super Bowl level quality team and a starting top level wide receiver like Boldin could be the difference maker for turning an average offense into a great offense.

At a minimum get Matt Jones.

JA get ER Done!!!!!


We are on a roll guys we a addressin all of the pressing needs now just pull the trigger on a veteran and I will once again be an Angelo believer.Great sign guys I am really impressed.

Just listen to you pathetic ants discussing this and that about MY Chicago Bears. Do you worthless insects even know how we got Pisa?

Let me give you lowly worms a clue: It was all because of me, me and ME. I personally sent my pal Jerry Angelo three voicemails, two e-mails and one note attached to a brick through his office window, advising him to get Pisa. You can bet ole Jer' never even thought of that until I shared my divine wisdom with him.

I've always liked Pisa. I was just telling my best friends Dave Toub and Rod Marinelli the other day how this kid has passion for what he does. You need passion. It makes the world go 'round. That's the philosophy by which I live my better than average life. Rule 1: Passion. Rule 2: Passion. Rule 3: Passion.

Passion, passion, PASSION! Everyday I have glass of passion fruit juice for breakfast. I think I know what passion is.

So what are you sickly parasites waiting for? Get on your weak, passionless knees and worship me, THE Supreme Ultimate Bears Fan. Something along the lines of "Thank you, Mr. Holland." or "You're number 1 Mr. Holland" will suffice.

I'll see what I can do about wide receiver now. But don't stop groveling you measly crumbs.

THE #1 Bears fan, Bill

Bears are just one wr from a superbowl!

Another great pick-up ! Again Jerry, I apologize for past comments directed at your lack of spine. All you need to do now is find a #1 reciever and sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Thanks again !!

I don't know how ANYONE !!! could not be happy with all the moves the BEARS have made this offseason !!!

I am excited for this year.

I am also a believer that a great QB will make his receivers better...

Great Job Jerry Angelo
Things never go according to plan in the NFL and the Chicago Bears have done a terrific job of depth in the offseason. So if we lose some of our starters we will still win. Except at quarterback and wide receiver we are looking way better depth wise. Wide receiver only because of inexperience. If Jay goes down, I'm terriffied. Tackle is deep, line backers are deep, tacke and end are deep too. RB and Corner. We have a lto of competition at a lot of postions.

Go Bears....a wide receiver? I don't know....I'd like AB but for how much? draft picks and is salary....Plaxico has an attitude problem....Matt is I've never met a drug I didn't like, Toomer is old....Ocho Cinco? what are the options?

Go Bears

Great move, I was hoping for him!! This will help the D and we could use alittle help there. I agree with dahlillhama about Bolden! If we got a guy of his caliber I would start bragging about a SuperBowl today. I think thats the only thing we are really lacking. Did anyone see Brandon Marshall is unhappy with his contract?? I bet he wouldn't mind commin a playing with Cutler and who else would be a better team to trade a defence player with than the Broncos??? They are still desperate at the D! I don't want Plax or Matt Jones! We need one more trade and then it's Superbowl time!! I knew Pisa wouldn't go to the Bills! Who the hell wants to play for the Bills? LOL


oh icknatz!

I really like this signing as I felt our LB needed upgrade. wow who is the new JA guy?

Where are all of the Buffalo fans who guaranteed that Pisa would sign with them. *Crickets* Yeah, yeah the bills are better then the bears at??????? Get the F outta here! Don't get upset because no wants to play in buffalo, give up the props when its due. And if we had to play the Bills we would show who has a better rap.....

Hey Supreme you must have way too much free time on your hands trying to sound like me on this message board. If you really were trying with "passion" you would have noted that I am friends with Coach Toub not Marinelli. Only you would use words like "parasites" and "pathetic ants" or "measly crumbs", that's all you!! That's ok, if it makes you feel good to keep reminiscing about the one time I got a little overboard with my comments that's your decision. But I promise I will let you in on the secret next time I give Jerry any tips on who to sign, you will be the first to know. Thanks again for keeping me in mind!!

The "REAL" #1 Bear Fan,


At least for Senator !!!

Ha, I'm sure he'd "pay to play".

Bears are looking good! Living in AZ but a lifetime Bear fan born in Chicago. Go after Anquan big time! He's there for the taking. A super competitor but not a deep threat. Let's leave that to Hester. Super Bowl is one #1 receiver away!

Way to go Jerry! This is a good pick up for the Bears. It is an upgrade at the strong side linebacker position and may also be some insurance should Urhlachers back become a problem again this year.

Does anyone else think that there is at least a little coincidence that JA has been active this off season following two disappointing seasons and the knowledge that Bill Cowher is lurking around without a coaching and GM job? I think the combination of those two facts have made it more necessary for JA to make a splash this year. Now Lovie has put these pieces together for the same reason.

st message failed so i hope this gets through. as a bears fan who has lived all over the country and spent three years following them in iraq, i feel i can be objective. lets start at qb... cutler, i love him. have been in nashville for seven years and seen him up close. he will be great no worries. if hanie has to step in for a couple of games i think we may be okay. he isn't a high pick but he has the tools and the players around him to succeed for a short time. forte seems to be one of the best young backs in the league. he should only get better once they pull eight off the line. let's not forget salaam and t-train and raymont harris the utlra back though. i think matt will be a stud but let's just see a second season first. jones you ask?? who hasn't flopped for the lions since sanders? i think he will turn out to be one of the best back ups in the league. i still think though that wolfe needs a legit shot. we have one of the best tight end sets in the league and i think the gaines signing helps us in short yardage situations. our wr's........ well..... there is no way we get boldin, not a chance. we used all our bullets on cutler, well worth it, but the well is dry. plaxico, or plexiglass as he was called?? cheap maybe. but for how long? is he doing jail time? is he being suspended? and i've been shot in the leg... you don't just come back from that. jones?? give him a shot. he's a work in progress but i don't want to hear the charcter issues. he blew some lines and got caught. what young person with money hasn't tried drugs? he drank some beer shooting 18? well no kidding!! he has the tools and will come cheap, give him a shot. toomer?? he's lloyd and booker all over again. our o-line? top fifteen and will get nothing but better once the season moves along and they start to gel, cutler is pretty mobile in the pocket. no comes the tough part and the biggest what if's..... d-line. lets give the youngsters a chance. i think marenelli is huge and might be able to help out our problems but ole is on the way out and anderson needs to revert back to form. dusty??? can he make it past game 2?? harrison showed flashes so let him play. same with pool guy and melton. we rotate seven anyways so what can it hurt to see what we will have in the future?? brown will be solid brown and harris can be top five if marenelli is all he's cracked up to be. we could have a top ten line if everything works out. lb's you ask??? top five with this latest signing, if, and a big if, the tackles can keep ol's off brian. now to the secondary......... peanut has long been overrated...... he is a good number two at best. if nate can get hungry and stay healthy we have a good pair of db's. dj moore was a steal and can compete a year or two from now. i think our new fs has the tools and the size and that's half the battle. that leaves payne vs steltz. don't sleep on steltz. lsu, all sec, talented athelete???? wouldn't mind seeing him play. overall if everything breaks right, we could make the nfc championship game, probably no more. and there is no way we beat the pats in the super bowl, as much as i would like to see another 46-10 drubbing, it isn't happening this year. the tools however are in place for the future. and if we crap the bed this year????????? are you telling me cowher or shannahan won't be chomping at the bit to come coach this team?? either way, the future is bright for the first time in a long time. it's good talking to real fans.

Killer Kane,

I couldn't agree with you more on the paranoia factor. It's amazing what a little fear of losing your job can do to one.

On another level: I like the Pisa signing, I think it is in fact an upgrade and great insurance for our team. Our D definitely needed some souping up. I would now love for my birthday wish to come true and for the Bears to sign an experienced WR. Go Bears, keep up the talent scouting and signing, I love seeing my (childhood traumatized viking fanned brother in law squeal with agony and denial.


no need to post a comment because I co-sign Micks comment 100%

Ok im going to just say it, SUPERBOWL!!!!

Why put our new star qb in the position to have to develop a group of receivers when there are several proven receivers out there waiting to be snagged up and i believe having a proven veteran reciever in the #1 spot he will make the other receivers better by taking all of the attention off of them mark my words if the Bears don't go get a veteran receiver this big offensive explosion we are all waiting for is not gonna happen because the receivers we have now aren't going to be to hard to shut down and thats going to take it back to stacking the box and shutting Forte down because if the receivers can't get open thats gonna cause alot of sacks and interceptions and whats Ron Turner do when that happens overloads the run and we will once again become predictable.So I do love the moves we have made but don't stop keep on grabbing talented players at a discount price and you will have done something everyone around you said couldn't be done and that totally changed the look and the way teams look at the Bears.

@ da#1bearsfan

The offensive explosion will still happen- if our reconstructed offensive line steps up and is able to give Cutler the time he needs to find a receiver.

You saw what happened to the Bears least season when they couldn't get to the QB- they made very mediocre QB's and WR's look like Pro Bowlers. Anyone in the NFL can look good with time in the pocket. Anyone.

There's no reason to think that Cutler won't be able to do the same with the young guys he has out there. He did it at Vandy and he did it in Denver- no one knew who Brandon Marshall or Eddie Royal were before they teamed up with Cutler.

And Cutler was able to find those guys because he had solid offensive line play and when protection broke down, he was able to create out of the pocket- if he can recreate some of that here, our young receivers will be fine.

Oh yeah. I'm telling everyone this right now. Look for Hester to have a HUGE season. Take a look at Steve Smith's stats in 2002- his first year as a receiver and compare them to Hester's- they are almost identical.

Steve Smith had a better Y/R average largely because he had a QB, Jake Delhomme, who could utilize his speed and hit him in stride. But receptions and TD's were almost identical AND Steve Smith started five more games than Hester did that season.

You heard it here first.

""Why put our new star qb in the position to have to develop a group of receivers when there are several proven receivers out there waiting to be snagged up and i believe having a proven veteran reciever in the #1 spot""

Ummm... Who is still available that would be a legit #1 WR ?????

If your thinking Boldin, well, he isn't a true #1 WR. He is an above average #2 at best. Just look how he performed when Fitz missed some time and you will agree. Plus, Angelo tried to get him draft day but the Cards shot him down and wouldn't even discuss other options to consemate a deal. He isn't going anywhere. If Arizona had any serious intention of trading him they would have done it already. The fact that the couldn't get anyone to ship them a first round draft pick and wouldn't accept a 2'nd rounder package means that they are going to keep him. He has 2-yrs left on his deal so it's not like he has any leverage now that the league has shown little interest in him. The Cards will give him and his new agent a nice 4-yr extension worth #30-something million and he will be happy.

If your thinking Burress, well, you should wait until the Court rules on him. He faces some real jail time and may not be available to play this season. He also could face a stiff suspension byt the league based on the conduct policy. Speeding, girl slapping, drugs, steriods are small potatoes compared to discharging an Un-registered firearm in public. I think if he gets lucky he will spend (6) month's in jail and get an (8) game league suspension once he gets out of the Clink !!

If your thinking Matt Jones, well, he is a big dude with some speed but he wasn't even a #2 with the Jags and his numbers aren't all that great compared to what we can expect to get from Hester. Besides, we already have a Matt Jones tyoe that is stuck in a numbers game at TE. His name is Kellen Davis... Davis is 6'7", 265 pounds and runs a 4.4 forty and has the hands of a WR already. He can't block much and Angelo added Gaines to the mix for that purpose. I bet Angelo stays pat at WR, asks Kellen to drop 10-pounds and compete as a wide-out in training camp...

Hunter, it was nice knowing you but be sure to turn in the playbook on the way out...

Go Bears !!

SWEET!!!! This is exactly what we needed. We are almost done rebuilding and can be a huge playoff contender!

because Cutler developed Marshall and Royal da#1bearsfan

Good acquisition, this will definitely improve the defense. However, the defensive line has to play a lot better, both in stuffing the run and rushing the passer. If it doesn't this will only have a small effect.

Great pick up for the Bears as long as he can stay healthy. On the no true number 1 receiver front I have to say with a QB like Culter and a solid O-Line I see them having no problem in the passing game. I mean don't forget they have Greg Olsen one of the best TEs in the game, their RB Forte who was just behind Olsen as their #2 leading receiver last year, and then Hester who has been developing into a solid receiver who can stretch the field. Add to that Earl Bennett who's got great body control and played with Cutler at Vandy. Plus their 2 solid draft picks in Juaquin Iglesias a prototypical possesson receiver with great hands(who was Sam Bradfords fav receiver and will see playing time as the #3 WR IMO) and Johnny Knox who ran a 4.34 40 at the combine as well he had over 1,000 yards receiving the 2 years he was at AC and 30 total TDs(profiles as a slot receiver with good speed and ball skills tho he may have trouble adjusting from a small school to the level of the NFL game). The Bears don't have ne big name receivers but big name WRs are made by having a franchise QB with a line that gives him enuff time to find receivers and Chicago has that. They do need help at Safety tho and a 6th round pick is not gonna cut it. I think they should move DJ Moore to Safety since he's most likely not going to start and doesn't have ideal size/speed for CB. What he does have is terrific hands/ball skills, good vision in the open field, and he's very physical for his size. I'm sure they wanted him to play Nickel which is an important position againest passing teams but their need at safety is more dire IMO and I think he could excel at Safety.

Hesters first season working with the WR's was 2007 not 2008 also Hester and Smith play different positions at WR. Be Happy if Hester has a Eddie Royal like season, that is probably a much better comparison than Hester and Smith.

Can anyone tell me how good Pisa Tinoisamoa is in coverage? He played weakside most of his career so switching too Strong will take some adjustment, probably not much but he will be lining up with the Tight End.

None of the signings are going to make a difference if the Bears defensive line doesn't hold up, thats the actual key to the season. The secondary will get shredded again if the Bears can't get to the QB with there front four. Right now that front four may be worse than last years. Harris is in decline and will probably be worse this year than last year, Ogunleye has only ever been good when he plays on a line with a lot of talent and is the second option at Pass Rusher, Brown is a nice player but he is not a Pass Rusher, and Adams will give you nothing as a Pass rusher. As for the others Harrison disappears to much, Dusty has those injury problems, Izzy is not a pass rusher, and the new kid is a rookie and a backup and the third DT in his rotation.

So were will the pass rush come from? Blitzing? That will only expose the Tampa 2. Are they going to play more nickle and blitz Manning over and over? Their is still a problem on the Bears defense and it's the defensive line, they need an overhall on that line in a big way before they become a contender. They got a legit shot at the playoffs in their division but they are not a contender with that defensive line and scheme. You cannot contend with a Tampa 2 line that can't generate a pass rush.

you guys bring up two interesting things I havent thought about! I think Kellen Davis moving to receiver is a good idea, but I'm not sure how good his hands are, but I do remember seeing him catch the ball. DJ Moore prob would be better at saftey. He could play more of the open field and his hight wouldn't be as big of a disadvantage for him. Davis would give us that Plax factor we're looking for and I think Moore would def push for a starting spot at saftey. He'd be like almost a Mike Brown for us. Good ideas!!

I agreed with what you wrote esp. Boldin, alot of people think he is WR1 quality. But you see the real deal there, But I would be more than happy to take a #2 #3 experienced WR right now. If thats what is there then it is what it is and lets at least get that before we rely on WR that havent even played. We can develope these young WR while having a good #2/#3 on the field. I mean Hester as much as I like him can not be considered a WR1 yet, this is his year, I hope he does it! And the Davis thing is VERY interesting, but again I would rather add a Jones who has experience and develope the young guys while knowing what we have on the field.
Maybe I am wrong about needing a experienced WR but no on will know untill the young WR play, and thats my point - if we bring in a experienced WR we will know we have that, cause if those young WR don't get the job done - it's too late to bring in the experienced WR then and game over.

Shaun, your not really trying to sell Davis being as good as Plax?. When Davis shoots himself in the leg and teams still want to bring him on their team, then Davis can be considered as even a Potential to Plax. Not saying Davis cant catch the ball and should not be tried but your talking Plax here. He may have personal issues but your talking WR abilities. Not trying to put down your post just trying to be realistic about WR abilities and potential. We got Cutler; how about some WR abilities instead of potential?
But I do agree with you that we need someone to come into the WR set. and your thinking of ways to do it. - I mean I think Cutler will def. make our WR better but stop and think of who we have. We do need a experienced WR to come in, and right now I would take just about anyone as compared to Hester being our most experienced WR. R.Davis is not considered as of yet because he has shown nothing the last few years, I thought he would do something but not as of yet.

I was thinking of the front four on the dline the other night and how we upgraded the oline but added a draft pick to the dline. I agree that the dline is once again the factor that will make or break our season. Cutler and the offense will win alot of games but someone has to rush/pressure the passer in the fourth when we get a lead via Cutler/Forte (YES!)
Harris is the one I was thinking of, he can not be considered even a full time starter yet so what do we have? I have not seen Og do anything the last 2 years either. I like the Adams/Harrison combo alot (with Rod) but we will not have any idea of what our Dline can do untill the fourth quarter of the second or third game. Remember the Colts game last year where we blew them off the field? It took several games for us to realize that our Dline wasnt worth a nickle back.

randy and anoymous:

Just a thought on the production and effective pass rush of the D line for this year. Marinelli, I believe will make a difference, but what really will make the difference is that historically when many players are on the last year of a contract before free agency, they often seem to have a better year than in past years. Ogunleye and Anderson are in this position, either or both may improve maybe due to Marinelli's influence or due to the fact they need that next big contract.

The bottom line is Bears D line will be more than adequate top 15 to top 10 and now the linebackers will be solid across the board and the corners will have depth, Graham will surprise at Free Safety.

The Bears really need a quality WR established NFL player whether it be Ocho, Boldin or Jones, just one established NFL wideout will make this team a legit SuperBowl threat.


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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 29, 2009 4:12 PM.

Make it seven: Bears ink another draft pick was the previous entry in this blog.

Filtering through the notebook: Tinoisamoa puts Bears' roster at 80 is the next entry in this blog.

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