Chicago Sun-Times

Why haven't the Bears replaced Pisa Tinoisamoa yet?

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Let's dip into the mailbag for a question that I have received from a number of readers:

Q: Why haven't the Bears placed Pisa Tinoisamoa on injured reserve yet? What are the Bears doing? Why wait?

Patrick F., Miami

A: That's a good question, and I think there are probably a couple explanations to it. For starters, realize that there are not any prizes on the street right now. Check out the rosters of the St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and some of the other real woeful NFL teams right now. They would have jumped on difference makers weeks ago.

There have been a few e-mails that have suggested that the Bears are waiting to make a move to save money. I don't believe that is the case, and I've certainly pointed out instances in the past where it's appeared the organization has gone on the cheap. The Bears have six healthy linebackers on the roster right now, and it's not necessarily going to be a linebacker-for-linebacker swap here. The team is relatively healthy at this point, and could be waiting to make a move until a need area arises. Let's say a player at another position suffers a three- to four-week injury. Well, Tinoisamoa's spot could then be used to add a body for some depth at that position.

The Bears cannot put Tionisamoa on injured reserve right now and not replace him with a corresponding move because of rules regarding the practice squad. A club cannot carry eight practice squad players (which the Bears have right now) and have less than a 53-man roster if one of the practice squad players is in his final year of eligibility. I don't know for certain, but quarterback Brett Basanez and/or offensive tackle James Marten could be in their final year of practice squad eligibility.

Another reader has asked why the Bears don't pluck a player off another team's practice squad to sign to their roster. Not a bad idea. I'm sure they have a good idea of any players out there on practice squads that might be interesting, but it's not a slam dunk you can get a player that way. Further, it would eliminate the ability to fill a position of need in a pinch, if injuries struck. That's because if you sign a player off the practice squad of another team he must remain on your 53-man roster for a minimum of three weeks.

Finally, the Derrick Brooks question keeps coming. And coming. Why no Derrick Brooks? The Bears have made moves at linebacker already with an eye toward bolstering special teams. Brooks isn't a special teams player. Brooks blazed a path to Canton, Ohio, by playing weak-side linebacker. That's the one position the Bears have not had any injuries at. The Bears would be unlikely to sign a veteran like Brooks unless they planned to start him. Similarly, I don't know if Brooks would start unless he was ensured a starting job.

Lastly, what about Zach Thomas another reader asked. Thomas suffered a concussion in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. He's absolutely not an option for the Bears.

So, not a big deal here. My guess would be that the Bears make a roster move this coming week after evaluating what happens Sunday.

Stay tuned.

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My vote is for Dick Butkus with Roach moving to the strong side.

There has got to be a running back on someone's practice squad that would be worth keeping on the 53-man roster for the next few weeks with AP still gimpy. Maybe you get lucky and strike gold with him or at worst you potentially weaken another team.

Chauncey Washington in Dallas? Ian Johnson in Minnesota? PJ Hill in New Orleans?

I especially like Washington for the Bears system, he has speed and is a one-cut downhill runner.

Put Tommie Harris on IR too while you're at it!!!!!Or better yet, cut him altogether!!

Im fed up with Tommie Harris. If he was ever to get heathy again itd be different. I remember saying this in like July and people jumped all over me. Hes doing no good on the sideline and barely practices and has not made any specail plays yet this year. I say now they got to stick with him till the years up, but then I'd cut him. Sounds strange but they'd save a lot of money and could sign 2 good players with what their paying him. I dont see him worth more than 1.5 million a year, and that could be too much depending how much he plays

A player I would bring in to replace Tinoisamoa would be guard Tyler Reed, depending on his injury status of course. I remember Reed went down with a knee injury last summer, but I don't remember hearing if it was season ending or not? If Reed's knee injury wasn't season ending, Reed should be a no brainer. Guard is easily the weakest position on this team right now. Having another body at the position couldn't hurt. Reed has the size Chicago seems to want at 6-5 310lbs, and he should be familiar with Chicago's system being on their practice squad the last 3 seasons. Last summer Reed was coming on in camp, he was getting a rep winning all of the one on one battles he was in during drills. If Chicago wants to add size, Reed could be a player to bring in and check out. Especially if Omiyale continues to struggle. Sign Reed for a couple weeks and see if he could push Omiyale. The Bears need a guard that can get on his blocks and stay there, especially for the running game, Reed could be that guy. I liked all the things I heard about Reed last summer, especially his ability to win his one on one battles, just an idea.

Its game day, my hope for today is Marcus Harrison getting the start at the under tackle position will hopefully make a difference up front for Chicago. Tommie Harris hasn't been that effective this season, probably the knee? Harrison looked good last week starting at nose tackle, he's got great size and can penetrate, maybe he'll make a difference up front for Chicago? Having a player that can effectively play the under tackle position could make all the difference today for Chicago. And if Tommie Harris needs to sit, maybe having a player like Harrison come on at the under tackle position will allow Chicago to have the peace of mind to place Harris on IR. Chicago already has Adams and Toeaina to man the nose, so it isn't like their short at the position without Harris GO BEARS!!

Agreed Tripper and Anonymous: The Tommie Harris experiment has to end. I think Harris is getting cut next year. He's due a nice bonus next year. Might as well let him get truly healthy and see if he can make any big plays. He's turned into the Bears version of Kerry Wood.

Never mind: the GM already said he's healthy, so that shouldn't be an issue.

at least sit Harris till the playoffs. Lets see what the other guys can do that are at least healthy.
LB is the least of our worrys lol
Oline or we are toast. With Cicy DE out we should be alright, but that does not mean we can stay pat at G. Even Goon can have a good day once in a contract year.

Anonymous: "Im fed up with Tommie Harris. If he was ever to get heathy again itd be different. I remember saying this in like July and people jumped all over me."

I garauntee there names are not Creighton or Da Church because we were in total agreement. We said that unless Rod Marinelli was a surgeon he was not going to drastically improve this line. Mark Anderson and Wale Ogunleye are in contract years. No one on that line has shown the ability to take over and that all starts with Harris. He's playing like he's on roller skates and has been the weak link on that line. Hell even big Anthony Adams is being productive.

I think this week the d-line could get a big boost as it will no longer be 3 guys and a shell of a player out there. I wouldn't be surprised if they got after Palmer early and often.

Hey Brad,
While you are in the mood to field some questions, would you please give us an update on what is going on with the labor agreement, uncapped year, potential lockout, and all that stuff? Are they actively working on a solution to the problems behind closed doors, or is a lockout inevitable at this point? Is it likely that the NFL will miss games next season? This sort of feels like watching a train wreck in extreme slow motion.

Everyone fan, every player, every opponent knows this: All of the Bears problems have little to do with the injuries to 2 linebackers and everything to do with complete ineptitude on the part of Lovie Smith (bad head coach and bad defensive coordinator), and a bumbling Ron Turner (Turner has never been a winner anywhere - not even at the high school level).

Smith's team was unprepared for Atlanta and totally humiliated today.

Cutler will just have to stay healthy until Angelo runs Smith out of town.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 24, 2009 4:54 PM.

Marvin Harrison to the Bears wasn't a hoax, not really was the previous entry in this blog.

Aromashodu active vs. Bengals, will he play at receiver? is the next entry in this blog.

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