Chicago Sun-Times

Recently in Rod Hood Category

The Bears have made it official with a series of moves today to reach the 53-man roster limit before proceeding to the start of the 2009 season. The players will get back to work with practice Monday at Halas Hall. Here are the moves reported on the team's Web site:

CB Charles Tillman was promoted from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster

RB Kevin Jones was placed on inured reserve with a torn ligament in his left ankle

DE Henry Melton was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury

S Dahna Deleston was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury

Melton's ankle injury was not believed to be serious and it could be a way to stash the fourth-round pick from Texas on the squad for a year. The problem is he cannot practice while on IR so the only work he can do is in the classroom and weight room. This marks the third time in four years the Bears have placed at least one draft pick on IR prior to the opening of the season. It could be concerns about depth on the interior of the line cost him a spot as the Bears kept tackle Matt Toeaina, who right now figures to be third in the rotation at nose tackle.

Here are the official cuts:

QB Brett Basanez
FB Jason Davis
FB Will Ta'ufo,ou
WR Eric Peterman
WR Brandon Rideau
G Johan Asiata
OT Cody Balogh
G Dan Buenning
C Donovan Raiola
DE Ervin Baldwin
DE Joe Clermond
LB Marcus Freeman
LB Kevin Malast
LB Darrell McClover
LB Mike Rivera
CB Rudy Burgess
CB Rod Hood
CB Marcus Hamilton
CB Woodny Turenne

Either I missed the story online that is in Saturday's print edition, or somewhere it got lost in the shuffle on the World Wide Web. So here is the unedited version of the story that is or was to be printed in Saturday's paper:

The Bears are going to have to evaluate one of the first goals of their offseason after discovering Friday running back Kevin Jones will miss the season with a torn ligament in his left ankle.

Jones, who they were featuring Thursday against Cleveland at Soldier Field to get a little extra work in before the regular season begins, jumped into the air along the sideline and when he landed on his left foot it buckled. An MRI revealed the damage and he will undergo surgery next week. Rehabilitation is expected to take 10 months, but Jones proved he was a quick healer when he came back from a torn ACL in his right knee last summer.

While he was a luxury addition last year, Jones was headed for an expanded role as Matt Forte's primary backup when he returned with a $3.5 million, two-year contract. Adrian Peterson might have been on the bubble to make the club and now he's a lock for the 53-man roster when it's officially announced later today along with Garrett Wolfe. The Bears could seek a free agent but word around the league was they are content to roll with three backs for now.

``We were anxious to give him a lot of carries and see where he was,'' offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. ``I feel bad for him. He's had a good training camp and I know he was looking forward to getting a chance to make some plays and was excited about playing. You hate to see it.''

The question is whether or not Forte will get off the field. He rarely did last season, participating in 84 percent of the club's offensive snaps, the highest figure for a back in the league. Forte was third in the NFL with 316 rushes, and when you add in 63 receptions, he had 379 touches, most for the Bears since Walter Payton had 434 in 1984. Turner talked on multiple occasions last season about working in others, and the danger now is it will be all talk again. Forte was dogged by a toe injury late last season and the workload wore on him a little bit on his way to setting a rookie franchise record with 1,238 yards.

``It's tough,'' Forte said. ``A.P. has been playing, this is his eighth year, he knows what he's doing too. We've got Garrett too. We don't have any issues with that. We're real confident with both of them getting in the game.''

The Bears have informed veteran cornerback Rod Hood he will be released three days after the club signed him with durability concerns plaguing the defensive backfield.

This greatly increases the chances Trumaine McBride and D.J. Moore make the roster.

Check back for more soon.

sheed.jpg

There is throwing darts against the wall, taking a stab at something, giving it the ol' college try and taking a shot in the dark.

Somewhere amongst those exercises falls my effort to select the Bears' 53-man roster before it is selected by the men who make the decisions--Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith and their staffs. The best guess after evaluating training camp, preseason, past history and everything else that goes into trying to enter another man's mind will appear in Thursday's edition of the Sun-Times. We'll lay it out here on Thursday for continued discussion, a much worthier topic than what you're actually looking forward to seeing in the preseason finale vs. the Cleveland Browns. Final cuts, by the way, are due to the league office by 5 p.m. Saturday.

But I'll list some bubble players here, some that made my 53 and others who didn't:

Offense

Adrian Peterson: A coach once called the veteran running back a security blanket for his ability to stick around. He doesn't do anything particularly well where he jumps out at you, but he does everything the right way and is about as reliable a player as you will find on the roster. In my estimation, a roster spot comes down to him and tight end Michael Gaines (more on that in a little bit). Peterson ran hard and ran well last Sunday in Denver, prompting one scout from another organization to inquire about what kind of guy he is. If the Bears let Peterson go, he's likely to find work elsewhere. The obvious plus to keeping a player like Peterson is his ability on special teams, but he wasn't quite as strong in that phase last season as he was in previous years.

Devin Aromashodu: From the looks of things there are three wide receiver battling for two roster spots. Yes, it strikes me as odd that the team that gets off the bus running is going to keep six wide receivers, but that's what happens when they draft three and plan to keep two--Juaquin Iglesias and Johnny Knox. Aromashodu has the least special teams value of the wide receivers on the bubble, at least based on his use in preseason. But he's a big target who Jay Cutler started referencing early in training camp before anyone knew who he was. When Aromashodu is on the field, Cutler looks his way. if the quarterbacks gets a vote, and boy we know he'd like one, he sticks.

Rashied Davis: Of the wideouts who circulate through with the first team, none got less action than Davis. He's trying to regain some momentum after a 2008 season in which he was used completely out of position by the coaching staff. Davis simply hasn't done much on offense and Cutler has not thrown a pass to him in preseason. But if you were starting to cross him off your list, he made tackles on the first two special teams plays of the game at Denver. Davis also has experience in the slot, even if Earl Bennett is getting most of the work there right now, especially in some of the packages where tight end Greg Olsen is flexed out wide.

Brandon Rideau: He opened the preseason as the No. 3 wide receiver on the depth chart and he's remained in that spot as he was the first one off the sideline when the Bears went to three at Denver. But Cutler has not looked his way like he has Aromashodu. Rideau, however, scores points because he's been more active on special teams than Aromashodu. They are both about the same size and offer something different for the quarterback in the system.


Michael Gaines: Signed to be a blocking tight end and an H-back who could also line up in the backfield, Gaines just hasn't gotten a lot of action in preseason. It's hard to justify keeping four tight ends on the roster unless there is going to be a specific duty for each one on Sundays. Typically, the Bears keep a fourth tight end for practice purposes on the practice squad, and the expectation is they will do that again this year. Gaines could help, though, because Jason McKie is the only fullback expected to make the roster. Having Gaines would give the team some flexibility if they needed help at the position during a game.

roderick_hood.jpg

The Bears might have been runnerup for the services of Rod Hood the first time around, but they look to be in position to land the veteran cornerback in time for the regular season.

Hood was released Monday by the Cleveland Browns and he expects to sign a contract with the Bears today a little more than three months after the team had him in on a free-agent visit. The team had also investigated Ken Lucas as a possibility.

``I like the Bears, I like coach Lovie [Smith] and I like all the coaches,'' Hood said. ``I had a good experience when I was there and I don't need to know why I didn't sign there the first time because I had a good feel for everything about them. I'm just glad they were still interested in me.''

Hood can provide insurance as starting cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman have yet to appear in a preseason game as they work their way back from injuries. The Bears have been going with former Pro Bowl performer Nathan Vasher and Trumaine McBride, and Vasher doesn't appear to be the same player any longer and McBride did not play well Sunday night at Denver, missing a couple tackles and being beat by ex-Bear Brandon Lloyd for a catch near the goalline.

``I've been a starter in this league but all I am looking for is an opportunity to go out there and compete,'' Hood said. ``Wherever they can use me, I am willing.''

corners.jpg


The Bears have kicked the tires of two veteran cornerbacks now and both have signed elsewhere after news this morning out of Cleveland that Rod Hood is expected to sign with the Browns.

Prior to the draft, the club brought in Ken Lucas after he was cut loose in Carolina. Eventually, he returned to his former home in Seattle.

From the looks of things the Bears at least investigated Hood, who looked like a fit as a veteran with plenty of starting experience and good size at 5-11, 198 pounds, because Corey Graham is being shifted to free safety. Hood could have instantly provided an insurance policy as a No. 3 cornerback and worked behind Danieal Manning as the nickel back at a position where there is no such thing as too much insurance.

It will be interesting to see if the Bears continue to take a look at the market for available corners because while their depth chart shows plenty of bodies at the position, there are some legitimate health concerns with half of the bunch. We'll elaborate shortly. Ex-Bear Ricky Manning Jr. remains on the open market. While picking up his game tickets at a Tampa hotel days prior to the Super Bowl, Manning said he would not rule out a return to the Bears, and despite a rocky ending with the Bears, he left on classy terms. That seems unlikely. Chris McAlister is on the street. He is still rehabbing a knee injury and although reports indicate he'll be cleared for a return to football activities by late June, is he someone a team could count on going into the season? Bringing in someone with injury issues to back players with injury issues might just clutter the training room. McAlister also had run-ins last season with Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Aaron Glenn, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, Ty Law and another ex-Bear, R.W. McQuarters, are some other corners with high mileage that are available.

Maybe none of them are tempting. Maybe there is one out there the Bears will take a good look at. As we wrote last week, just remember back to Chris Thompson vs. Steve Smith in the 2005 playoff loss to Carolina for a refresher on what a thinned out depth chart at cornerback can look like on a bad day. Some have blamed the last-second loss at Atlanta in 2008, at least partially, on Marcus Hamilton's poor play covering Michael Jenkins. Wherever you want to lay the blame--and in this case there were plenty of choices--the Bears were dealing with inexperienced cornerback play.

The Bears will not be landing veteran cornerback Rod Hood.

His agent Joel Segal said last week that his client would have a new team some time this week, and he does. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Hood will sign a contract to play for the Cleveland Browns.

Hood visited the Bears last Thursday, just one of a handful of teams that pursued him in the last month after he was cut loose by the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals. Detroit and St. Louis were also believed to be in the mix, and Hood had visited Cleveland's rival in Cincinnati.

pisa526.jpg

The Bears are not believed to have offered contracts to free agents Pisa Tinoisamoa or Rod Hood last week, but decisions could be looming for them this week.

It was originally reported that Tinoisamoa, who first visited the Buffalo Bills, would also take a trip to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Daily News has disputed that, and right now the former St. Louis Ram has the Bills and Bears to choose between. The linebacker would likely shoot to the top of the depth chart quickly on the strong side for the Bears. He starred as a rookie in St. Louis under Lovie Smith and Bob Babich.

Hood has drawn more interest. He reportedly has a contract offer from the Rams and has also has been pursued by Cleveland and Detroit. He would provide the Bears with an experienced third option at cornerback now that Corey Graham has been shifted to safety. Hood has good size at 5-11, 198 pounds, and that makes him an attractive option. His agent Joel Segal said he expects his client to have a new teams some time this week.

The Bears might not have a deadline to get these moves done but would no doubt like to have the players on board by the end of the week. That's, of course, if the team plans to pursue them with contracts offers. Veteran players are off this week while the coaches work with rookies at Halas Hall. Getting Tinoisamoa and/or Hood signed by the end of the week would put them in position to participate in OTA's that start again on Monday. The newcomer(s) would have 12 OTA sessions to get a crash course on the defense before the break before training camp.

We'll check back with more during the day.

Lots of good information came out of the OTA on Wednesday at Halas Hall. The Bears wrapped up things with another practice this afternoon that was closed to the media. Let's get right into the mailbag.

Q: The Bears seem to have many question marks entering the season including: How will Jay Cutler adjust to the Bears and will he have enough to back him up should he get injured? Will the receivers step up? Will the offensive tackles stay healthy? Can Kevin Jones be a productive backup? Will the defensive line get pressure on the quarterback? Are the defensive backs talented and healthy enough to fill all four spots? I feel most of these things have a pretty good chance of happening. My question then is this: Could you rank these question marks from most to least likely to happen this year?

Nik B., Indianapolis

A: There may be some question marks but certainly this team looks much better than it did in January. It's interesting because there was no buzz or enthusiasm when the team gathered for minicamp in mid-March. When minicamp is within six weeks or so of the Super Bowl, that's understandable. There was real electricity to the OTA on Wednesday, the kind of vibe you're used to getting in training camp. Let's take a look at these issues.

1. Will the defensive line get pressure on the quarterback?

This is far and away the most legitimate and biggest concern on your list. The Bears struggled generating any pressure with the front four last season and that led them to blitz more than any team in the league. They're banking on defensive line coach Rod Marinelli providing a major upgrade. Without an improved pass rush, this defense will struggle to crack the top half of the league.

2. Will the receivers step up?

The team's optimism is based on the success Cutler had with young receivers Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal in Denver. Keep in mind the tight ends and running back Matt Forte will play a big role in the passing game as a whole. But, yes, they have to get greatly increased production from the wide receivers.

3. Will the offensive tackles stay healthy?

That's a fair question but a lot of teams are going to be in a bind if one of their tackles goes down, especially the left tackle. Orlando Pace has battled injuries the last three seasons but he played in 14 games last year. Chris Williams will have to play a full season to prove his back is not an issue. The good news for the Bears is they have a veteran backup in place in Kevin Shaffer and some view Frank Omiyale's best position as tackle. So there are alternatives on the roster.

4. Are the defensive backs talented and healthy enough to fill all four spots?

Charles Tillman remains sidelined as he recovers from shoulder surgery. He will be full go well before training camp. This unit should be OK. For the defense to improve, it has to generate a pass rush.

5. Can Kevin Jones be a productive backup?

We wrote on Wednesday that Jones looked fluid running around. Remember, he was still working his way back from ACL reconstruction at this time a year ago. He could be poised to carry the ball 100 times this season.

6. Will [Cutler] have enough to back him up should he get injured?

What team is in good position if it's starter goes down? It would have made sense to us if the team had pursued Byron Leftwich when he was available but we don't see any names out there right now that make us exclaim, `Yeah, if Cutler goes down the Bears are in good hands with fill-in-the-blank.'' At this point, we're convinced a developed Hanie could be as successful (or unsuccessful) as most of the available options and just might be better.


rodhood.jpg

The Bears could have even more competition for veteran cornerback Rod Hood.

That is after news came out of San Francisco today that veteran cornerback Walt Harris, the first-round pick of the Bears in 1996, will likely miss the entire season after tearing an ACL in an offseason workout on Tuesday. The 49ers could be in the market for a corner and likely know Hood well after he started 30 games for NFC West rival Arizona the last two seasons.

Hood visited the Detroit Lions on Monday and has reportedly received a contract offer from St. Louis. Cleveland is also believed to be interested but Cincinnati, another team he has visited, is out of the picture. Hood was released April 28 when the defending NFC champion Cardinals also let Edgerrin James and Travis LaBoy. He was scheduled to earn $3 million this season and was relegated to a No. 3 role after the club signed Bryant McFadden in free agency.

"Rod is looking for a team with a strong chance to win,'' said agent Joel Segal, who expects to have a deal in place for his client within a week.

Hood will not get $3 million annually from the Bears, and he might have a better shot at working his way into a starting job elsewhere. The Bears lined up Nathan Vasher at right cornerback at the first OTA on Wednesday and had Zack Bowman at left cornerback filling in for Charles Tillman, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery in January.

Pisa Tinoisamoa was the scheduled guest at the Bears' first OTA of the offseason today and they'll have another one at Halas Hall on Thursday.

Veteran cornerback Rod Hood is scheduled to make a visit, news first reported on profootballtalk.com. He has repotedly been offered a contract by the St. Louis Rams and is also drawing interest from Cleveland and Detroit. Hood was cut loose by the Arizona Cardinals after starting 30 games for them over the last two seasons.

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Rod Hood category.

Roberto Garza is the previous category.

Rod Marinelli is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.