The Bears brought Pisa Tinoisamoa into the mix last season thinking he would fit in great with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. He never really got the chance to fit in because in week one he suffered a knee injury, that happened to be the same game that Brian Urlacher broke his wrist. Tinoisamoa tried to come back in week six, but he re-aggravated his knee.
The 28 year old, forced a fumble in that week one game against Green Bay and looked like the perfect complement to Pro Bowlers Urlacher and Briggs
Tinoisamoa is supposed to win the job, but he has to battle Nick Roach and Hunter Hillenmeyer, two very steady linebackers in the NFL to win the starting gig.
Hillenmeyer had his best season as a Bear last season, when he filled in at middle linebacker for Brian Urlacher for 14 games. He recorded 90 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles and was the main reason the Bears secured a victory of Minnesota in week 17.
Nick Roach also had his best year as a Bear because he filled in for Tinoisamoa at strongside linebacker. He recorded 74 tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles. Him and teammate Jamar Williams have yet to sign their one year tenders.
Here’s what Tinoisamoa had to say about his return to the windy city:
“I’m happy to be back, I wanted to get back healthy so that I could finish what I started.”
“I think as long as I can be healthy for the whole season, then I’ll be able to produce, my health is first and foremost. The production will come along naturally with it.”
“Hopefully I’m not the same player; hopefully I’m better, that’s my goal. I’m at a point in my career where I’m smarter, and physically I feel like I’m in some of the best shape I’ve been in a long time. So hopefully I can be better than I was before.”
Linebacker will again be a strong suit for the Bears. But hopefully Tinoisamoa, Urlacher and Briggs can all stay healthy because if they can play behind Julius Peppers, Tommie Harris and company for the whole season this defense could be better than 2006.
Welcome back Pisa.
All quotes from chicagobears.com