Tinoisamoa gives Bears an upgrade


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
It would be a real surprise if new Chicago linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa doesn't win the starting outside job formerly held by Nick Roach and Hunter Hillenmeyer.

Tinoisamoa signed a one-year contract, which probably means there is some doubt around the league about what type of defense best suits his skills. If there is one, it's probably the Bears' version of the "Tampa 2." Consider that Tinoisamoa's best season came as a rookie in 2003, when a man named Lovie Smith was his defensive coordinator and Bob Babich was the linebackers coach.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times suggests Tinoisamoa will ultimately settle into a role as a starter who comes out in nickel situations, and that sounds about right. When the Bears go to nickel, you figure their best bets will still be Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.

But overall, Tinoisamoa should upgrade the Bears' defense on first and second downs.