Bears

Restaffing/up-sizing Bears D continues with Tracy Porter signing

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Restaffing/up-sizing Bears D continues with Tracy Porter signing

It is another sub-radar signing in the Bears’ 2015 but is also another that underscores the magnitude of possible changes coming to one of the NFL’s worst 2014 defenses.

The Bears signed veteran cornerback Tracy Porter to a one-year contract, bringing in another tall (5-foot-11) cornerback candidate for the job opposite Kyle Fuller (5-foot-11) in a defense that could have as many as eight new starters from the lineup that finished last season.

[RELATED - Fresh mentors point to fast turnaround for Bears' defense]

Porter will be among a group of cornerbacks competing to fill a spot for so many years set with Charles Tillman in place. Along with Porter, the Bears have signed Alan Ball (6-foot-2) and brought back Demontre Hurst (5-foot-10), Al Louis-Jean (6-foot-1) and Sherrick McManis (6-foot-1). One of the group rates a strong chance of pushing incumbent Tim Jennings (5-foot-8), whose future has been projected to lie inside as the nickel corner.

Porter, plagued in recent seasons with injuries, was a second-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2008 while Bears GM Ryan Pace was director of pro personnel for the Saints. Porter contributed an interception of Peyton Manning to the Saints’ Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2009.

After four seasons in New Orleans, Porter signed a one-year deal for 2012 with the Denver Broncos, then coached by John Fox, but he suffered a concussion and played in only five games. Porter played 2013 with the Oakland Raiders and 2014 with the Washington Redskins, but finished last season on injured reserve after three games with a shoulder injury.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans]

Washington signed Porter to a two-year contract worth $6 million but released the seven-year veteran earlier this offseason after he missed the start of organized team activities.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

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USA TODAY

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.