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.”
Hood is entering his seventh season in the league, spending the last two years with the Arizona Cardinals, where he started 15 games last year. His first four seasons were in Philadelphia. He’s got good size at 5-11, 198 pounds, and is someone the Bears obviously targeted following his release from Arizona after the Cardinals signed Bryant McFadden in free agency. He wound up with the Browns but sounded relieved to be out of Cleveland, which comes to Soldier Field for the final preseason game Thursday.
“You know what, from growing up I have always been told when you can’t say anything good about something, don’t say nothing at all,” Hood said. “It is a blessing for me to be able to come to a team of this sort. I learned one thing when I was over there, it was when Teddy Atlas came to speak to the team. He told us about surviving and winning. The two words are similar but you can’t have both. If you’re just surviving, that gets in the way of winning. It was one of the greatest speeches I’ve ever heard. Other than that, I don’t care to go into it.”