Core special teams linebacker Sam Acho is returning to the Bears

Core special teams linebacker Sam Acho is returning to the Bears
Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho takes part in a practice on June 4, 2015. Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune

It was just a matter of time before linebacker Sam Acho made his return to the Chicago Bears. On Monday, his agency Sports Trust Advisors announced that Acho is re-signing with the Bears.

The 27-year-old Acho earned a one-year contract with the Bears around this team a year ago on April 1. This new contract is again a one-year, prove-it deal something that he told me last year was something that gave him an extra chip on his shoulder. I'm sure Acho has the same mindset right now.

Acho appeared in 15 games for the Bears in 2015, making seven starts. He ranked seventh on the team in tackles with 39 while adding a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Acho was also credited with four quarterback hurries, three tackles for a loss and a pass breakup. He also had eight combined special teams tackles for Jeff Rodgers's unit which ranked fourth-best.

The 6'3", 257-pounder played the fifth-most snaps of any Bears linebacker a season ago and finished third in terms of snaps at outside linebacker behind Pernell McPhee and Willie Young with 446 snaps (43.3 percent). He also took the field for 287 special teams.

Although he failed to record a sack or make much of an impact as a pass rusher, Acho proved to be a reliable special teamer and a key piece of depth.

He joins safety Chris Prosinski, wide receiver Josh Bellamy, wide receivers Marc Mariani and Deonte Thompson and cornerback Sherrick McManis as the core players returning to help on the third phase.

Prior to latching on with the Bears,the Texas product was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, racking up 13 sacks, three interceptions, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries from 2011-14 with the Cardinals.

He had this to say in an exclusive interview on April 16 about the Bears' defense.

“More than just the 3-4 scheme. I look behind that scheme. John Fox is a defensive minded coach. Then you look at Vic Fangio and everything he’s done in San Francisco and Baltimore and the college ranks he’s been successful everywhere he’s gone.

No matter what the scheme is it’s always the mind behind the scheme. With coach Fox and coach Fangio those are two men who’ve proven it at multiple levels and have proven success defensively. They’ve shown that in fact defenses can win championships.”

Acho is a model citizen on and off the field and can help any NFL locker room really gel. He's a very smart guy with a high football IQ. He proved that he will be making an impact in this world well after his professional football career is over.

He also fits the mold of what it means to be a Chicago Bear especially under the new regime with Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox.

For what it's worth, Acho ranked 56th overall out of 127 total linebackers by Pro Football Focus in 2015. He had an overall rating of 69.9 with a 76.8 rating in coverage and a 71.2 rating against the run.

The Bears now have four outside linebackers under contract in Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston and now Acho. Acho is both versatile and gifted in terms of staying in his gaps defensively and holding down his assignments on special teams. He can move inside if need be as well.

Acho is the 12th player to be re-signed by the Bears this off-season. The Bears have reached agreements with 17 total players this off-season.

What do you think of the re-signing of Sam Acho? Weigh in with your thoughts below.

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Filed under: Bears News

Tags: Bears, Chicago, Sam Acho

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