Bears sign veteran safety Nelson to futures contract

The Chicago Bears signed safety Tom Nelson to a reserve / future contract Tuesday.

The 5-11, 200-pound Nelson has appeared in 24 games with three starts over three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (2009-10) and Philadelphia Eagles (2011), recording 28 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed. A native of Arlington Heights, Illinois, Nelson played collegiately at Illinois State.

Paw Prints: New Bears head coach continues to fill out his coaching staff with imports from his CFL Montreal Alouettes staff. The  Bears have hired Brendan Nugent and Carson Walch as offensive quality control coaches.

Nugent spent 2012 in Montreal under head coach Marc Trestman as the Alouettes assistant on special teams and offensive quality control coach. He spent the previous five seasons (2007-11) at William & Mary coaching both the running backs and tight ends. He started in the collegiate coaching ranks in 2005 at the University of Iowa as the Hawkeyes offensive undergraduate assistant, a position he held for two years. Nugent got his first coaching job at Archbishop Stepinac High School in his hometown of White Plains, New York, overseeing the linebackers in 2004. Collegiately he played linebacker for three seasons at Catholic University of America.

Walch spent the last three seasons in Montreal under Trestman. In 2012 he served as the Alouettes wide receivers coach after spending two years (2010 and 2011) as Montreal’s special teams quality control coach. Prior to his time in Montreal, Walch spent three seasons (2007-09) at his alma mater, Winona State – his second stint coaching at the university. The last two seasons he was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. During his first stint at the school (2000-02), Walch was a student coach before being named receivers coach and passing game coordinator. In 2006, he was the special teams coordinator and running backs coach at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. From 2003-05 Walch was the offensive coordinator at Dakota State University, while working with the quarterbacks and running backs. Walch was an All-American, All-Region and All-Conference running back, receiver and return specialist for Winona State from 1996 to 1999.  As a senior he was named a regional finalist for the Harlon Hill Award which goes to the top player in Division II Football.

The Bears also made it official with the hiring of Tom Tibesar as linebackers coach. Tibesar (TIB-eh-sar) spent 2012 as Purdue’s defensive coordinator/linebackers coach after working the previous three seasons under head coach Marc Trestmanin Montreal as the Alouettes linebackers coach (2009-10) and defensive coordinator (2011).

Prior to his time with the Alouettes, Tibesar worked three years at Kansas State running the special teams in 2006 before being named defensive coordinator for the final two seasons (2007-08). In 2007 the Wildcats led the Big 12 in sacks per game (30 sacks in 12 contests). In 2006, K-State led the nation in special teams scores (seven), topping the country with three kickoff return touchdowns and finishing second with three punt return touchdowns, while adding a fumble return touchdown.

Tibesar started his coaching career at Cornell as the team’s tight ends coach in 2000 before spending five seasons working at his alma mater, North Dakota. He first worked as the Fighting Sioux’s inside linebackers coach in 2001, a position he held for three seasons. In 2004, he was promoted to defensive coordinator. During his two seasons as defensive coordinator, North Dakota ranked first in the North Central Conference in scoring defense, total defense, pass efficiency defense and sacks.

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