Marinelli eager to begin working with McClellin
Marinelli eager to begin working with McClellin
By: Larry Mayer
Like a kid counting down the last few days before Christmas, Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can’t wait to unwrap a special gift that will arrive at Halas Hall later this week.
First-round draft pick Shea McClellin, a defensive end from Boise State, is slated to participate in his first NFL practices Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of the Bears rookie minicamp.
“It will be really exciting to see where he’s at and get him ready to go,” Marinelli said. “You want to give a player a tool box of tools to do his job. If you do a lot of different things, it means a lot of different tools. So you zero in on a few things, start to hone those and get him to play really fast and explosive.”
McClellin is a talented and versatile pass rusher who possesses natural instincts and a non-stop motor. A three-year starter at Boise State, he recorded 130 tackles, 33 tackles-for-loss, 20½ sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 49 career games.
The 6-3, 260-pounder registered 13½ tackles-for-loss and 9½ sacks as a junior in 2010 and 12½ tackles-for-loss and seven sacks as a senior in 2011.
“It’s been well-documented about his motor,” Marinelli said. “He really hustles and is a great effort guy. But I see a little bit more than that. One of the things you look for is instantaneous reaction to movement. Sometimes that doesn’t come across in the 40, but he’s really good at that.
“He’s got that short space quickness. We talk about instincts and awareness as a pass rusher. He’s got a lot of that and he’s got the movement we’re looking for.”
While some NFL draft analysts projected McClellin as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, the Bears feel that his athleticism, size and speed make him a prototype end in their system.
Marinelli compares McClellin to Rams 1998 third-round pick Leonard Little and Lions 2008 third-round choice Cliff Avril. Little was a linebacker at Tennessee who developed into a productive pass-rushing end while playing for Lovie Smith in St. Louis, while Avril converted from linebacker to end at Purdue before starring for Marinelli in Detroit.
McClellin and Avril are the same size and possess similar athletic traits.
“It’s hard to build speed if they don’t have it,” Marinelli said. “Eventually they’ll fill out and grow, like [Bears defensive tackle] Henry [Melton] did. Henry went from a running back to an end [at Texas] to an under tackle.”
Understanding the adjustment that rookie defensive ends face, Marinelli will keep things simple while focusing on fundamentals with McClellin.
“Pass rush is the hardest because everything they’ve done in college usually doesn’t work in the NFL,” Marinelli said. “Sometimes you beat guys because you’re faster than them or a little bit more athletic. But now these guys are making their living pass-blocking. Hand placement, sets and protections are different.
“That’s where a young rusher loses confidence. So I think it’s important that you don’t do a lot with him when you bring him in. You teach him your base, you teach him how to rush and really work hard on the take-off.”
Watching tape, Marinelli was most impressed with McClellin’s natural instincts.
“It’s like Julius [Peppers] in a way,” Marinelli said. “I’m not saying he’s Julius. But the hand-eye coordination, tipping balls, picking balls, he’s got a feel for this stuff, and that’s what you want as a rusher. You’ll be going full speed, the ball will be thrown and then bam, you’ve got to tip it.
"And then there’s his athleticism, He’s never on the ground. He’s on his feet all the time.”
Marinelli excited to work with top pick
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Is it Friday yet? Thanks for the read. I can't get enough of it, even though it is just the same ole story. The college stats don't mean anything, not to this team anyways, not in the proper context. I've already bought into Shea but that was not a selling point.
One thing that gets old reading about the rookies is the player profiling. I understand why, I'm sure most scouting reports are narrowed down to just one name. It paints a picture, but no, hell no, McClellin is not Peppers. Shea is his own good, bad, and ugly self, if you want to convey that they both have great instincts and reactions for the game I understand. However, I just don't like thinking of other players (players that have history and production in this league) and then projecting out because you know high or low your going to be off. Does give you Marinelli's mind set though.
The comment made about "Sometimes you beat guys because you're faster than them or a little more athletic," is interesting, (the main question) and it's one that can not be answered through any mini camp. Can't wait to hear how the coaches and players follow up on that tid bit. Hell, I can't wait to see for myself... Like I said earlier, going to feel like a long offseason.
Last edited by A-11; 05-08-2012 at 09:10 AM.
Reason: Fixed Paragraphs. =P
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Maybe we should pay a bounty to Peppers, McClellin, Melton, and Paea to take out Aaron Rodgers when the Bears play the Packers.
Just kidding guys. Just kidding.