One area of our defense that was a disaster last year still remains in an unsettled state even as we head toward training camp just three weeks or so away. The depth charts haven't been published yet but anyone whose followed that OTAs and mini-camp knows who the lead dogs are at most of the defensive positions except for LB. We know that Allen, Paea, Ratliff, and Houston will be the front line front four, Tillman and Jennings will be the starters and CB with Fuller sliding in at LCB in the nickel while Jennings moves to the slot, and we know that Mundy is the starting FS. Vereen has been playing FS with the ones so far but there's an underlying current that says he's only keeping it warm until Conte returns and that Conte will be given first chance to keep his spot in the preseason. What we still don't know though is who the starting LBs will be other than Briggs. Even the coaches don't all seem to agree on it and the media simply adds more confusion. Trestman has been quoted as saying that D.J. Williams is the "lead dog" at MLB yet LB coach Reggie Herring has been awfully complimentary of Jon Bostic and his speed and coverage skills calling him possibly the best coverage LB on the team. Bostic has also seen a fair amount of time playing MLB with the ones so far in OTAs and mini-camp. So the situation seems far from settled just yet and since both can also play SLB one over riding the other at MLB still doesn't mean the other will sit. At SLB we've been hearing all along that position belongs to McClellin first but that he'd have competition from Bostic and possibly Greene. Now I'm not so sure. In two separate articles by Bears media writers one had the depth chart going into camp with DWill at MLB and Bostic at SLB. The other still had McClellin at SLB with Bostic being used as a nickel LB in place of DWill. The other question is where does Briggs come into play in the nickel? He's always been a three down player but with Bostic and McClellin in the picture will that change? Behind all of this are three guys who aren't mentioned as much but still are expected to compete for roster spots. Jordan Senn who has starting experience will almost certainly stick as a major STeams guy. He replaces Blake Costanzo in that role. The sixth spot looks like it's gonna be a tossup between Khaseem Greene and Christian Jones and from the comments that have been made about Jones so far he's gonna make it very tough on Greene who IMHO is already trying to escape the dog house he put himself in last year. It wasn't pretty. So there are still quite a few questions that need answers as it relates to this unit but if there is a dilemma to me it's a very good one. Injuries notwithstanding we may well have four starting LBs and a potential rotation as we use more sub packages for coverage and blitzes. If I had to take a stab at it now I'd say they're either gonna play Bostic at SLB and use McClellin as a rover LB and rusher or they'll play McClellin as an every down SLB, because Emery wants him on the field as much as possible, but use Bostic as a utility LB to spot him and then play MLB in the nickel. I think either way both will see a lot of snaps. I'm hoping the delight part comes in the body of Christian Jones who looks to me like he could be the best UDFA pick we've made yet. This kid was once projected as a first round pick. He's raw as ground beef but if he can cut his teeth on STeams under Joe D (who loves the kid) while Herring teaches him how the LB position is played in the NFL by next year we may have another starter to replace DWill or even Briggs if he doesn't return. Senn is a solid if unspectacular backup who can start if needed so that leaves Greene bringing up the back of the pack and he'll need to show better this year than last in order to give them a reason to keep a seventh LB. If you're looking for a guy on the bubble already he's my nominee. Altogether on paper it looks like a much improved situation but success still seems to depend on both Briggs and DWill staying healthy this year. Bostic and McClellin need that vet support while they grow into their jobs as starters. I like what I see but I'll feel more comfortable once the pecking order has been established and the schemes become more obvious. I think we're gonna see some major differences in the play of our LBs compared to they way things used to work.