Bears linebacker lineup remains unsettled

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    By Brad Biggs
    Tribune reporter

    3:11 p.m. CDT, June 18, 2014

    If the Chicago Bears have an idea how they will line up at linebacker when practice opens next month in training camp, they’re not ready to say just yet.

    A day after coach Marc Trestman called D.J. Williams the “lead dog” to win the middle linebacker job he had to begin last season, Williams was running with the second team at minicamp Wednesday inside the Walter Payton Center. Jon Bostic took the majority of the reps with the starters.

    The only thing settled at the position is Lance Briggs will be the starter on the weak side. So two starting jobs are up for grabs. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring talked about converted defensive end Shea McClellin being a possibility in the middle as well but indicated he’s primarily being considered on the strong side right now.

    “We played him at mike and we played him at sam,” Herring said. “Right now, he’s kind of settling into the sam position because we feel like he’s really natural there.”

    McClellin has worked with the starters and second team throughout the spring and Khaseem Greene has dropped some weight and is impressing the coaches giving Herring options. Reality is the Bears will have to pick a first unit to open camp and while competition may remain open, usually the team is going to have an idea how the depth chart will shake out.

    “How we end up here, we’re developing a picture in our mind but we’re not ready to say because it is still a competitive situation when we get back to training camp,” Herring said. “If you want me to prematurely tell you who I am dating and who I am marrying, I don’t have the answer. We’re still dating.”

    Herring didn’t dispute Trestman’s evaluation that Williams is the man to beat out in the middle but he’s been impressed by Bostic, who started nine games a year ago as a rookie. Bostic has been getting time running with the first nickel unit in practice also.

    “Jon Bostic is really having a great (offseason),” Herring said. “He shows that he has great range and cover skills. He’s explosive. He is an exciting young player that is getting better. The experience of last year is paying off. I don’t think there is any doubt that Jon Bostic is one of our better cover guys, if not the best we have.”

    Just don’t try to pin Herring down on how it’s going to play out just yet. After all, he’s a dating man.

    "We’ve got one more practice (Thursday) and then we’re going to let it soak in over the summer,” he said. “I am excited about the possibilities, the number of different possibilities because they’re working so hard. It’s become competitive at every position. Every day they come and it’s a fight, a battle. The way they have responded is the way you want them to as a coach.”

    bmbiggs@tribune.com

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...ker-lineup-unsettled-20140618,0,6091215.story
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  2. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Glad to hear Greene dropped some lbs, perhaps he can be salvaged and the exp. last season helped him a bit. I don't know weather to be glad or scared to hear Bostic has the best cover skills.
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  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    So am I shorty. For now I still see the kid as a four star bust but even that type can turn it around once they get serious about their game. I recall that last year in camp they commented about their feelings he was playing too heavy for a guy who was a converted Safety so maybe this is a bit like the deal with Sutton. He got some bad advice and added bad weight. If he makes the team he's gonna end up playing a lot of STeams this year so he needs to be lighter and faster.

    I'm pleased to hear about Bostic's cover skills especially in regards to him eventually playing either MLB or WLB. Briggs and Urlacher always stayed on the field in the nickel defenses so we need a guy at one of those spots who can cover. I just hope Briggs coverage skills aren't diminishing too badly and that he's come to camp in shape. He wasn't in good shape after his injury layoff last year and it showed up very well in his play.

    Ya gotta get a kick out of LB Coach Reggie Herring. His response to the media questions about the LB depth chart was a hoot. He's not ready to pop for a ring and settle down with the top three just yet. After I saw his first interview during rookie camp the guy immediately reminded me of Stinger, Squadron Commander, in Top Gun.

  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I'm still interested in what they do w/the back in. They brought in Senn to be the ST's ace, but it sounds like Jones is making an impression, but there isn't a ton of room after you look at the top 4.

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