LB Position Main Thread..............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Following the example Grizz set of having a single thread for each position I offer this one regarding the LBs.


    Bostic not fazed by competing at multiple spots

    By ARTHUR ARKUSH - aarkush@chicagofootball.com - Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:55 p.m. CDT
    [​IMG]
    This is a 2014 photo of Jonathan Bostic of the Chicago Bears NFL football team. This image reflects the Chicago Bears active roster as of Monday, June 16, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)


    BOURBONNAIS — If Jon Bostic is feeling pressure over how much the Bears have put on his plate in his short NFL career, he’s doing a great job of hiding it.

    After making nine starts as a rookie at “Mike” in D.J. Williams’ absence due to a torn pectoral muscle, Bostic, the Bears’ second-round pick in 2013, was expected to compete with Shea McClellin for the starting strong-side opening in 2014.

    In fact, Bostic is competing with both McClellin and Williams for as many as three openings – “Mike,” “Sam,” and Chicago’s second nickel linebacker job alongside Lance Briggs when training camp practices open on Friday.

    Does the constant shuffling make Bostic’s job more intense?

    “Really, I don’t look at it like that,” he said on the first day of training camp. “… basically, they’re paying me to play football… so I’m going to come in here and do exactly what they ask me.”

    After all, the position switches are nothing new for Bostic. He headed to the University of Florida expecting to play “Will,” but the arrival of former Gator Jelani Jenkins pushed Bostic inside to a position “he grew to love.”

    After drafting Bostic and Khaseem Greene last spring, general manager Phil Emery lauded both players for their versatile skill sets that allowed them to play all three linebacker positions. Bostic’s athleticism would seem to eventually make him a natural candidate to be Lance Briggs’ heir apparent, but Briggs is currently as entrenched as any player on the Bears defense. Thus, Bostic knows his best chance of playing is filling one of the current vacancies.

    When he watches his rookie tape, Bostic sees growing pains, largely to be expected given the difficult situation he and the rest of his teammates were put in during an injury-ravaged 2013 season. There are also flashes like his terrific interception against the Ravens, when he draped tight end Dallas Clark 20-plus yards down the middle of the field before flipping his hips and picking off Joe Flacco. It’s exactly the kind of play that has the Bears envisioning Bostic as a weapon in their sub package.

    He said he can build off such positives, but watching the bad tape, often showing an inexperienced player struggling to diagnose and quickly get in position to make plays, is a bigger key to Bostic’s growth.

    “I tend to look more at negative things than positive,” he said, “to make sure that I don’t make the same mistake again.

    Fortunately, the Bears see plenty of positives – enough to entrust Bostic in potentially a number of different roles.

    Bostic promises he’ll be ready for anything that comes his way. “I’m coming here every day, doing what I love to do, so really I can’t ask for more,” he said.
  2. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Thank you for making it easier for all of us to read.

    I wont respond to a LB article outside of this thread.
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  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    For a whole lot of reasons I like this kid far more than I do Khaseem Greene right now and despite the idea that Greene was drafted as a possible heir apparent to Briggs I still think Bostic is the guy whose almost perfect for that WLB spot once Briggs is through.

    But Briggs isn't through now and there's not even a guarantee that he will be after this year either. A lot depends on his play and just how far along the line the Bears get as far as challenging for a SB berth.

    I like Bostic's attitude as much as I like his physical skills. All Herring needs to do is simplify his role and slow the game down for him a bit so he can adapt more easily. We don't know how it's gonna play out yet but it wouldn't surprise me at all if they didn't make Bostic their wild card LB in a rotation this year using him in coverage and moving him around a bit like they should probably do with McClellin as well.

    The way it looks now those two guys are the future stars of our LB core so we might as well start playing them and find out what and where they're best at. Then we need to find out just what we have in Jones and Greene because one of them is likely to be the other LB whose next in line for a shot at playing.
  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    :guinness: Paragraphs are our friends. LOL

    That's what happens when you've raised your kids on Sesame Street. :rofl2:
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Chicago Bears
    McClellin convinced he belongs at LB

    July, 25, 2014
    Jul 25
    4:45
    PM ET
    By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Shea McClellin re-affirmed on Friday his conviction that linebacker is “where he belongs” on defense, but added that he remains in the process of refining certain skills necessary to successfully make the transition from defensive end.

    [​IMG]
    McClellin

    Specifically, McClellin is trying to train his eyes to see the field from a wider and broader sense at linebacker, as opposed to lining up at defensive end where a player’s field of vision is narrower.

    “That’s one thing I need to work on is getting my eyes right,” McClellin said. “That’s something I need to work on over the next two or three weeks. Especially at middle linebacker, you have to see the whole field and know what’s going on with the entire defense.

    "The more reps I get the more comfortable I feel. I said back in the spring this is where I belong."

    Pushing McClellin back to a two-point stance is expected to have its advantages. While McClellin failed to generate enough sacks as a defensive lineman, there is no denying his pure speed and athleticism. McClellin should greatly benefit from having more open field to work with at linebacker, especially when he is asked to blitz.

    “It helps out because you are out there in space and the guy isn’t on you,” McClellin said.

    Because of McClellin’s high-profile as a former first-round draft pick, the transition to linebacker will be heavily scrutinized over the summer. But the coaching staff appears to remain squarely in McClellin’s corner, including new linebackers coach Reggie Herring.

    Herring, a 33-year coaching veteran, was hired in January to replace Tim Tibesar, who the Bears fired after just one season coaching linebackers.

    “I think[​IMG] Shea has been encouraged by Reggie,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “I think Reggie has a lot of confidence in him and his ability. I think he’s feeling that encouragement, not only by Reggie, but by Mel [Tucker] and by all of us. We’re excited to see where this can go with Shea. It’s the first day, and we’ll continue to watch him progress as we go through camp.”
  6. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    See how easy this is when its all on the same page ?

    From CBS Chicago

    Bears Notes: Defense Shows Energy On Day 1


    McClellin comfortable at Mike linebacker

    Wearing 50 on his jersey and sporting a new, slimmer physique, Shea McClellin continued his acclimation process at linebacker. McClellin, a former first-round pick as a defensive end, was moved to linebacker during the offseason, with an eye on the Mike spot but also perhaps on the strong side. Friday marked the start of his first training camp at the new position, one which felt like “home” to him.

    “It’s where I belong,” McClellin said of playing middle linebacker.

    This offseason has brought plenty of time for McClellin to learn the new position, and mini-camps and OTAs have helped to guide the process along. There’s great pressure for McClellin to find his fit at the linebacker position after a failed two years on the defensive line. He’s trying to drown out the outside noise and enjoy the change.

    “It’s definitely fun,” McClellin said. “I feel refreshed coming out here and playing linebacker now. I’m definitely very excited.”

    Day one of the move saw progress from McClellin. He seemed more comfortable and fit in his new frame, and he put together a strong showing. None of it came as a surprise to his coach.

    “I’ve seen it all through the offseason,” Trestman said. “We have a lot of confidence. We’re excited about seeing where this could go with Shea. Today is day one, and we’ll continue to watch him hopefully progress during camp.”

    Depth at the linebacker position will provide great competition for McClellin, making him an underdog to land a starting spot. However, he is optimistic in looking ahead.

    “I’m feeling good,” he said. “There are things I’ve got to work on still, and I’m ready to compete every day, work every day and do the best I can.”
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    If we're looking for a somewhat ideal replacement for Urlacher in terms of a guy whose has some similar talent and physical traits then McClellin would be that guy even more so than Bostic. He's an inch shorter and maybe 10lbs lighter but he's got the speed and the range.

    I don't know how it'll all break down but based just on gut feel right now in another year or two I could see Bostic and WLB, McClellin at MLB, and Jones at SLB. To me that's how I see them fitting but that's now.
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  8. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Shea McClellin: The Bears' 2012 first-round pick would have sacked Jimmy Clausen in 11-on-11 drills if hitting the quarterback was allowed. McClellin worked around the left edge as the play developed, evidence of how his mobility and vision as a linebacker could be an asset to the Bears' pass rush. Of course, the most important evaluations of McClellin will begin once the pads come out Sunday and he has to move blockers.

    Jon Bostic: He was the second-string middle linebacker in the base defense but played with the first-string in the nickel package. Before team drills, position coach Reggie Herring took care in coaching Bostic on his pass reads and drops. Bostic played some outside linebacker in team drills, as well.

    Shea McClellin (strong), D.J. Williams (middle) and Lance Briggs (weak) started at linebacker in the base defense. Briggs and Jon Bostic were the starters in nickel.
  9. 50YearFrustration

    50YearFrustration Rookie

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    I really don't care who comes out on top as long we get quality play. That said, better players in front of them will help.
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  10. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Heres what gets me about BEARS fans ... 50 years ... 50 minutes...

    the passion remains the same.

    Its like you are born with this shit in your genes ... you didnt ask for it ...

    it just is.
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  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'd say this is about as expected so far.
  12. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    A perspective from a very different viewpoint that we all have to get used to.
    ________________________________________________________

    Therein lies the reason Peppers is standing in the Packers locker room following his release from Chicago. The Packers want Peppers to play a different position than he played with the Bears and complement their defensive star, Clay Matthews, not outplay him.

    Peppers agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal that allows the Packers to back out with a manageable deficit if things don't work out this season. Peppers, 34, will make $8.5 million this year, but his salary cap number is only $3.5 million — about $15 million less than what it was scheduled to be in Chicago.

    If the Packers cut him after this season, the salary cap hit for 2015 would be a reasonable $5 million.

    They persuaded him to take that deal with a player-friendly practice schedule, an opportunity to move from end to outside linebacker and the possibility of winning a Super Bowl ring. The latter has evaded Peppers since the Carolina Panthers drafted him second overall in 2002.

    Then there's that thing about expectations. Here, he's not the $91 million man he was in Chicago.

    "It's never really been that," Peppers said of needing to carry a defense on his shoulders. "Some people have made it out to be that way at different times, but it's 11 guys on the field always, so everybody has to do their part.

    "What I will say is that we have a very talented group of guys on the field here, a lot of depth on the second and third teams, so it's nice to look around and see that much talent."

    Since signing with the Packers on March 15, Peppers has been playing outside in coordinator Dom Capers' 3-4 defense, doing things like rushing from an upright position, dropping into coverage and covering tight ends. Peppers expressed an interest in playing outside in a 3-4 after the Bears cut him and in the first three days of training camp that's all he's done.

    At 6 feet 7 inches and 287 pounds, Peppers is an imposing figure on the outside. His wingspan is enormous and he uses it to his advantage both as a pass rusher and a pass defender. In the twilight of his career, he's not the player he once was, but he's hoping to find new life in a new defense.

    "It's fun," Peppers said. "I'm actually having a lot of fun. I'm enjoying it. It's a little different than what I've been used to in the past. I actually think it fits my skill set better than just being down every play."
  13. MikeGolf97

    MikeGolf97 Rookie

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    From my limited football knowledge everything says this is going to be a failed experiment, when Peppers was a FA from the Panthers he was adamant about only playing in a 4-3 defense, now he wants to be a LB in the last 1-2 years he has left? This reeks of "make some money on my way out the door" all over it.
    But....what if less pressure on and off the field works for a guy who never liked the spot light, that him and Clay Mathews overwhelm lines. It sounds like a dream situation, but in reality it it was as simple as this every team would be doing this and overpay two OLBs. So my mind says not happening but deep down I have a fear that it will work.
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  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah, I tend to agree with you Mike.

    I've always respected Pep as a player until last year when he seemed to be putting out about 70%-80% of his usual effort. The deal he signed with GB says to me that Pep is now out for Pep and the only two things he wants now is a less challenging job with a paycheck and a shot at a ring.

    He was the right player for the Bears as long as Urlacher was around to take on the role of leader of the defense but when he wasn't Pep was unwilling to take up any of the slack and it showed. We did the right thing by releasing him and signing Allen instead because now we have another on field leader in somewhat the same sense that Urlacher was and a better DE to boot.

    As far as Pep's ring quest goes I'd like nothing better than to frustrate that too with him watching us take the NFCN and walk into the playoffs while the Packers watch from home for a change.
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  15. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Now that he's playing LB for G.B.,

    PEPPER STATS , 2013 CHICAGO BEARS :

    3 games zero tackles ...

    6 games one tackle.

    He will be missed.
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  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It looked to me like Pep just quit on us last year. Lovie was gone. So was Urlacher. We had some adversity with injuries. And Pep's reaction was to simply quit. Period. He looked like he was just going through the motions out there most of the time. I believe Peppers still has the talent to shine for a few years if he wants to, even in a 3-4 in Green Bay, if he feels like playing at a high level. If his heart isn't into it, he'll loaf in games. But I'll bet he'll be more like when he first came to Chicago - and put forth a season of good effort for GB. The guy is still a physical freak and can turn it on when he wants to (we still saw flashes of that last year in some games).
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  17. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well yeah. I mean when he goes up to Emery and tells him to watch him out there today and then turns into a terror and gets 2 1/2 of his 7 sacks in one game. He turned it on and off all year. He's beginning to go into retirement mode and he knows it.

    He also knew the Bears weren't gonna keep him at his 2014 cap cost so it was either take a major pay cut and stay here or take a major pay cut and move on. He's in GB to collect one or two last pay days and to get a ring. That about it.
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  18. RochBear

    RochBear Veteran

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    I'm thinking the most promising 'news' about Bostic is this from the top article Soul posted (and thanks): " ... but watching the bad tape, often showing an inexperienced player struggling to diagnose and quickly get in position to make plays ..." I had the same impression but I don't re-watch all-22 game film and take notes. Perhaps Arkush doesn't either but he may talk to people who do?

    Regardless, struggling with field vision and such is routine with rookies and gets better. Here's hoping in Bostic's case it get a lot better and fast.
  19. RochBear

    RochBear Veteran

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    I'd think the same. Peppers is changing positions when his traits seem perfect for DE, and he turns 35 by the end of the season. Sounds like a low-hoper, except the damned Packers aren't stupid enough any more to throw money away on a low-hoper. I'm a little concerned that the new situation will motivate the guy and he will outplay his contract. The Packers are in much the same position as the Bears in that if they can coax their D into a good season they are serious SB contenders.
  20. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Whenever coaches describe a player as being "raw" I automatically assume they mean in the skills that allow them to diagnose and respond to plays at the speed they happen in the NFL. That and technique issues. Technique they can coach but the other just comes from repetition in practice so when I hear Trestman trying to squeeze as much of that out of every practice as possible I figure he has the right approach. They say the game slows down for these guys most as they enter their second year so we should see a quantum leap in a few of them Bostic included.

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