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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    The more I read about Jones the more excited I get about this kid becoming a real steal as an UDFA. I'm somewhat in agreement with this article that he may well be the SLB in another year. Right now I like th idea of McClellin taking over at MLB, Bostic at WLB and this kid Jones at SLB each playing to their strongpoints.



    Christian Jones doing his best to stand out


    By ARTHUR ARKUSH - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:01 p.m. CDT
    [​IMG]
    H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Bears linebacker Christian Jones during drills on the first day of training camp Friday, July 25, 2014 in Bourbonnais. (H. Rick Bamman)

    BOURBONNAIS – The present focus in Bourbonnais on the Bears’ strong-side linebacker position remains Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic, the starters at “SAM” in the Bears' base and nickel defenses, respectively.

    The future of the position, however, could be tied to Christian Jones, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound undrafted rookie out of Florida State.

    It sounds far-fetched, as Jones continues to work with the third-string defense in training camp. He also continues to flash fluid movement skills and explosive athleticism daily, whether in one-one-one drills against smaller running backs, taking on blockers in team drills or on special teams, an area in which he’ll have to prove he can make a difference right away to make the team.

    Jones, a consensus mid-round pick whose stock slid leading up to the draft reportedly because of a failed drug test, has a reputation for being a fierce hitter. It’s a trait he barely has been allowed to display in a camp focused on keeping players healthy – but he knows the time to showcase his physicality is approaching.

    “I’m really looking forward to the preseason,” Jones said after practice Wednesday, “especially because lot of those guys passed on me, so it’ll be a great chance to go out there and shell out a little bit.”

    In the meantime, Jones continues to receive positive feedback, including linebackers coach Reggie Herring, whose presence Jones noted as one of the main reasons he chose to sign with the Bears.

    “He pushes me hard; he doesn’t just let me get by on my ability,” said Jones, who in practice is focusing on playing with good leverage – “hit high to low,” he said – and properly shedding blocks.

    Watching Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs and veteran D.J. Williams, “walking playbooks,” according to Jones, has helped the undrafted rookie learn to play with the fast tempo coach Marc Trestman demands in practice.

    Given his rare physical gifts, and the uncertainty at linebacker for the Bears, it wouldn’t be shocking if Jones became a contributor on defense sooner than later. First and foremost, he’s focused on absorbing as much as possible and translating it onto the field.

    "Just keep progressing,” he said. “It’s the NFL – there are a lot of good players out there, a lot of competition – so what matters is how you take stuff from the meeting room to the field. I’m just trying to get better and bring it out to the field.”
  2. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    I wasted time reading two different threads on why Briggs will retire as a BEAR when I only should have been reading one here as a post.

    I dont have the time to read eveything everybody threads especially when its the same thread.

    I thought we had this solved about threads by position.

    I want to read everything that all BEARS fans post ...

    but c'mon man the same thing over and over as a thread is stupid and a waste of all of our time.

    Just make it a post in an already position thread during training camp.

    Make up a position thread ... its not fuckin rocket science!

    It sure would help us all.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Look I posted one Briggs thread separately and then the newsman bot posted one after I did.

    If it's just general news about players like this article about Jones I tend to stick those in these master threads but if it's a little unique and I don't want it buried on page three of a master thread then I'm gonna post a separate thread so kwitcher bitchin'.

    Jackie around here no one has ever followed that "official thread" or "one thread fits all" crap they used to do on the CBMB and it's not gonna change now just because you want it to. Get used to it.

    I'm not Steve Rosenbloom but deal with it anyway! :10 1 9[1]:

    PS: And why are you ordering other members to open up position threads. Do it yourself if you want it done and see how many posters use that exclusively. Some will, some won't. We still live in a democracy and around here free will reigns or at least that which avoids the ban hammer does.
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  4. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Ok ... lemme get started.
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    So you duplicate one like this we already have begun on LBs because you asked for it. There's also one on Safeties and TEs.
  6. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Hopefully this hasn't been posted elsewhere. It's not an A level article, but it works to continue developing the Christian Jones narrative at training camp as a long shot blasted from a high powered rifle.

    Here's another one of those articles about Jones. He's really starting to make a name for himself at least among the reporters covering training camp.
    Christian Jones turning heads with Bears

    August, 1, 2014
    AUG 1
    3:25
    PM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Undrafted out of Florida State, Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Christian Jones would seem to face long odds to make the roster.

    But at this point, perhaps it would be a surprise if Jones doesn’t make the team.

    “He’s a work in progress,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “You can see what he looks like out there. He’s a big, strong man who can run all day. He’s in great condition. He continues to learn and grow, and he’s certainly in the hunt each and every day to make the football team.

    Jones thrust himself into that position by continuing to impress during workouts, going all the way back to the offseason, organized team activities and minicamps. In fact, by the time the Bears took the field for their last minicamp back in June, Jones had worked himself up the depth chart to the second team.

    The question now is whether Jones can maintain the momentum. Through the first seven practices, Jones appears to be one of the most athletic linebackers on the team, and probably the only true strongside linebacker at the position.

    “He’s showing he deserves the opportunity to work and practice, and it’s fun to see because he’s coming from a long way to put himself in this position,” Trestman said. “The athleticism is there. The explosiveness is there. The burst is there. The physicality is there. It’s evident that he’ll play that way. It’s just the learning process; there’s just so much for a young guy to know.”
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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I'd love to see him at SLB next year with McClellin at MLB and Bostic at WLB. I still think those are gonna be their best fits.
  8. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    I keep harping on this guy as my number one darkhorse. A year ago he was thought to rank right up there with Mosley as the number one LB and a lock for the first round. FSU ran an unconventional 4-3 base this year on defense, explaining why he just showed 'flashes' instead of consistent, good play. Jones lined up as the Mike, Will, Sam, and a Jack linebacker last year. Showed he can do everything from covering guys one on one to lining up across from a tackle and rushing the passer. The combo of versatility and physical skill makes him likely on my list to find a use somewhere. He also played every single ST unit last year, Jimbo often uses his starters on key ST roles so he will have that going for him as well.

    What really killed this guy's draft stock was his drug incidents. He flunked a drug test at FSU and then got a positive/negative at the combine. We may have gotten a very solid LB due to being a team player and moving around last year, as well as weed. If he can play, I can live with that.

    I'm looking forward very much to seeing what he can do in PS games as I'm sure he will see some action somewhere. If he really works well with the coaching staff he could beat out Greene for the final 53 IMO. Any injury to DJ or Briggs almost gaurentees to me that he will be on our final roster too.
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  9. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    I can write off the guys past ... whats he going to do for CHICAGO BEARS ?
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Hopefully the relationship Herring has with is Dad will help. I think Herring has taken a special interest in seeing to it this kid gets every bit of help and coaching he can give him.

    If the only problem he has is that he tokes a little weed and he realizes he can't do that in season in the NFL and even in the offseason he needs to keep it under wraps then he should be OK.

    With any luck his old man showed him in black and white just how much $$$ those indiscretions cost him in terms of the difference between what even a mid round pick get as a bonus compared to what an UDFA gets. If he gets the point he'll realize that was some damn expensive weed.
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  11. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    You like to think these kids were in college and doing stupid shit. From other comments on other topics I am a little more liberal than many on this issue. Although its a shame he was found to be puffin the wacky weed it appears to have give the Bears an opportunity to get a good LB.

    I know a lot of people from college who are guilty of the same thing, most if not all have quit smoking the wacky over time. I had to chuckle the other day when I got called in for a random drug test. I gave the shit up 25+ years ago when defense contractors started random testing and to me it was not worth it to risk my future. My income potential is no where near what these athletes make, but it was an easy decision to leave the party behind and move on with my life. Maybe this is why I am more liberal on what these kids do in college, and I expect most to grow out of it. Its a phase but now that Jones is in the NFL and realizing what he has to lose along with his Parents and coach Herring mentoring him, and the team environment I am pretty sure he has moved on. Moving forward its just not worth it.
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  12. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    And that's the thing. I think we, and teams in general put a bit too much stock in what someone does in college. Who on here hasn't done anything between the ages of 18-23 that would have been looked at as a 'behavior or character problem' if we were under such a microscope. Hell, I'd venture a guess that 90% of all these kids drafted have done something that might have landed them that label. Only difference between this guy and a guy like Luck who was regarded as such a high character guy is Luck was smart/lucky enough not to get caught. Were talking about 18-23 year olds surrounded by peers in an environment that really reinforces doing stuff like this. Add into the fact they are famous on campus and it's really not that surprising.

    But yeah, if we got a potential 1st round LB because he was smoking weed in the offseason as a UDFA, then I'm grateful to that joint that he used to flunk his test.
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  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yep, I agree with both of you. There are things I did in my early 20s I haven't done since and I don't think I lack in character or I wouldn't have been able to accomplish most of what I have.

    Pot is a way of life in Colorado these days and the dispensaries now outnumber the liquor stores in my neighborhood so that oughta tell me something. :blunt: I've smoked my share too although I never inhaled,:bah:............well maybe I did once or twice, and I'm not gonna condemn anyone else for doing it. But..........when your prospects for employment hang in the balance it's no longer a moral or character issue. It's an economic issue.

    Hopefully he gets that.
  14. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    The bolded is true and hopefully he can put it behind him. It's now a business decision to partake in those kinda stuff.


    But anyway back to football. Guy was tremendous and versatile guy at FSU and just the fact he played on that defense is an accomplishment. He can use both his talent and his experience in multiple positions and roles to find a way to stick with us. That's really all its about when your in his position. Make it through camp and stick on the roster, and then try to let your day in and day out earn you PT. Hope he can do that.
  15. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    OK we all saw the Philly pre-season game ...

    your opinions on Shea McClellin's play ?
  16. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    After the first PS game,

    Cut Shea keep green jones and sean. She still cannot shed a block or tackle a rb or put a body on a TE. He's not a NFL player.
  17. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Ric, I thought Shea's issues were primarily mental. He was slow in diagnosing what the O was doing, which made him slow to react - not physically, but the need in the NFL to instantly recognize and react to the O. This is something that can be improved with game reps - or not. But I want to see if he can improve over the course of the 4 preseason games. Bostic also showed he was a bit slow at times diagnosing plays and consequently he blew some plays too. But he certainly made some good plays - which shows the benefit of having played LB for several games last year. There is no substitute at LB for game reps. Physical ability alone doesn't get it done. Also, keep in mind that the difference between playing DE in a 4-3 defense is pretty different from playing LB. It's not valid to think Shea's DE experience = LB experience. Sure, there are some things the same, but a lot of it IS different.

    I really will be looking at the three guys (Shea, Bostic & Greene) and hoping we see improvement over the course of the 4-game preseason. One can hope anyway :-)
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  18. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I hope you're right JABF, but he had the same problems at DL last year, sometimes the guy just isn't a baller, and right now imo Shea doesn't look like a baller.
  19. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I figure it could go either way. He could improve, or he could be a bust. I believe they will give him every opportunity in this preseason to show he can play - and if he doesn't show promise he will be gone. It would be great for the team if he can improve and show some value at LB. The entire unit looked rough to me last night except for Briggs (but even Briggs dropped what should have been an int). I'm hoping they all get better over the course of the 4 preseason games.
  20. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree with you about McClellin. He has all the physical tools and the football smarts but for whatever reason he's playing on his heels and is slow to react to everything. His pass drops are poor and he's not getting sideline to sideline covering the run. I believe we did this kid a huge disservice playing him at DE for so long. It's affected his confidence and he's feeling the pressure of not wanting to make mistakes so he's no longer using his instincts. He's thinking too much and losing a split second of reaction time whenever he does that.

    Hopefully Herring can get his head straightened out but IMHO they're still using him the wrong way. McClellin made his bones in college by always being on the attack. He played downhill going after the RB behind the LOS and the QB on pass plays. Now he's hesitant to do that. I watched him on that goal line TD run and if he had shot the gap that was right in front of him he could have nailed the RB in the backfield because the OL was wedging up the gut. Instead he hesitated and allowed himself to be blocked out of the play and became a total non-factor. Just one more guy stacked up and pushed back into the end zone. If they don't start to just turn him loose to attack he'll never be the player they expected him to be. Then we'll cut him, someone else will pick him up and put him in a 3-4 and he'll become a good OLB because we continue to fuck up with the way they're playing him.
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