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

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

  1. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think you could be right on this. Especially about playing on his heels. I watched him more than any other player at training camp because I was just curious about him. What you describe is what I saw. It's like he's:

    1. Reacting slow rather than being aggressive. An NFL LB has to be almost instant in diagnosing a play and then MAKING the play. There's no time to deep-think stuff.

    2. I also noticed what you describe as not having confidence. Someone else called it swagger. He has nothing here. But that could change if he had a solid game and began to get some confidence back. QB's are famous for this. When they lack confidence their play reflects that. When they have the swagger (and talent too of course) they play like a totally different guy.

    3. He has incredible physical gifts and seems (from all I read and hear) to be giving his heart and soul to doing what the coaches are telling him to do. It's not like he doesn't have the talent or drive. It seems to be a "head thing" as far as I can tell.

    Sometimes (not always but sometimes) game reps can turn the light on in a guys head and he suddenly "gets it" and that is what I am hoping for with Shea. He was given a ton of reps last night, so I wonder if the coaches are thinking the same thing - game reps may help it all "click" and Shea can be more instinctive and just "react" to plays and have that reaction be correct most of the time. It's kind of like some rookie QB's when the game 'slows down" for them and they begin to play more instinctive rather than reactive.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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  2. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    I went back and watched the first half of this game on slow mode paying special attention to the defensive line and linebackers (with an eye on Shea). I have to say that I'm less upset with his play today than I was last night.

    To start with, Shea played with the 1's during the first couple of series and this is where he looked really weak from a technique stand point - which is different from his inadequate play with at MLB where he was working on getting the play out and getting everyone set.

    His major problem still seems to be shedding blockers. He gets engulfed which is a huge issue in this scheme. The D-Line did a good job getting pressure while covering their gap assignments. That puts the impetus to make a play on the LBs. Shea McC doesn't have the technique to take on a blocker appropriately. His shoulders get pinned in which prevents him from being able to shed to the side OR hand fight to get release so he just gets taken out of the play forcing the secondary to cover for him. With that said, DJ Williams has the same problem early on.

    In coverage he looked better than I first thought. He's still trying to get a sense of space and when to release coverage but he didn't look terrible in coverage. He needs to continue learning depth perception and coverage assignments but he has potential here.

    Later in the game when he was playing MLB, he still showed his inability to shed blocks. I think part of this, however, was not getting set right away. Multiple times (I counted 4) he was checking to ensure everyone was set just prior to when the ball was snapped. This prevented him from getting a jump on the ball where he could gain leverage. I think this was blatantly obvious in the play you described soulman:

    I think the reason this occurred was because he wasn't set when the ball was snapped so he couldn't shoot the gap efficiently. Instead 76 got inside on him and drove him into the end zone. On that same play, Bostic got swallowed too and truthfully the entire D-Line got pushed 3 yards into the endzone. This was Shea's play to make, but he fucked it up.


    Shea's main issues right now are three fold.
    The biggest issue he has is shedding blockers. He really needs to work on his technique here. He lets blockers get inside on him pinning him back. He needs to take on blockers with leverage and angle so he can either make a play on the outside angle OR so he can get out of the block completely to get back in the play. He also needs to work on hand fighting to prevent that inside block. This is the biggest area he needs to improve.

    The second issue (priority wise) is understanding the system. Part of why he's getting swallowed up is because he isn't attacking. He has no swagger because he doesn't know what the fuck he's doing instinctively - he's thinking way too much out there. If he was attacking rather than being attacked he could get in position to shed the block and make the play.

    Lastly, he has to get better in coverage. I think he outperformed my expectations here. He didn't have the right depth perception and intimate knowledge of coverage sets but he had some semblance of awareness of where to be. He looked better in coverage on most plays than did Bostic (which is really fucking disturbing). Bostic needs to pull his head out of his ass.

    I think he can improve and I'm not dead set against him today like I was last night. At the moment, I wouldn't feel comfortable putting him in with the 1s as the SLB - I don't who the fuck I'd put in there as Bostic didn't look good and Jones didn't get enough reps for me to get a good sense of him. He's still worth watching and he might make strides.

    Out of the four top LBS on the team - the only one who looked solid was Briggs. Briggs was explosive out there. He was in great position, looked quick, hit hard - I'm stoked about that especially with the injury from last year looming over him. That's very cool to see. He's still beastly.
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  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Good Breakdown B, but my concern again goes back to he's NEVER been able to shed blockers, he once someone gets there hands on him, he's ALWAYS been toast, and this was a major issue analysts of the Bears had when people thought he'd do better at LB, even at LB he still has to shed, and he's still not capable. Hope you and JABF are right and he can learn it, but I have my doubts.
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  4. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Good points Soul. Free him up like Lawrence Taylor?
  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Great analysis above, thank you.

    Let's keep in mind that it was his very first "game" playing NFL LB. The coaching staff now has film on him in an actual full contact situation and Herring is highly thought of as a solid LB coach. Let's see what they can do with him technique wise. There should be improvement with each passing game this preseason. No need to panic yet.
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  6. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Come on, Ric. Give him more time. Yes he he didn't look sharp last night, but let's not forget that it was his first NFL game as LB. He wasn't supposed to play like Clay Matthews or Ray Lewis.

    Just be a little more patient my friend. :thumb:
  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Outstanding post. I'm going to re-watch the game tonight too. But I think you nailed it with Shea. Now I'm really looking forward to the Jaguars (next preseason game). Let's see if there is improvement.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  8. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Ric, those are my concerns too (the failure to shed blocks). But I'm really hoping they can help him with this. It sounds like he does have a better position coach to work with him this year. If he fails to improve then he'll be gone. But I'm still holding out hope for him to improve.
  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Oh, NOW you tell us! Well then, mission accomplished. He played like neither.
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  10. ZifanQ

    ZifanQ Pro-Bowler

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    efore reading please keep in mind that I can only assumed what plays we're running and I can only assume what coaches told Shea to do. I could be completely wrong about quite a few things here.
    Play # | What he did | Offensive play | Comment
    Play 1: Blitzing, PA RO PASS. Good gap control.
    Play 2: Cover 1 Man Cov, PA PASS, Shea should have taken RB, he was wide open on the play.
    Shea was taken out in our nickel package and replaced with a DB
    Play 3: Blitzing, RB dive - RB ran right into his gap and Shea did a good job of keeping his gap, He was actually blocked from behind which led to a moderate gain
    Play 4: Zone coverage, Pass - Shea was covering the hook to curl zone, Both our Mac and Shea dropped way too deep too early exposing a large part of the centre of the field allowing for a wide open tight end and a large gain of yards.
    For those of you who may not know what defensive zones look like THIS picture should give you a good idea, keep in mind that how wide/long the zones are change from coach to coach. It is entirely possible that our defence wants our LB's to drop 15 yards on a hook to curl. =
    Play 5: Blitz, RUN - Shea again blitzed the B gap, This run was actually towards Shea's side but there was a solid wall of defenders that made the RB dance around in the backfield and opt to the opposite side for a moderate gain.
    At 1st and 30 Shea was taken out for our nickel package.
    Play 6: Read/React, Outside Run - Run was to the opp side of Shea, he had good pursuit.
    Play 7: Read/React, PA Pass - Pass was to the opp side of Shea, If he was covering the TE the play did not last long enough for him to get open, If the TE had a few extra seconds he definitely would have been open.
    Play 8: C gap responsibility, Outside Power run - Shea did a decent job of engaging the blocker and shedding to make the tackle. Shea got both hands on the RB but just couldn't bring him down. If Shea had brought him down it would have been a ~3 yard gain over a first down (2nd & 7).
    Play 9: Flats zone, PA pass - Decent coverage by Shea, after settling in his zone he needs to look around to see what threats are around him, because he dint do this it allowed a receiver to stop right in-between his Flats and the Corners deep 1/3. To be fair to Shea it was just a perfect play call against Cover 3.
    Play 10: Hook to curl?, PA Pass - Pass was to opp side
    Play 11: Read/React, Dive - Needs better reaction time tho I can understand why he would be more patient with a heavy PA team like phily.
    Play 12: Man , PA Pass - This offensive play was similar to the Play 8, Shea came up early on it and once he realized it was a pass he took the RB. Very good play by Shea.
    Sanchez comes out
    Play 13: Blitz, Zone read - Blitz by Shea right into an open gap, unfortunately Shea missed the tackle in the backfield and allowed the RB to gain a yard, Had Shea made the tackle it would have meant a ~3 yard loss.
    Play 14: Hook to Curl?, 555 pass - Can't tell who was responsible for the TE on this play, Shea looked like he dropped too deep into his zone allowing the TE to get wide open 4 yards after the LOS, however it seemed like our DB was supposed to cover him but he slipped.
    Play 15: Blitz A, Dive - Shea gets no penetration on 3rd and 3 and gets driven back by a blind side TE blocking inside.
    TLDR:
    I think Shea still needs a lot of work especially when it comes to pass coverage. He was very inconsistent, one play he does great the next he allows a first down. I don't think he's used to taking on blockers that have a run start at him. He could end up being great for us but its going to take some patience by the coaches and fans.
    Let me know what y'all think

    http://www.reddit.com/r/CHIBears/comments/2d3c7b/i_looked_at_sheas_first_15_plays_heres_what_i/
    Credit: Moh7

    Pretty good and detailed view of each of the snaps. Thought I'd share it with you guys. Doesnt seem all that bad when you read this, some key missed tackles. Cmon Shea pls be an all-pro LB..
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  11. jackiejokeman

    jackiejokeman Pro-Bowler

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    Actually the Jags are coming up next and yes I get them confused with the Panthers also.

    What did TUNA do with Lawrence Taylor ?

    He realized the dude didnt fit anywhere so he just let him lineup where he felt the play was coming from.

    Worked out pretty well.
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  12. BearDownUnder

    BearDownUnder Veteran

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    Has anyone thought about moving Briggs to SAM where he can cover tight ends and sort through blocks and then putting Bostic in at WIL which I think is his best fit and letting his use his athleticism and speed to make plays.

    Would be a big change but I just don't have a lot of confidence in McLellin.
  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I did rewatch the game tonight. Nothing earth shattering noticed from what I thought I saw last night. Although it was really sweet to watch the two TE's Miller and Rosario play again. Both look really good, with Miller looking the better of the two, but both are pretty darned good this year.

    Maybe I was a bit too hard on Palmer. He wasn't quite as bad as I thought last night. The OL didn't do him any favors. Clausen is the better QB though.

    The LB's look pretty rough (other than Briggs). Shea and Bostic look pretty bad. ST's look just as bad as I thought last night. Bring on preseason game 2. We'll know more after that game.
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  14. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    Ok, I was staying away from the boards until I got a chance to watch the game recorded.

    Shea's play was flat out disappointing. I really expected a decent/good year from him this year but this was not a good start. If Shea was just missing assignments, schematic errors, missed coverage ect. But his major problem as pointed out is his inability to shed blocks.

    It's this simple, if he cannot keep an outside arm free and use an explosive rip/shimmy to get to his gap/defeat a block he cannot play LB in this league. Same thing as DE, as soon as he gets touched he either gets bogged down and mauled or just washed out of his gap.

    If I were the Bills my offensive game plan would be to run ISO/G-lead at him 15 times. I know it's only the first game but dude has 3 weeks to figure out how to shed a block. Something he hasn't been able to figure out in 3 years...forgive me if I've lost some confidence.


    If we get past PS3 game and this crap is still going on maybe a team would be stupid enough to give us a mid-late round pick for him and get something back on this botched pick.


    Anyways, how about some positives. I think the rest of the LBs preformed above expected and I'm excited to see what they can do going forward. Don't sleep on Jones, I kinda hope we can see him a bit earlier against the Jags. Hell, throw him in there at Sam and see what he can do. Greene too, give him a shot.
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  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Glad you got a chance to watch him again in slo mo B-. Since I lack that ability all I can go off of is quick first impressions where he's pretty much the focal point of the play or it's very obvious what his assignment was. One like that goal line play you just highlighted as well. Where it's less obvious I have no way to go back and look at his technique. All I can do is make an educated guess that if he's doing it this way once he's doing it that same way all of the time.

    99 seemed to be seeing similar stuff from him when he watched him in camp.

    Yes it was his play to make on that TD run and if he shoots that gap even if he doesn't nail the guy he disrupts the play enough to make the back hesitate and disrupts his timing or forces him to change direction and maybe some one else makes the tackle. That's the whole idea of penetration and whether it comes from the 3 tech the NT or the MLB or the SLB one of them has to be trying to get into the back field to make that make a play before the back can even get read his blocks.

    If you're seeing what I am then at least I know I'm not crazy when I make these observations.

    So this goes back to what is that scheme asking of him? If McClellin isn't in attack mode 90% of the time we're wasting him because that's what he does best. With his build I don't know that he's ever gonna be a half way decent stack and shed LB. He doesn't have the upper or lower body strength to control a 320lb blocker like that. He's more lean muscle and sinew and built like an oversize SS more than a LB.

    When he's on the move he's nearly unblockable but when he's rooted in one spot he may as well have a bulls eye painted on his chest. So my concern has far more to do with whether or not he's able to use his instincts to attack like he did in college (I saw a few of his games out here) or he's being asked to read too much and it's causing enough hesitation that he's not getting the jump on the play he needs to get.

    I can accept the mistakes because to me he's still a rookie LB but if they're gonna keep misusing him or if he just doesn't fit in this defense as a 3 down LB then for cripes sake let him rush and blitz in sub packages and find someone else to play SLB. Bostic isn't the right guy for it either. I don't even think he's the right guy to be playing MLB but I do think he'll make a great WLB.

    It seems to me what Emery has done is to draft some very fast athletic LBs who are all more WLB types in a 4-3 or 3-4 ILB type guys who need a two gapping line with a big space eating NT in front of them to keep them free of blockers. I guess I'm a little frustrated because I still don't see these guys "getting it" as far as playing in this type of defense.
  16. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    One thing to add to this discussion about Shea - and I think it really applies to the whole 2nd team D- unit -is that they were playing against a high tempo, no huddle offense. For an experienced player, this can be a challenge (as we saw the first team struggle with on the 3rd play of the first offensive series where they had to call a timeout to get their shit together). This really applied to the second team defense - stacked with rookies and second year players - who just aren't used to getting set that fast. Add into the mix that Shea McC was making the calls at MLB with the second team and you have a recipe for disaster. I think this was a big reason why Sutton and Ferg were so slow off the snap and why Shea and Bostic looked lost.

    As far as Shea's inability to shed blocks:

    I guess I don't know enough about him as a player (historically) to assert a strong opinion about this. You are more knowledgeable than I am regarding the intricacies of football technique and so I'll take your word, but I would add that in any profession one should work on bolstering their weaknesses in addition to playing to their strengths. I think this is especially true in the NFL where teams need players to consistently perform. Consistency isn't going to happen from a player if there's a clear strategy for shutting him down.
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  17. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    We've spent a lot of time here talking about Shea McC, and I feel like his story is one that's stalled for at least 3 more days when he will get another opportunity to make the most of his situation.

    Khaseem Greene, on the other hand, had a good game on Friday and in coming into his second year as a pro, might be ready to make steady strides. Mike Flannery did a good write up of the SLB position battle following PS1 and he had some positive things to say about the infrequently mentioned - especially positively mentioned, Greene.

    Bears Preseason Week 1: Position Battles (Defense)
    by Mike Flannery
    Position: Strong Side OLB

    Up: Khaseem Greene - The former safety from Rutgers is much better suited to the weak-side OLB position, but of the young backup LBs, Greene had the best day Friday. He had two tackles, including a nice open field tackle on Sproles and a right place/right time fumble recovery. Greene did a good job covering the flat and looked stronger and much more confident than he did last season. He is probably too small for the strong-side position but if he continues to outplay the other candidates for the position, Greene, the former 2-time Big East defensive player of the year, could find himself in the starting lineup.
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  18. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Of the young LB's Greene was by far the best looking, and I was glad to see it, where people give Bostic(for being a rook last year) and Shea(for his "1st year at lb) a bye, they seem to completely pass over Greene, he was a rook last year, and converted from S. I think the kid MIGHT have the tools to be a solid player for the Bears, might not be a starter(don't think that is in his future here) but I do think he's got a fair shot to at least out play Shea.
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  19. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran SuperFan

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    Bear's Practice Notes [linebacker specific]: Monday, August 11th

    Starting linebacker Lance Briggs didn’t practice Monday, as he was given a veteran’s day off. In his place, linebacker Khaseem Greene took first-team reps next to Jon Bostic, specifically in the nickel package and in 7-on-7 drills.
    Shea McClellin — who struggled Friday in his first game action at linebacker — wasn’t with the first- or second-team early in practice but later took his turn at strong-side linebacker with the first team during 11-on-11 drills.

    A less familiar name and face, Jerry Franklin took second-team reps at linebacker.
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  20. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    team not happy w/Shea, but impressed w/Greene....no surprise there. What's going on w/Williams though, they know what they have and just letting him rest and let the young kids get the snaps?

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