Urlacher: McClellin a better fit at linebacker

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by Henry Burris, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    Former Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher prefaces his thoughts on Shea McClellin with the fact he’s not a scout or a general manager. Still, the future Hall of Famer thinks McClellin might be better suited for a move to linebacker.

    [​IMG]
    McClellinUrlacher admitted during “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on Monday that McClellin, a former first-round pick, might be miscast in Chicago’s 4-3 defense.

    “It’s looking like it more and more right now,” said Urlacher, now an analyst on Fox Sports 1. “He’s definitely a good athlete. He gets off the football. He can run. He can hit, and all that good stuff. But I see him maybe as a Sam linebacker, a 3-4 outside guy the more I watch him play. The more you watch him play, he’s built for the outside linebacker position, I think.”

    Urlacher apparently isn’t the only one to subscribe to that line of thinking regarding McClellin.

    Thrust into the starting role full time opposite Julius Peppers because the team movedCorey Wootton inside to tackle, McClellin has underwhelmed thus far. McClellin collected half a sack in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, but hasn’t contributed a sack since or tallied more than three tackles in any game.

    Still, Bears general manager Phil Emery remains committed to keeping McClellin at defensive end.

    Podcast: 'Waddle & Silvy Show'
    Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher joins "Waddle & Silvy" to discuss Chicago's defensive struggles, the injuries to Lance Briggs and Jay Cutler and more. Listen [​IMG]

    “I’ve seen improvement in Shea, particularly in his strength against the run. The primary thing to remember about our defense, as opposed to how some others are structured, is we’re a one-gap fit defense,” Emery explained. “Generally our ends are C gap players. In our defense, the most important thing is gap discipline, is doing your job first. I’ve seen drastic differences between him from a year ago in being able to maintain that leverage on that gap, to be able to drop his hips, extend his arms and hold his ground so that the ball is turned into another gap. So in terms of playing team defense, Shea is doing a great job at that.”

    Perhaps he’d do better, however, at linebacker. That’s what Urlacher thinks. And while McClellin possesses the athleticism for a move to middle linebacker, he’s better suited to play on the outside, Urlacher said. Besides that, the Bears drafted the future in the middle with second-round pick Jonathan Bostic, who will make his second start on Nov. 4 at Green Bay.

    “I think he’s athletic enough to [move to the middle], no doubt. The kid, if you look at all of his testing at the combine, all that good stuff the scouts like to look at, he’s got all the measureable [attributes],” Urlacher said. “But I don’t know if he could make that move. I think it would be hard to take your hand off the ground and be in a linebacker stance in the middle or inside. I haven’t seen too many guys do that. Athletically, there’s no doubt in my mind he could do it. I just don’t know that that would be the best move for him.”
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  2. mdbearz

    mdbearz

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    Very good interview. I think Brian is getting better at playing the media game.

    Was it me or did the total lack of concern for Jay Cutler come through loud and clear.

    He raved about Josh, but not a single word about Jay's injury even when they were trying to lead him down that road. Obviously no love lost there between Jay and Brian.
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  3. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin Bear Down Staff Member

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    Of course.... Jay never called him when he retired... Forget alleged reports of his call in Jay a pussy when the trade was first made
  4. Trackguy

    Trackguy

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    I know a lot of people say he should be a 3-4 outside backer. But the problems I see with him are related to his inability to shed a block. That doesn't go away simply because you take your hand off the ground before the snap.
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  5. GBlaze23

    GBlaze23

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    Yeah. I like Jay and have always been behind him. That being said, he can be a douche a times. Couple that with Urlacher being a dick as much as he has tried to make his image seem otherwise over the years, those 2 never had a chance to get along. Both wanted to be THE man and you can't have but one. Ask Brian how he bet Bas Rutten once though and he will shut his mouth quick.
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    SAM or WILL LB, the more I hear about what the 3-4 OLB has to do, I don't think Shea is strong enough to handle it. Maybe the team has it's LB's for the future on the team right now. But a total overhall of DL and DB are needed.
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  7. tbear1

    tbear1

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    I think Urlacher has been reading DaBears.com and stole the idea from us. Just wait for Emery to sound off next and make it his own idea.
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  8. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears

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    I am still blown away Shea is on the line. This poor kid is so out of place my grandmother can see it and she's dead. I really really thought he was Urlacher replacement. Since he's being kept on the D line Emery wants him to be a bust. I feel sorry for Shea because he has take all the crap from everyone for all this BS of him playing on the line and it's not his fault he's playing out of position. Like Urlacher said he's athletic he can play just let the poor kid play where he's supposed too.
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  9. abegibronlives

    abegibronlives

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    It's worth a shot. At his current position, he's getting blown up. It will depend on his pass coverage ability.
  10. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    Urlacher was implying he could be a 4-3 linebacker, it looks like. Also, there is no indication that they will switch schemes, and everytime they're asked about it, they say no.
  11. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    That's a great point. I don't know WHAT you do with him.
  12. abegibronlives

    abegibronlives

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    It would be difficult to switch schemes in the middle of the season, that's a pretty big adjustment.
  13. matsellah

    matsellah SuperFan

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    There could be some instances or down packages tossed in, but that would require mad practice.

    Yeah, it would definitely be an off-season transition thing. Over a couple of seasons, actually.
  14. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris

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    I know the Seahawks have an "elephant" position, which is a LB/DE hybrid. Maybe that's something they ought to look into with McClellin. Obviously, that would mean scrapping the philosophy of the defense, as it has been for the past decade, but I think that's something we could live with.
  15. short faced bear

    short faced bear

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    Yes, I don't see him being some sort of great "rushbacker". He doesn't reek of great quickness, speed, or agility esp. in coverage. I think he is instinctual and can close nice with some speed and the only place conceivable may be MLB but we're pretty full at the inn there so to speak.
  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    He looks like a kid who was good in college, but nothing special at the pro level. I don't think he'll help us (or any team running any defense) at any position. I figure he'll be out of the NFL in a year or so.
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  17. shark86x

    shark86x SuperFan

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    Stick him on Special Teams. He might have use there. Otherwise, you might be right, 99 - he'll be out of football in a couple years.
  18. VJ18

    VJ18

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    Does anyone think that Emery took him because he heard green bay wanted him as well??
  19. Rogelio

    Rogelio

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    Maybe not, but "unable to shed a block" was a huge criticism of Urlacher in his career, and he's going to Canton someday.
  20. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Bear Claw, if he did then it's a bigger inditment on Emery then anything b/c GB is not running a 4-3 cover 2.

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