Urlacher: McClellin a better fit at linebacker

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

  1. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This guy just isn't an Urlacher-level player now, or ever. His problems go beyond just shedding blocks. He just looks marginal as an NFL player. We can try to pound the square peg into the round hole, by trying him at various positions on the team, if we want to "justify" a 1st round pick that way. But it will hurt the team. I don't think you will see much interest in him from other teams in a trade. If we flat cut him at the end of the year, you'd see some interest from somebody. But I think we just have another 1st round bust here.
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  2. ChiCityBears

    ChiCityBears Veteran

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    Since this season is over with, we might as well try him out at LB this season.
  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    We don't know absolutely that the season is over at 4-3. Not yet anyway. Also, we have two young LB's getting precious game-reps right now (Greene & Bostic) so I wouldn't bench either of them for a probable bust player. Anderson is having a great season, so why sit him? I just don't like the "pound the square peg into the round hole" no matter what approach.
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  4. Rogelio

    Rogelio Veteran

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    I'm not saying that he's the next Urlacher. Just that having trouble shedding blocks doesn't mean he can't be a good player.
  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I agree. And we aren't going to switch a players position (one he's never played at the pro level anyway) in the middle of the season. That's a project for the offseason. I think Shea could offer some value as a backup SLB/MLB and on STs if he can make the transition. If it flops, then I would just cut him next Labor Day (maybe just maybe you could squeeze a late round pick out of someone a la Carimi but that's prob a pipe dream). He offers no value as a DE and, like a previous poster said, I feel bad for the kid--it's not his fault he was over-drafted and then played completely out of position for two years.

    He was on the sidelines quite a bit in Washington on 1st and 2nd downs as he needs to be as long as plays DE. I'd much rather have Bass or Corny in there vs the run. The bar is pretty low at this point.
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  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I understand, no problem. I did hear some of that about Brian. But I'm just not thinking the guy is NFL material. It goes beyond the shedding blocks, IMHO. But I'm not a coach.
  7. VJ18

    VJ18 Veteran

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    i know i was kidding but i do remember Green Bay really falling in love with him in the combine. I think we should resign Shea and let him take over Briggs when its time. Green, Bostic and McCull would be a nasty young LB core
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  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    GB and NE really did like Shea. But for a 3-4 OLB. I would not assume he could play LB until you see he can play LB.
  9. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    True, but you can never know until you try and coach him in it. I really hope this Emery/Trestman regime can swallow their pride this offseason and admit that it's LB or nothing for Shea. That's the only way to salvage some value out of this poor pick since I doubt you could get anything for him in trade at this point.
  10. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    No, that I agree, but I would not replace Briggs w/him just b/c. Briggs was playing as one of the best D players in the league, not just the team, he again was having a pro bowl season, why cut him when he has a year left just b/c Shea MIGHT be able to play LB. And honestly I think Shea would be better at SAM over WILL, and Greene was brought in to be the WILL anyways.

    ME, I try and sign DJ for another year, Anderson for a small 3-4 year deal, keep Briggs for another year, then you have your starters and backups at LB for the next 2-3 years.
  11. VJ18

    VJ18 Veteran

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    you dont need to replace him now, let Briggs stay until he slows down then rotate McCull in and transition him into the spot over time, heck do it now with Anderson.
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  12. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I agree. Make Shea a backup SLB/MLB/STer a la Costanzo. I'm not at all suggesting that he's gonna learn a new position in the offseason and become and instant starter. At best, maybe in year 2 post-LB change. I like Briggs-Bostic-Anderson as the starting three and then Greene-Shea-whoever as your reserves and ST players.
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  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well, finally a topic that's worthwhile commenting on. Urlacher is spot on and he should know because he played with the kid for a year and I believe he's well aware of McClellin's strong points and his limitations. I also believe he knows that kid can play but where he's playing now is definitely not the right spot. The problem is will anyone get this into Phil Emery's head and past his pigheaded idea that McLellin can play 4-3 DE in the NFL? So far it doesn't seem like it because if anyone read or heard his press conference with Trestman on Monday he was still spewing his happy horseshit about how he sees improvement in his play. Man I must either be blind or I know nothing about football because all I see is a kid who makes the wrong reads, can't set an edge and gets swallowed up by 320lb OTs every time the have they have him play with his hand in the dirt. But.......play him standing up, move him around, and he's a completely different player.

    Let's look at some facts and answer some questions that have been asked by many like "why did Phelonious Phil think McClellin could play DE to begin with when he was more of a two point stance monster backer/pass rusher in college"? McClellin was advised that he should gain weight before the Combine so he could be seen as a possibility both at DE and LB so he did. He went from about 245-248lbs to 260lbs and he's been listed that way ever since even though the only way he goes 260lbs is if you put about 15lbs of rocks in his jockstrap. For whatever reason Emery and his scouts felt the kid could be bulked up to play at 265-270lbs once he got some pro weight training but one look at his frame should have told them that was iffy. He doesn't have a lineman's build and he's not all that well muscled either. His speed and strength are more natural than acquired in a weight room. He's pretty much a big farm boy whose actually a natural football player and that's it. To quote Clint Eastwood, "a man's got to know his limitations" and to date Emery hasn't figured this out about his prize first draft pick.

    This past offseason McClellin addressed this weight issue himself. He said prior the 2013 to camp that he bulked up to 256lbs after starting last year at 248lbs and finishing in January playing at about 242-245lbs. He couldn't even keep that 256lbs on and he's back to playing somewhere in the 245lb range again give or take a few depending on how many biscuits he ate this week. How many NFL DEs are playing as all around every down guys in a 4-3 at 245lbs and playing well? At 242-248lbs he's roughly the same weight as our LBs and an inch or two taller making him even less stocky. Hell why don't they just try Bostic or Greene at DE too? They aren't much smaller. Brian Urlacher is 6'4" and played at 258lbs and all you had to do was look at him and McClellin standing next to one another to know that McClellin was nowhere near 260lbs or as broad and muscular as Urlacher. So a college DE/hybrid at BSU whose players are small to begin with yeah, but in the NFL????? Not a chance, but Phil won't come off his foolish dreams or at least he hasn't yet.

    So where does that leave us now? Unless somebody can sneak undetectable steroids or HGH into Shea's chicken and mashed dinners he's never gonna be a 270lb football player. I think we can all see and agree to that now. I had hopes initially but I'm a realist and as far as I can see it's never gonna happen. Phil and his boys blew this one from that standpoint. But the kid isn't a total bust yet and he won't be if they start doing what Urlacher has suggested. We've seen him make some great plays, get some hits and sacks, TFL, and chase Aaron Rodgers and a few others all over the backfield. The kid has great speed and the quickness to avoid blocks but not the ability to get off them once he gets wrapped up with a guy who outweighs him by 70-80lbs and who does have weight room strength. But what I've noticed is that virtually every time he does make plays he's doing it standing up at the LOS before the snap. So someone tell me why in the blue hell Tucker keeps playing him down in a three point stance? That's insanity by it's oft stated definition.

    The kid is young and he'll give you 110% effort in whatever you ask him to do but continuing to expect him to play into his weakness rather than his strength is stupid. It's just typical of every other fuck up I've seen out of this defense since Marinelli left, Tucker came along, and ol' Phil decided we could make a SB run without our defensive QB and leader who seems to be the last guy left who knew anything about running a Cover 2 defense. Tucker sure as hell doesn't and Briggs, as great a player as he is, never learned it because he always had Urlacher to do it. Ooops, no more Urlacher to run the show on the field, get guys line up in the proper spots and call out keys so the vaunted Bears defense craters. Can anyone else give me another reason why players who had very good to outstanding years in 2012 now look lost out there and like they've never seen a football before?

    So what now? Well Briggs is out for 4-6 weeks and in reality it's his play we'll miss not his play calling. We're stuck with Tucker until January when we can only hope he'll be given the same three orders Mike Tice got, "Get Out", 'Stay Out" and "Don't Come Back". Bostic is seen as the future at MLB and he'll have to flounder around in there and learn it on the fly because he has no real mentor playing alongside him now. So who plays Will. Costanzo shouldn't even be considered period and Greene is even "greener" and more prone to mistakes than Bostic so I have a suggestion for Trestman that he can add to the list of homework he gave to his staff. Maybe he can convince Phil and then order Tucker to just do it and scheme around it since nothing else he's schemed seems to work. With Cutler out for at least 4 weeks and then probably limited in mobility this season is shot, we all know that. We agree to that much before the season even began and that was before half the starting defense was hobbled with injuries or out for the count in 2013. So let's experiment. There's not much to lose any longer unless you're actually drinking that "we're still in it" Kool Aid Trestman and Phil were pouring on Monday. If so then you can remain blissfully drugged but I won't.

    Move Anderson over to Will (at least he can cover) and let Greene understudy with him playing him in a rotation. That's at least give him some badly needed game experience. They need to keep working Costanzo at backup MLB and SLB because Bostic may be the next casualty the way this year is going and we need a guy who can play both. Besides Costanzo can't cover so isn't a starting caliber guy anyway. Then take McClellin off his 4-3 DE spot and for the love of God at least try him at SLB in a role similar to the way the Bears used Rosie Colvin when he was here. If there's any player in recent Bears history who McClellin can probably be used like it's Rosie. Change that stupid perversion of a Cover 2 Tucker is playing and with it the responsibility of the SAM and let McClellin use his speed and athleticism to rush and penetrate from a stand up position. He's fast enough to even swap with Anderson and move to Will and blitz from there which is what they've been having Briggs do and where most of our sacks are coming from. Move him to LB and move him around. Play a 46 defense with him on some downs and turn him lose to attack the football and the QB because that's what he's good at. Create the unexpected using him to do it. We also have a far better chance of closing off the outside running lanes with him playing that way than we do with him playing down.

    The bottom line is this. So far in his short career as a 4-3 DE he's been just slightly above useless and soon to be labeled a bust for a 1st round pick yet the kid is too good a football player to give up on. Right now you couldn't even trade him to a 3-4 team and get anything of value for him. So stand him up and play him at SLB and see what happens. If he's as good a football player as many think he is then he'll adapt and at least to a certain degree succeed. He may even surprise a few like McCown did by being more ready for that chance than anybody thinks. If he can't play LB for us now I don't see him being of much use at all or at least not to the level of being the disrupter and playmaker Emery sold everyone on. Maybe he is at best a 3-4 LB but we don't play a 3-4 and we're at least an entire defensive line and about two years away from converting to it.....if ever. So somebody should listen to what Urlacher has to say and try the kid at LB. Maybe he takes over at MLB and Bostic goes to SLB next year but for now at least they should try this. Like I said, it's tough to see how it could make things any worse than they are.
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  14. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    look who thee cat dragged in
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  15. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Soul, I've been in a running argument (friendly) with Ric about Tucker. Personally, I think he's an idiot and as much an epic fail as a DC as Tice was an OC. If he can't see the Shea crap he's been putting out there then he needs to be shitcanned January 1. Yes, I know there have been injury problems and Pep's age has caught up to him, but there's still no reason for this D to be as bad as it has been (as I've pointed put before, the D SUCKED BEFORE even Melton went down). Bass has outplayed Shea at DE. Wooton surely would if moved back there. So....dumbshit Mel, find a way to get Shea OUT OF DE!!! Simply put, it can't get any worse and it's not working so ****ing change something!!!

    If the theory that Emery is forcing the issue and Tucker is playing Shea incorrectly due to "orders from above" is correct (and I have no idea if that's the case), then we have a prideful megalomanic situation on our hands at GM. Emery's job is to assemble and fine tune the roster. It's the coaches job to employ it tactically. Emery stepping over that line would be like a shipbuilding engineer telling an admiral how best to fight a naval battle.

    I don't know what is going on behind the scenes but this has been one giant clusterfuck with Shea from the very beginning and no one seems to be taking the logical steps to rectify the situation.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Soul, welcome back. You were missed here.
  17. JPosh2012

    JPosh2012 Pro-Bowler

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    I've been saying this for a while. IF we move him there we have our future LB core locked up "Greene-Bostic-McClellin."
  18. JPosh2012

    JPosh2012 Pro-Bowler

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    Wouldn't shock me but remember Lovie Smith likely had something to do with it.
  19. yttocs

    yttocs Pro-Bowler SuperFan

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    Chicity Wasn't the season over as soon a JC started as QB?
  20. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    It's amazing this's 1st time the board is in complete agreement about a player. Must be a first. But the ones that really need to see it won't even address it while turning their backs on the entire situation and I don't get it.
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