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Mel Tucker “super confident” in Shea McClellin’s ability at linebacker

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

The Bears came up short in every way defensively last season and they’ve spent a good bit of the offseason addressing those weaknesses with help from outside the organization.

They signed Jared Allen and LaMarr Houston to play defensive end before drafting a pair of defensive tackles and they also selected cornerback Kyle Fuller in the first round to go with a slew of safeties signed away from other teams. Not all of the changes involve new faces, though.

Some involve new places, including the move of Shea McClellin from defensive line to linebacker. McClellin has dropped weight and picked up quickness this offseason, leaving defensive coordinator Mel Tucker feeling quite optimistic about what the 2012 first-round pick can do at his new spot.

“I’m super confident. We want to be big and physical, and he goes from being the smallest guy in the defensive line room to the biggest guy in the linebacker room,” Tucker said, via the team’s website. “He’s very athletic. You watch him move around in our offseason program and in our coaching sessions and he looks like a linebacker. He looks at home. He looks very comfortable. When you go back and look at some of his tape from Boise State and the Senior Bowl, he looked comfortable in a two-point stance as well as in space as a rusher and in coverage. He’ll tell you that he’s comfortable doing that.”

The Bears are looking at McClellin as both a strong-side and middle linebacker this offseason and he will compete with Jon Bostic, D.J. Williams and Khaseem Greene for snaps alongside Lance Briggs. If the leaner build and return to collegiate stomping grounds pay off, the Bears defense will be moving in the right direction after a long 2013 season.

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27 Responses to “Mel Tucker “super confident” in Shea McClellin’s ability at linebacker”
  1. mialto says: May 16, 2014 11:45 AM

    This should of been done when they first drafted him. He was always an NFL LB as most cooldge players make transitions to other positions. Stubborn Lovie!

  2. 46plank says: May 16, 2014 11:46 AM

    Man I wish they would play him at “Mike” first. If he was good there we could be set at LB for a while with Greene and Bostic on the outside.

  3. jaycutlersbarber says: May 16, 2014 11:49 AM

    “Super” confident? So, that’s like confident, but with a cape?

  4. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 16, 2014 11:56 AM

    Bostic and Greene need to step it up. Shea could work out and I’m optimistic, but we won’t know until September 7th gets here….

  5. larryboodry says: May 16, 2014 11:58 AM

    I have more faith in Shea McClellin turning into a good linebacker than I do in Mel Tucker turning into a good defensive coordinator.

  6. vegasbearfan says: May 16, 2014 12:00 PM

    If this experiment works, the last remaining weak area is safety- I am optimistic this year

  7. thevikingslol says: May 16, 2014 12:02 PM

    Funny they show him sacking Ponder. Doesn’t matter who you are, it’s still easy to pad your stats against the pathetic Minnesota Vikings.

    #53years0rings

  8. kabasaman says: May 16, 2014 12:10 PM

    The kid has all the tools needed to be a great linebacker. Size, speed and he knows how to tackle. The question I have. Is he tough enough?. It takes aggression to be a linebacker.

  9. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: May 16, 2014 12:10 PM

    Bbbbbbbbbbbb…………ust! Any bears fan in Vegas is chasing unicorns and rainbows.

  10. ravenswhat says: May 16, 2014 12:20 PM

    I don’t know how the bears will do this year but I’m pretty impressed with their business like approach so far this offseason in getting the draft picks all signed and making moves to improve the D. They are going to be a threat this year on both sides of the ball.

  11. jazsrt says: May 16, 2014 12:27 PM

    With improved D-line play, everyone will look better.

    even….Chris Conte. (although I still hate him.)

  12. ngarren13 says: May 16, 2014 12:52 PM

    not ‘super confident’ in tucker

  13. earpaniac says: May 16, 2014 1:08 PM

    He should’ve been at lb from day 1. I think that was Lovie trying to fit him to fill a need.

  14. danno1212 says: May 16, 2014 1:23 PM

    Any DC who agrees to use the previous DCs system and terminology is not a DC you want running your defense. He is just a guy that will do whatever you say to get the job, because he knows no one else would hire him.

    I hope Shea can make the switch. Go Bears!

  15. luadak says: May 16, 2014 1:24 PM

    DJ and Briggs are the top of what we have… If Shea really outplays Bostic, I think that says more about Bostic’s ceiling than the quality of Shea’s play.

  16. 46plank says: May 16, 2014 2:01 PM

    Any DC who agrees to use the previous DCs system and terminology is not a DC you want running your defense. He is just a guy that will do whatever you say to get the job, because he knows no one else would hire him.

    Disagree- They had basically the same personnel from a top five unit. Why would you change what was not broken. Tucker was lauded for this.

  17. malek773 says: May 16, 2014 2:03 PM

    Shea’s true position is outside LB in a 3-4 defense. He fits the mold of one of those pass rushing linebackers. He’s not a cover guy. Never was, and I don’t think he will be. He’s a good open feild tackler, terrible at getting off blocks, but has lots of speed and agility. His awareness is not good enough to be a Mike LB. He might be adequette as the SAM but he truly belongs in a 3-4. I said it back when he was drafted and I stil feel this way now, Emry should have never drafted Shea unless he was planning to have the Bears switch to a 3-4 scheme. As a Bears fan i hope I’m wrong but it looks like this was a wasted pick.

  18. htown995 says: May 16, 2014 2:06 PM

    Another 8-8 season while the packers win nfc title bears suck

  19. mortwannabe says: May 16, 2014 3:00 PM

    Look out Aaron Rodgers!

  20. toothfairyretributionmanifesto says: May 16, 2014 3:11 PM

    Shea had 3 sacks against the Packers in one game. The rest of the year he only managed to .5 sack games.

  21. rosstuckershair says: May 16, 2014 3:49 PM

    Shea had 3 sacks against the Packers in one game. The rest of the year he only managed to .5 sack games………

    Shocker look at the Packers pathetic offensive line.

  22. suckit619 says: May 16, 2014 4:15 PM

    Last chance to prove he’s not a BUST

  23. suckit619 says: May 16, 2014 4:15 PM

    Oh well, at least he hurt Aarogant Rodgers last year. Gotta give him some props for that!

  24. bassplucker says: May 16, 2014 7:07 PM

    This guy is a whisker away from being a total bust. I hope he works out at LB, but as a Bears fan who was very skeptical about him when we took him, I’m not holding my breath. I saw the picture of him in his new “condition” and he looks like a marathon runner. Which for a pro football player is not a good thing.

  25. homebruer says: May 16, 2014 9:51 PM

    Wow, click on the “has dropped weight” link above and tell me he doesn’t look a little too scrawny to play linebacker. I really hope this kid pans out but he doesn’t look big enough. “Ripped” yahoo sports? Seriously? more like gypped.

  26. danno1212 says: May 17, 2014 10:36 AM

    Any DC who agrees to use the previous DCs system and terminology is not a DC you want running your defense. He is just a guy that will do whatever you say to get the job, because he knows no one else would hire him.

    Disagree- They had basically the same personnel from a top five unit. Why would you change what was not broken. Tucker was lauded for this.

    But they didn’t have the most important person from that top 5 D. #54.

    The guy calling the plays on the field DJ Williams had never played in that D.

    We all know how it worked out.

    They weren’t even playing well before everyone got hurt.

  27. bassplucker says: May 17, 2014 4:42 PM

    From what I hear the Bears D is going to be quite a bit different this year. Mel Tucker kept Lovie Smith’s scheme in place last year out of deference to the veterans. That turned out to be huge mistake because all the Lovie holdovers he was trying to accommodate didn’t respond (Peppers) or got hurt (pretty much everyone else). I have also heard there were some pretty significant clashes between Tucker and the two position coaches that were retained from the Lovie regime, and guess what? They’re gone too. This year, he gets to do it his way.

    I’m still not convinced he is better than a middle of the road DC but at least now, if the D fails again it is squarely on his shoulders because it’s gonna be his scheme and the talent (with the possible exception of a legit MLB and possibly a safety) appears to be in place.

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