Chicago Bears– The Chicago Bears defense showed some promise in their first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The resurgence of Stephen Paea and Jay Ratliff in the middle of the defensive line will greatly improve the run and pass defense. We saw a nice push up the middle that was lacking last year.
Jared Allen sat out and the Bears were able to highlight a very impressive Willie Young who was getting after Nick Foles and being very aggressive at the point of attack, playing very well against the run and the pass. This disruption from the defensive line helped cause two turnovers which will pay major dividends to the success of the defense this year.
However, there looked to be a fish out of water, both literally and figuratively. There was a player who kept attempting to make tackles but simply landed at the feet of the ball carrier reaching his arms at him as if he was a bluegill caught at the end of the pier and placed on one of the wood planks, flopping around under the hot sun as people stood and stared. Only to be thrown back into the water, caught and watched as it flopped around… again.
This is the best way to describe the play of linebacker Shea McClellin on Friday night. Time after time he was in position to make the play but instead of driving through the ball carrier, wrapping up and making the tackle, he left his feet, hit the turf and flopped around like the bluegill. Trestman kept him in longer than the rest of the starters in hopes that he might soon actually make a tackle but to no avail.
Pro Football Focus put out a graph that grades the 4-3 OLB’s after Week 1 of the preseason and Shea McClellan ranked dead last with a rating of -4.6. As you can see in graph the box is red, which you can assume means ABORT! It also says that he had only one missed tackle but that’s because he rarely made contact with ball carrier as it was mostly with the turf.
Undrafted free agent Christian Jones is penciled in as the back up to McClellin at the SAM position, could be a dark horse to unseat the former first round draft pick and possible throw him back into the pond never to be seen again. McClellin has three weeks to improve his play dramatically or risk being one of the few first round draft picks to be cut before the end of his four year rookie contract. Good thing for him his grandfather taught him the value of a dollar and told him to save his money.