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Shea McClellin says he has much to improve on

Updated: November 16, 2012 6:16AM

The bye week offers a good time for evaluation, so how would rookie defensive end Shea McClellin sum up his first five games as a pro?

‘‘They’re all right,’’ McClellin said. ‘‘There’s still a lot I have to improve on and get better at. It’s just really been fun to get an opportunity to play the game.’’

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli would grade McClellin a bit better.

‘‘He’s really made nice progress,’’ Marinelli said. ‘‘The longer it goes, expectations for him grow and grow. . . . We want to see more. Just the little things sometimes, the habits. Guys have a tendency to revert back to something. He works, that’s the big thing, and he’s got speed. So that’ll just keep coming for him.’’

The Bears have featured McClellin, their first-round pick in April, most often during pass-rushing situations, but he also has been used as a stand-up linebacker, where he roams, rushes and drops back in coverage. It’s a position McClellin is comfortable with, having played it in college at Boise State.

‘‘I don’t prefer one over the other,’’ said McClellin, who has two sacks. ‘‘Whatever they want to play me at, I’ll do it. You never know what’s going to happen when you come in. But they’re going to put you in certain situations where they feel you’ll do best at.’’

Out and about

General manager Phil Emery is well into his scouting process of seeing college football games live. It started with watching Northwestern’s 22-13 victory Sept. 15 against Boston College and has included catching the LSU-Florida game — ‘‘a lot of talent on the field,’’ Emery said — and a visit to Notre Dame. More is planned.

‘‘I need to make sure that key players I see visually,’’ Emery said. ‘‘That adds a lot to the evaluation when you see them either at a practice or in games.

‘‘We need to have a really good understanding of who’s available that can help the Bears in our December meetings. We move pretty much forward with our process, so that helps us not only with the college draft, but it helps us plan for the [unrestricted free-agent] market coming up to fill our team needs.’’

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