Bears plan for Shea McClellin: Stick to pass-rushing
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org August 23, 2012 9:14PM
Denver Broncos v Chicago Bears
Updated: September 25, 2012 10:55AM
Rookie Shea McClellin can get that excited look in his eyes all he wants when he talks about how he dropped back into pass coverage during his days at Boise State.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli finally has shown how he wants to use the defensive end heading into the start of the season. He will be used in that role Friday night when the Bears play the New York Giants in their third exhibition game.
“Getting a good feel for him as a rusher,’’ Marinelli said of the team’s first-round pick [19th overall]. “He’s growing every day. You see everything coming a little bit smoother, and I would love to have him continue to work with that nickel package and get him going because he’s got raw speed, and it’s going to come.’’
So the plan is to do what the San Francisco 49ers did with Aldon Smith last season: bring him in on obvious passing situations and turn him loose. All Smith did in that role was record 14 sacks in the regular season and two more during the playoffs.
“When those guys first start, it’s always a step behind,” Marinelli said of the growing pains that young sack specialists go through. “The get-off is so important and the tackle sets are so quick, so it’s kind of shocking for those guys. You’ve got to get him in a groove, and you’ve got to keep coming out and rushing him.’’
And as far as dropping McClellin back into a zone coverage in certain situations? Not happening.
“We run our package with him,’’ Marinelli added. “Where the league is in terms of mobility of quarterback, the speed, and or guys that can step up and avoid, you need speed coming at the quarterback. You are looking for athletic guys. Henry Melton is athletic, Julius [Peppers], Izzy [Israel Idonije], this guy is athletic, so you are looking for athletic guys that can play in space, and he can do that. Once you start moving a guy around a lot it diminishes your skills.’’
The Bears didn’t wait until the third game of the preseason to open their doors to the Turk, as the team announced that they waived running back Kahlil Bell.
Bell was third on the depth chart behind starter Matt Forte and Michael Bush at the start of training camp, but with Lorenzo Booker showing versatility in catching passes out of the backfield and special teams, as well as Armando Allen having a strong camp, Bell became expendable.
Bell played three seasons with the Bears, seeing action in 20 games and starting three last year when Forte was injured.
He finished his time in Chicago with 557 yards rushing on 119 attempts, and his only touchdown came on a reception last season.
Even if the Bears see improvement from the offensive line, this is not a group that’s destined to stay together beyond this season.
Chris Williams, Lance Louis and Chris Spencer are free agents after this season.
“I don’t know how you’re supposed to act, this is my first time,’’ Louis said of preparing for a contract year. “It’s like, I’m just here to play and make the most of my opportunities. I got to leave everything else, all that other stuff, for whoever takes care of that.’’
Coach Lovie Smith on a second NFL team in Chicago?
“I know our fans love the Chicago Bears, so it would be hard for me to even imagine another team being here,’’ he said.