On Thursday, Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman expressed their disappointment with second-year defensive end Shea McClellin.
McClellin, who struggled during the 2013 season, is often referred to by Bears fans as one play Shea. Referring to the idea that McClellin only made one relevant play for the Bears this season and that play being injuring Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a November game. Though considering the events at the end of the season, that November play by McClellin may have lost its relevancy.
McClellin simply has failed to make an impact with the Bears at the defensive end position in his first two seasons in the NFL. That may result in McClellin being moved to the linebacker position. Trestman indicated on Thursday that McClellin could move to the linebacker position in the off-season.
Bears head coach Marc Trestman added: “We’ll look hard at Shea doing other things besides being lined up at defensive end. If that means moving him to a linebacker position as we move forward, that will be under consideration as well. But there’s no doubt as Phil and I watched the tape this week that he’s capable of more, and we’ll work toward that as we move forward. He’s got it in him. It’s our job as coaches, and it starts with me, to get him in a position to be more successful, and we feel confident we can get that done.” -Marc Trestman, ESPN Chicago
In the past, the Bears have skeptical of the idea of moving McClellin to the linebacker position. McClellin was an effective linebacker in college with Boise State but the Bears have been reluctant to play McClellin off the defensive line.
The Bears need production from McClellin. That much was admitted by Trestman and Emery on Thursday. But a move to the linebacker position for McClellin may not enable success for the soon to be third-year player. D.J. Williams and James Anderson are expected to return next season for the Bears to go along with Lance Briggs, meaning there is no opening in the starting trio of the Bears linebackers. Behind those three, Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene figure to progress more in 2014. Meaning McClellin may not see a lot of playing time at the linebacker position in 2014.
The switch may make sense if the Bears change their defensive scheme to a 3-4 defense. An idea that was not entirely dismissed on Thursday.
Nonetheless, McClellin needs to produce in 2014 after being a disappointment in 2013.