Sometimes draft picks don’t pan out. That happens. Some have a resergance of their career and end up being the player they were projected to be. Just where does Shea McClellin fit in with this?
We are about to find out.
With the hiring of Vic Fangio the Chicago Bears are going to be installing a 3-4 defense. This defense is more ‘Shea-Friendly’ compared to Phil Emery’s designated spot of putting him at defensive end, seeing that fail and giving him a shot at linebacker(where he was mediocre at best).
Fangio will be keeping Shea at linebacker; plugging him at first as ILB and hope the best for his transition. If we know one thing about Fangio and his history which shows he has a great defensive resume.
Hopefully he can find a way to make Shea blossom into the player he was selected to be at 19th overall in the 2012 Draft. At the time, many draft experts saw Shea as a 5th round talent; not a first. And it did not help Phil Emerys case of the pick once he gave the ringing endorsement of “Blue Chip special teamer” in regards to his thoughts on Mclellin. Not exactly words Bear fans wanted to hear when discussing a 1st round pick.
So installing a 3-4 defense will allow Shea to use his (so far limited) talents in finding open gaps to shoot through and his speed. Things that Fangio covets in linebackers and a 6’3 260 pound frame that would ideally have coordinators drooling. But, as we have seen so far, Shea has been unable to get off blocks, found himself out of gaps too much last year, although much of that can be blamed on Mel Tuckers and his lost, inept no identity driven defense that left much to be desired.
Instead Shea will find himself again in his usual spot of one final round of redemption. He has the backings of new head coach John Fox who said he has a “bright future” and Fangio, who chimed in saying: “He has a chance to be a good inside linebacker.”
With the blessings and optimistic approach the coaches are giving Shea, there is a small chance we could see a much reformed and aggressive McClellin who can finally be put to good use and not used as a “blue chip special teamer.”
What Shea will need to do is embrace, and accept his role of inside linebacker with the fast hard hitting approach mentality we are used to seeing out of our linebackers. It’s Shea’s time to step up in the batters box and work on all the small things he failed hard over the past few seasons. Getting off blocks, staying committed and disciplined to his craft while being agressive when the play is in the works.
After watching some of the games from last season and concentrating on Shea, you can just tell he was timid and very unsure of himself. Big downfalls in the NFL world is lacking confidence and it was quite apparent Shea didn’t have much. The changing of guards at head coach will surely help tremendously, as will having a new scheme that will show a reinforcement of discipline and a more natural position for Shea as he enters year two of playing linebacker.
Hopefully with a much more respectable and talented coaching staff; Shea can realize some of his more natural talents and blossom into the player we all envisioned only a few seasons ago.