NFL Week 2: Shea McClellin Needs to Continue to Develop

After week one in his second season, Shea McClellin leads the Bears in sacks, recording the only sack for the Bears on Sunday against the Bengals.

It’s important for the Bears to continue to get production from their first pick of the Phil Emery era in Chicago. Shea is one of only two first round picks drafted by the Bears that are on the roster, along with Kyle Long.

Getting production from Shea is important for the Bears going forward, as they need to find more economical production along the defensive line besides Julius Peppers. Especially when Peppers draws double teams.

Shea goes into the game against the Vikings this weekend with one sack and a good chance to add to that total going against the Vikings and quarterback Christian Ponder struggled last week against the Lions, throwing 3 intercerptions, fumbling once and getting sacked three times by the ferocious Lions defensive line.

If the Lions defensive line can disrupt Christian Ponder, the Bears defensive line should be able to make Ponder feel uncomfortable in the pocket as well and force Ponder to make mistakes.

While Shea struggled with only 2.5 sacks in his rookie year, he also had concussion and hamstring injuries during the 2012 season. Shea has to continue to find a way to contribute on the Bears defensive line and not have as many games where he is held without a sack.

Shea has to continue to use Juilus Peppers as a way to draw only single teams, and he has to disrupt the timing of opposing quarterbacks, and tally up sacks on the stat sheet.

While Shea may not ever set the sack record, or even draw double teams on his own merit, he can be a contributor on the Bears’ defensive line for the foreseeable future. He has to continue to exploit match ups where he is single teamed, and he has to continue to use Pro-Bowl teammates on the defensive line, Julius Peppers and Henry Melton as resources in learning more effective techniques to finish up sacks.

Shea also has the benefit of having a Pro-Bowl linebacker behind him in Lance Briggs able to make plays, along with Pro-Bowl cornerbacks in Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. While these players don’t play the same position as Shea, they allow Shea to focus on becoming a productive player before worrying about developing into a Pro-Bowl player.

Shea has made some great plays so far in 2013, and he has to continue to make plays for the Bears to get back to the playoffs this year.

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