The Chicago Bears invested a lot of resources to fix their defense this offseason. They added a bunch of defensive linemen and defensive backs, but they didn’t make a lot of significant moves to bolster their linebacking corps. Besides the re-signing of DJ Williams and addition of undrafted free agent Christian Jones, the most significant move is that of Shea McClellin to the linebacker group.
With DJ Williams absent from OTA’s, second year man Jonathan Bostic handled the middle linebacker duties, while McClellin played the strong side (Sam) linebacker position and Lance Briggs manned his usual Will linebacker spot. With the second team, McClellin moved inside to middle linebacker and made the calls for the defense. By all accounts, McClellin looked comfortable in his new role and had the athleticism to pull off the position change from defensive end.
It’s a little concerning that the Bears haven’t figured out some better options for their middle linebacker position. By his own admission, Phil Emery noted last offseason that Bostic might be better suited to play on the outside and most presume he’s Lance Briggs’ successor. With Williams missing practice, the depth at the middle linebacker position seems pretty thin. It also begs the question where Bostic will fit in assuming Williams is the starter. Does the second year man challenge McClellin for the Sam linebacker spot? Does he settle in as a special teams contributor and utility man, backing up all the linebacker spots?
At this point, all that’s certain is Lance Briggs will be on the outside. Beyond that, it’s going to be an interesting positional battle to monitor when training camp opens in Bourbonnais on July 24th.