Bears Preseason Week 1: Position Battles (Defense)

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Strong-side OLB

Up: Khaseem Greene - The former safety from Rutgers is much better suited to the weak-side OLB position, but of the young backup LBs, Greene had the best day Friday. He had two tackles, including a nice open field tackle on Sproles and a right place / right time fumble recovery. Greene did a good job covering the flat and looked stronger and much more confident than he did last season. He is probably too small for the strong-side position but if he continues to outplay the other candidates for the position, Greene, the former 2-time Big East defensive player of the year, could find himself in the starting lineup.

Down: Jon Bostic - He was on the field for at least three Eagles drives but somehow managed to not make any tackles. Bostic got burned deep over the middle on a 34-yard pass to TE Zach Ertz and gave up a few other catches as well. In Bostic’s defensive, he just missed two tackles that I saw and was an inch or two away from a couple of pass deflections. He was close to making some real nice plays, but just couldn’t quite get there in time. Bostic will need to start making those plays if he is going to win the strong-side OLB job. He picked up a personal-foul penalty in the 3rd quarter which isn’t going to help his cause.

Down: Shea McClellin - He may have been playing a different position, but the results were the same. Like Bostic, McClellin came close to making a couple plays, but ultimately finished with no impact and a couple of missed tackles. On one play in particular, Shea was in the backfield on a run play as the ball was being handed off, but the RB managed to avoid him and gain a couple of yards. It was his first NFL game at OLB so I don’t want to be too critical of McClellin but he doesn’t have much time left to prove he belongs on the roster (or in the NFL) so Shea will need to start making plays if he wants to stick around.

No Change: Christian Jones - He didn’t play much until mid-way through the 4th quarter, but made his presence felt quickly. He was only credited with 1 solo tackle according to ESPN, but there was a stop at the line of scrimmage on RB Fluellen that Jones should have gotten some credit for as he burst through the hole to help with the tackle. Jones also had a nice open field stop on a 3-yard pass play; Jones wrapped the receiver up immediately on the catch. His athleticism and size stood out on the field and if he can get the Bears defensive scheme down pat he has a shot to contribute this season.

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