Chicago Bears Roster Review: Shea McClellin


Dec 4, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker Shea McClellin (50) following the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field. Dallas won 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace has quite a rebuilding project on his hands. In the next phase of our Chicago Bears Roster Review, we look at the players who are currently on the Bears roster. We’ll look back at their 2014 season and look ahead to how they might fit into the team’s plans in 2015.

Shea McClellin, Outside Linebacker, Age 25 – Last Year of  Rookie Contract

2014 Review

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Shea McClellin can probably be considered a first round bust. The only thing that keeps him on the edge of a wasted pick is the fact that “One Play Shea” single handedly changed the 2013 season by taking out Aaron Rodgers for 7 games. The Bears still mucked it up by losing to the Packers the last game of the season, but the Bears had a chance because of Shea McClellin. That is how all Bears fans will remember good ol’ Shea. Just like we all remember former Bears defensive end Corey Wootton. Just in case you don’t remember, Corey Wooton’s first NFL sack was Brett Favre’s last.

Shea McClellin was moved to Linebacker for the 2014 season after appearing in 28 games with 10 starts at defensive end. Battling injuries for most of the season, he ended up playing in 12 games, starting 10 accumulating 24 solo tackles, 36 total tackles, 1 sack and 1 pass defended. Let me just say that he under performed as a linebacker. Ryan Mundy, in his first full year as a starting safety, had 75 solo tackles. That means either too many running backs were making it into the secondary, or there were a lot of passes against the Bears. Watching the games last year, you know that the Bears couldn’t stop the run and the linebackers were part of the problem.


Shea McClellin was a first round pick out of Boise State where he totaled 130 tackles (64 solo), 20.5 sacks, 33.0 Tackles for Loss and 4 interceptions with 2 defensive touchdowns. He earned the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding play against Green Bay on November 4th, 2013 when he recorded 3 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. Hands down, his best performance of the year and his sack on Aaron Rodgers, causing Rodgers to miss 7 games, had implications for the whole NFC North. Shea McClellin has not lived up to expectations after being drafted by the Bears 19th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

2015 Outlook

The Bears are loading up on linebackers now that they are going to be working out of a base 3-4 defense. Will Shea be better suited as a outside rushing linebacker? My eyes tell me otherwise. Starting with Lovie Smith, the Bears ruined any potential that Shea McClellin might of had. They fattened him up in order for him to play larger at defensive end. This caused him to lose at least a step in game speed. By the time they had him lose the weight to play linebacker, the damage had already been done. He could have been learning from some of the greatest linebackers in Bears history from day one. Instead he was wasting his time playing in a position that he didn’t have the proper body type to play in. Maybe with another new coaching staff and an entirely new defense, Shea might live up to his expectations. I doubt it. I don’t even think that he will be on the team when it is time to make final cuts for the 53 man roster.

What do you think about Shea McClellin? What do you think his role will be with the Bears in 2015? Do you have a better nickname for him other than Chicken Dinner Road or One Play Shea? Let me know in the comments section below.

Go Bears!