Chicago Bears 2016 Position Preview: Inside Linebacker

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /


Shea McClellin – I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this from the surprisingly rabid McClellin fan base, but he just didn’t do enough last season (or any season) for the Bears to re-sign McClellin as a free agent. DC Vic Fangio did praise McClellin often during the season, but mostly for his ability to call the plays on defense and make sure the Bears young defense was aligned correctly.

Assuming the Bears bring in a veteran ILB (they should), McClellin’s seniority will be gone as will his value to the Bears defense. He was decent against the run (after the RB had gained 3-4 yards), but was a liability in coverage and an ineffective blitzer. Everyone seems to agree that McClellin is a good guy and I wish him the best, but the Bears have given him enough chances.

LaRoy Reynolds – Flashed speed and tackling ability in his brief stint as an ILB for the Bears, but Reynolds just can’t stay healthy. He’s gotten hurt every year of his NFL career and last year was no different. Reynolds plays with his hair on fire, which the Bears need, but his reckless playing style has led to injuries every time he’s gotten significant snaps. He brings value on special teams, so I could see the Bears giving him another chance but I think they will look for a more reliable option as their back ILB / special teams ace.

¹ Shea McClellin, Christian Jones, LaRoy Reynolds, Jonathan Anderson, Jon Timu