Bears Need to Evaluate the Plan at the Linebacker Position

Hub Arkush at answers you questions:

“From @BFlores44: Can Christian Jones develop into anything other than an average linebacker?

“Based on on what we’ve seen so far it’s looking more doubtful each week. Jones certainly has the size, athleticism and body type to be a very good one. But after 11 starts this year we’re not seeing any of the instincts and playmaking the position requires.”

Christian Jones isn’t even average. From what I can tell based upon performance, the Bears have a pretty big need at inside linebacker (like pretty much everywhere else on defense). It appears to me that the team actually does like Shea McClellin, probably because he’s show the ability to hold up a bit better inside against the run than any of us thought he could. Arkush’s opinion is even lower than mine:

“Shea is not the athlete Jones is and unlike Jones, McClellin has clearly learned the position, is usually in the right place at the right time on the field and is well past being a prospect. McClellin just doesn’t make plays and when he does they are usually chasing the ball from behind or getting dragged after initial contact.”

Both of the starting linebackers are liabilities in coverage and both are slow reacting to the ball, making the Bears more than usually vulnerable to the run-play action pass game.

The Bears need better play at this position if they are to become truly competitive with the best teams in the league. I can’t imagine Jones being on the team much beyond this season.

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