Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune quotes defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as he defends the play of inside linebacker Shea McClellin:
“Fangio believes McClellin can learn the physicality and explosiveness required to win at the point of attack.
“‘It’s all keying and diagnosing and reaction and instincts and repetitions,’ Fangio said. ‘The more he plays, the more he’ll do better at that.’
That was good enough when the season began and the position was new to McClellin. But we’re in week 15 now and there has been no noticeable improvement in his play. Color commentators that have focused upon the Bears inside linebackers note that there’s far too much running sideline-to-sideline going on. The only player who has shown any ability to diagnose plays fast enough attack up field is undrafted rookie Jonathan Anderson, who has seen far less playing time and had far fewer repetitions than either McClellin or Christain Jones. Linebackers are allowing too much time for offensive linemen to get to the second level and block them out of the play.
I find Fangio’s arguments in McClellin’s favor lacking and I think the fact that we will be seeing John Timu against the Vikings is an indication that the other members of the organization aren’t buying it either.