LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery couldn’t resist cracking a smile on Thursday when responding to a question about converted linebacker Shea McClellin's new trimmed and toned offseason physique.
"He looks like an extra from a Dolph Lundgren movie, doesn't he?" Emery said. "He's looking good, looking trim and fit."
McClellin moved out to California for 12 weeks in the offseason to train with veteran performance coach Scot Prohaska where he dropped 11 pounds and reduced his body fat by eight percent. He reported to Halas Hall for the start of the offseason program two weeks ago at 252 pounds and 10 percent body fat.
"To be honest with you, I have never expected anything less than Shea and Shea was in tremendous shape when he came here last summer," Emery said. "Shea is a hard gainer in terms of putting weight on. And obviously we've put him in two different directions. Up and through the end of the season it was at defensive end. And to his knowledge he was a defensive end until we hired the rest of our defensive staff at the very last week of January.
The moment that we notified him that, hey, we're moving him to linebacker, he found the right person, he moved out to California and he attacked it with vigor. And that's what I would have expected out of Shea. And the end result of what he looks like is because of his efforts."
However, McClellin has not been promised a starting job at strong side linebacker. McClellin and fellow linebackers D.J. Williams, Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene will have to compete for the two open linebacker spots next to perennial Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Lance Briggs.
"We're counting on him being part of that mix at linebacker and competing for the job. Nobody is going to be given a job; it's a full-on mix. The only person we've told has a job --the room has been told that -- is Lance Briggs. The rest of it is the best player wins."