LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The only conclusion that can be drawn about Shea McClellin from the offseason program is the coaching staff hasn’t given up yet on the Bears’ former first-round pick.
“I think he's a smart, young player,” Bears coach John Fox said. “I think he's been moved around. I think he's been in some different systems. I think he's adapted pretty well. We'll get to see where that goes when we get to training camp.”
True to their word, the Bears kept McClellin at one position since the end of last season. McClellin spent organized team activities and both minicamps at inside linebacker, where he presumably will be afforded the opportunity in the preseason to compete for a starting job against Christian Jones, Mason Foster and Jon Bostic.
“I feel comfortable. I haven't played inside for a long time, but it's starting to come back to me, the instincts to play in there are coming back,” McClellin said. “Personally I'm feeling good. It's just a start. It's not where we want to be, but we'll continue to build.
“It's definitely a new breath of life. We've got a lot of new guys. It’s a whole new defense and a whole new scheme. It's all new, and we know we have to improve on what we did last year.”
McClellin set a career high in tackles (84) last year, but the Bears failed to exercise his fifth-year option, leaving McClellin’s future in Chicago very much in doubt.
However, McClellin insists he’s not feeling any extra pressure this season despite the fact he is not assured of making the final 53-man roster. The man who drafted McClellin No. 19 overall in 2012, Phil Emery, is no longer employed by the organization.
“I'm just going to take it as another year,” McClellin said. “I'll just do the best that I can, that's all I can do. Nothing else matters, I'll do what I can to help the team. I don't really feel the pressure; pressure comes when you're not prepared, so I think we'll be all right.”