The Bears' first round choice of two years ago has been playing out of position, and it definitely shows. I think the move to linebacker will benefit the entire defense. The spots at right and left ends are held down very well now by Jared Allen and a combination of Houston and Young. The one thing you cannot fault McClellin for, is embracing change. The transformation from the body of an undersized DE to a large linebacker is amazing. The CBS article stated he went from 262 lbs. and 18% body fat to 253 lbs. and !0% body fat. He is like an Urlacher twin now in terms of athleticism. It will be seen what role he plays this year.
I can envision Shea being an OLB on 1st and 2nd downs, and then shifting to a standing-up rush end on passing downs. This move will allow extreme flexibility in the scheme. Emery stated that it is rare to have a first rounder to have another chance to shine through a position change. It is entirely possible that McClellin turns on another gear at linebacker and provides a much needed spark to the defense. On the other hand, he could flame out because he played OLB in a 3-4 system at Boise St. and he would be playing linebacker in a 4-3 base system. The motor is there, and hopefully the results follow.