Bears-Jaguars preview: McClellin, Bostic need to show progress

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The “Release Shea McClellin” bandwagon seems to be gaining passengers at a rapid pace, but don’t expect to see general manager Phil Emery or head coach Marc Trestman aboard anytime soon.

I’ll admit, I’ve been as discouraged as most that McClellin struggled at his new linebacker position against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. But I also have more patience than most and I’m willing to ride out the storm and see if he settles in at some point. And although his body type prohibited him from succeeding as a defensive end, his skill set keeps the door open, at the very least, to the possibility that he can contribute to the Bears defense in some capacity.

The idea that McClellin won’t make the roster seems farfetched at this point. His status as a first-round draft pick is one of the biggest factors going for him, but the uncertainty and instability from the rest of the linebacking corps works out in his favor as well.

Fellow linebacker Jon Bostic is another player who needs to show some improvement. Bostic is in a battle with veteran D.J. Williams for the starting middle linebacker position, but he did not have a great performance against the Eagles. Bostic could be a more natural fit at weakside linebacker, but that’s being manned by perennial Pro Bowler Lance Briggs.

Bostic, like McClellin, isn’t in any real danger of not making the final roster, but it would behoove him to make strides toward becoming a starting NFL linebacker.

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