McClellin disappointed despite flashes
July, 29, 2012
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
Brian Kersey/Getty ImagesShea McClellin has shown his speed, but he's having trouble with NFL offensive tackles.BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Rookie first-round defensive end Shea McClellin expressed disappointment in the way he performed during pass rushing drills Saturday as the Chicago Bears wrapped up their second day of practice in full pads at Olivet Nazarene University.
"I just have a mentality of never quitting, and that's what I try to do," McClellin said. "Today, my pass rushing wasn't very good, so I was kind of disappointed. I'm pretty hard on myself. So I've got to do better than that."
Perhaps McClellin's workout didn't go as badly as he put on after Saturday's session. During individual pass-rushing drills against offensive linemen, McClellin flashed speed off the edge and much of the burst the club raved about upon drafting him.
McClellin's struggles appeared to be most apparent upon engaging offensive linemen, who often engulfed the rookie once contact was made. During a one-on-one matchup with talented undrafted rookie James Brown, McClellin was stopped cold twice. The same occurred in matchups with tight ends Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth.
Two-year veteran J'Marcus Webb shoved McClellin to the ground on a pass play during a team period. But despite the negative moments, McClellin found a way to blow past Webb, Chris Williams and some of the other younger linemen during individual and team drills to get near the quarterback. On one play against Webb during team, McClellin beat the tackle around the edge so quickly it caused quarterback Jason Campbell to make an errant throw because he couldn't set his feet properly.
McClellin insists he's not struggling to process the overflow of information typically thrust upon rookies.
"I'm able to process it pretty easily," McClellin said. "It's not too complicated for me; it's fine."
Bears coach Lovie Smith said it's too early to try to gauge where McClellin falls on the depth chart, or whether he's pushing veteran Israel Idonije for the starting job. Despite McClellin's frustration, Smith seems to be pleased with what the rookie has done so far.
"I like everything he's done," Smith said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. As a defensive lineman playing in the league, there's a lot for him to learn; first off, just being a physical player on the tight end. But he's going to earn his money based on what he does rushing the passer. He's got a long way to go."