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Jeff & Jahns: Sun-Times Beat Discusses the First Week of Bears Training Camp [AUDIO]

| August 6th, 2015

On this episode of Jeff & Jahns, the Sun-Times beat writer tells me that…

    • Shea McClellin has been handed the reins of Vic Fangio’s defense (and I laugh)
    • He believes Jay Cutler’s lack of interceptions thus far is newsworthy
    • Marquess Wilson is still out there making too many mental errors to expect major impact
    • Pernell McPhee and Marc Mariani are the players jumping off the field (Mariani at wideout)
    • Jordan Mills still looks to be the weak link on the offensive side of the ball
    • Much, much more!

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204 Comments

A Conversation with Sun-Times Beat Writer Adam Jahns [AUDIO]

| May 28th, 2015

I had a lot of questions. Adam Jahns always has a lot of answers. On this pod we discuss:

    • The fallout of the Ray McDonald signing at Halas Hall.
    • Was Cliff Stein demoted with the hiring of Joey Laine? (Sure sounds like he was)
    • Where the hell is Martellus Bennett and what does he want?
    • Would giving Matt Forte another year tacked on to his deal suffice or is the back looking for a multi-year commitment?
    • Shea McClellin. Lots and lots of Shea McClellin.
    • The Ultra-Positive: observations from the John Fox practice field.

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192 Comments

New Regime Seems to Like Shea McClellin (But They Just Got Here)

| May 14th, 2015

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Perhaps the most unexpected thing to come from the Bears new regime is the consistent praise of annual disappointment Shea McClellin.

When Vic Fangio was asked about returning players who could contribute, McClellin’s name was the second one to come out of his mouth (after Kyle Fuller, of course). John Fox admitted to liking him come out of college and said he “has a bright future.” These are two old school football men. They have done this before. They have nothing invested in Shea McClellin.

Even though they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option (which would’ve made him one of the highest-paid inside linebackers in the league) the Bears have made it clear that they see McClellin as a piece of their defense, somewhere.

They genuinely seem to like him.

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704 Comments

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears Game Thread Featuring Three Final Thoughts

| December 4th, 2014

dallas

Three Final Thoughts

(1) I was once, as a younger man, in New Orleans for Halloween with the great Lou Casillas and a reverend who used to spend some time around here. New Orleans for any night is the greatest party of your life but on Halloween its a special party. In my infinite wisdom I booked a flight back to New York early the next morning – the worst morning of my life. That was a Saturday. I returned to my friend Lou’s apartment and fell fast asleep, at 3 pm, in the same clothes I’d flown in. Sunday morning I awoke to the knowledge of the Bears playing the Detroit Lions, realized I’d need to be in a bar to watch it and thought, “Ugh.” That was the last time BEFORE THIS MORNING I felt that way the morning of a Bears game.

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Bears at Panthers Game Preview Addendum

| October 3rd, 2014

More Sondheim. It’s an addendum.

A FEW ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON INJURIES

  • There seems to be a consensus among fans and media that Jared Allen will be extremely limited in the aftermath of his battle with pneumonia a week ago. But reports I’ve read stated Allen wanted to play against the Packers and was working out vigorously Monday morning. Sure, he might not play 95% of the snaps but I don’t expect him to be used situationally in Carolina.
  • Jermon Bushrod suffering a knee injury in practice would feel far more serious if the Bears were facing the 2013 Carolina Panthers and their relentless defensive ends. But Michael Ola should be a capable replacement if needed and Bears have the luxury of Eben Britton to provide security on that side of the line.
  • Bears keep ruling out Shea McClellin days before the game. He must not be close to returning.
  • Panthers have essentially ruled out Jonathan Stewart. They are turning to the street at running back this weekend.
  • Put Jeremiah Ratliff in non-medical language and maybe your perspective will change. Against the San Francisco 49ers he suffered a bruise to his brain. That brain bruise has been so debilitating that he’s missed two straight games and has yet to be medically cleared for the third with three days til kickoff. Why is Ratliff even considering playing? Why are the Bears contemplating this risk? Ratliff should not only sit this week but also next week, avoid air travel, and return at home on the 19th.

After the jump you can hear my spot on SportsTownChicago.com previewing Bears v. Panthers…

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207 Comments

Overconfidence, Opportunity & Oh Shea: Three Final Thoughts for Monday Night Football

| September 22nd, 2014

taylor-ham1

Thought One – Overconfidence

I can’t recall a Bears game wherein the Bears were underdogs and an overwhelming number of Bears fans were predicting a blowout victory. Perhaps the expectations of 2014 have gotten the best of you? On face value the Bears would have no reason to blow out the Jets because the Jets do the two things that prevent blowouts: run the ball and stop the run. If the Bears win tonight I expect it to be a tough chore.

Thought Two – Opportunity

The Bears have a brilliant opportunity to seize control of the NFC North – almost unfathomable ten days ago.

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Who are McClellin and Bostic?

| August 21st, 2014

As the Chicago Bears prepare for their third preseason game they’re still trying to figure out if two of General Manager Phil Emery’s highest draft picks can play.

Although they’re both still young, there wasn’t much evidence at all that either Shea McClellin or Jon Bostic were going to be good football players. But last week’s game against Jacksonville was interesting and was enough to once again raise the question: Who are these guys?

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227 Comments

Collection of Thoughts on Last Night’s Snoozefest Second Preseason Game

| August 15th, 2014

Here are some thoughts on last night’s “game”.

  • Starting with the pregame interview, it isn’t easy to adapt to Jared Allen in a Chicago Bears uniform.
  • I think we saw a few clues last night as to how Shea McClellin is going to be deployed. DJ and Lance will be behind the defensive line and Shea will be sent at the quarterback.
  • Both McClellin and Bostic made excellent pursuit tackles. Good to see them showing instincts for the position.
  • If Chris Williams is going to be the starting kick returner against Buffalo, great. In the meantime the Bears need to be giving someone other than Eric Weems a look back there. I don’t know what Weems does well but I haven’t seen it.

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120 Comments

Shea McClellin as Breakout Player of 2014 & Answers to Other Bears Questions

| July 31st, 2014

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I received a list of questions from Charged.fm relating to the 2014 Chicago Bears. These are my answers.

1) After an injury-riddled 2013, what should we expect from Jay Cutler this season? Will Mark Trestman’s offense help solidify him as a great starter in this league?

I think fans need to accept Jay Cutler is going to throw interceptions. Part of what makes him special is his belief he can fit the ball into spaces other quarterbacks would not even consider and the downside to that belief is turnovers.

Comfort in Trestman’s offense, the weapons around him and finally a stable, talented offensive line will all contribute to this being by far the best year in Jay Cutler’s career if he can remain on the field.

2) As we know, Cutler is one of the most injury-prone quarterbacks in the game. For this reason, having a good backup quarterback seems like a must in Chicago. How worried is the team about their backup quarterback situation now that Josh McCown is in Tampa Bay?

Well, fans were concerned about Josh McCown this time a year ago. Why wouldn’t they be? All the word since his workout is both GM Phil Emery and Trestman like Jimmy Clausen quite a bit. I was hoping to see the club bring Kyle Orton back but it doesn’t seem to be something they are interested in doing.

3) The Bears defense was among the worst in the NFL last season. The team signed Jared Allen, Jay Ratliff, and Lamarr Houston this offseason, but didn’t do much to upgrade at linebacker or in the secondary. Are the Bears in for another long season on the defensive side?

A healthy Charles Tillman is a HUGE upgrade to the secondary as both he and Tim Jennings are only a year removed from being Pro Bowl corners. They drafted Kyle Fuller and Kelvin Hayden is healthy so they are set in the nickel.

They have no safeties. It is the most glaring flaw of the roster and I wouldn’t look for it to be corrected until next spring.

People seem to forget what happened to their linebackers a year ago. They intended to start a veteran trio of Briggs, DJ Williams and James Anderson and bring along Bostic and Greene. But injuries to 2/3 of the corps forced them to start rookies who were not ready for game action. If Williams and Briggs stay healthy, providing stability in run support, look for Mel Tucker to maximize the athleticism and speed of Bostic and Shea McClellin both in space and in the pass rush.

4) Who do you think will be the two starting safeties be when the season begins?

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191 Comments

Fans React to Offseason Approach Column

| February 21st, 2014

I promised to re-post some of the better comments to the previous approach. I’m doing that today. W

We start, because why not, with gpldan channeling his inner Mamet for a dose of well-timed dramatic comedy in reaction to the recent news that Shea McClellin is moving to linebacker:

Fans: He’d make a good linebacker
Bears: He’s NOT A LINEBACKER
Fans: He’s not a very good DE
Bears: He needs to get better but he will
Fans: Ok, he sucks
Bears: He doesn’t suck
Fans: Alex Brown blames him for all the containment issues
Bears: Football is a team sport
Fans: Ok, but maybe he could take Urlacher’s spot
Bears: He’s NOT A LINEBACKER
Bears: Ok, well maybe we’ll look at things, and he could be a Sam.
Fans: He’d be better at that
Bears: Shut up
Bears: Ok, he’s a Sam
Fans: He’s a bust, that’s what he is.

I’m not ready to jump on the bust bandwagon just yet (Bust Bandwagon, by the way, is my favorite porn western.) But the time is rapidly approaching. Here are some more fan responses.

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