During the NFL Scouting Combine last month, Bears general manager Phil Emery gave a glimpse into one part of the plan to remodel the Bears’ defense this offseason.
Answering a question about what lessons could be learned from the Shea McClellin experiment at defensive end, Emery was clear: “In terms of pure defensive ends,” he said, “probably make sure they’re a little bit longer and a little bit heavier.”
McClellin at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, was overmatched physically at times, in part because he admitted it sometimes was difficult to see over huge right tackles when he and they were faced off in three-point stances.
With McClellin earmarked for linebacker and NFL life in a two-point stance, Emery is addressing the “little bit longer and little bit heavier” lesson.
Indeed, a little more of the planned shape of the 2014 Bears defense came into focus on Thursday when the Bears signed former Oakland/New England/Tampa Bay defensive end Trevor Scott to a one-year contract.
This comes two weeks after the Bears added former Jacksonville/Detroit end Austen Lane, also on a one-year deal.
Both players project as competition for depth on the edges of the defense — not marquee signings in themselves but indicative of what the Bears are looking to do in their remodeled defense.
Scott is 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, a six-year veteran initially selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft by the Raiders. He had seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2008 and also played on special teams while starting six games.
Lane is 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, and was a fifth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2010.
David Bass, picked up at the end of last preseason, is 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, and will stay as an end, competing with Lane and Scott.