Bears top rookies make early strong impression

841007.png

Bears top rookies make early strong impression

Nothing will be official until the film is reviewed but the Bears got the kind of collective performance from some of their rookies that they have craved from the top end of their draft classes.

Defensive end Shea McClellin displayed the speed hed demonstrated through training camp but supplemented it with moves and ball awareness that a number of NFL experts had expected once the rookie pass rusher was in game situations.

McClellin collected a pursuit sack of backup quarterback Caleb Hanie and delivered two other quarterback hits with spin and reaction moves against a good Denver offensive line. He also was credited with a tackle for loss among his three tackles.

I thought Shea McClellin did some good things, said coach Lovie Smith. Anytime its your first time playing and you get a sack as a defensive lineman, youll remember that.

Not all of the evening will be remembered fondly.

McClellin was buried on the Broncos short TD run in the second quarter and needs to be stronger at the point of attack. But he was a factor and pursued one third-quarter running play the entire width of the field to make the tackle.

I wanted to showcase what kind of skills I really do have, McClellin said. But overall I have a lot to learn.

Alshon Jeffery may have vaulted himself into the discussion for a starting job at wide receiver, or certainly more playing time at the very least. Jeffery caught both passes thrown to him in the first half with the excellent hands that led the Bears to make him their No. 2 draft choice.

Jeffery continued to produce as quarterback Josh McCown went to him for two more completions in the third quarter. Jeffery had 35 yards on his four catches (out of five balls thrown to him) and worked different areas of the field well, winning matchups against defensive backs with strength and body positioning.

It felt good, Jeffery said. Just the speed of the game and adjusting to it, and getting to know and understand it. Everybodys got a little pre-game jitters so it was a matter of really getting a real feel for the game.

When Major Wright went down with a hamstring injury, Brandon Hardin was pressed into service early and performed generally well, moving to free safety in a pairing with Craig Steltz.

I would say I played like a rookie, said Hardin, who was credited with one tackle and a pass defense. Getting that first game under my belt was definitely good. From now on hopefully Ill calm down more when Im out there.

Fast Break Morning Update: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Fast Break Morning Update: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Former White Sox OF Tim Raines elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame

Between Cubs' victory lap and Hall of Fame vote, Sammy Sosa barely staying in the picture

Bulls' continued inconsistencies 'an issue of focus'

Report: Bears set to hire Curtis Modkins as running backs coach

Wrigley Field named one of the happiest places in the world by CNN

Tim Raines shares thank you message after being elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Bulls Talk Podcast: What went wrong for the Bulls against the Mavericks?

Hawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks' bottom six steps up in Colorado

Big Ten Talk Podcast: Picking contenders and pretenders in the Big Ten title race

Jerry Reinsdorf, Frank Thomas congratulate Tim Raines on Baseball Hall of Fame election

Which current Blackhawks would Jeremy Roenick like to play with?

Which current Blackhawks would Jeremy Roenick like to play with?

Is there anyone who wouldn't want to play with Patrick Kane?

Jeremy Roenick joined In The Loop on Wednesday to discuss which current Blackhawks he would like to play with, and naturally, the reigning MVP topped his list.

"He would be my No. 1 choice," Roenick said. "There's no question about it."

But Roenick said there are two more Blackhawks he would like to lace them up with.

"I wouldn't mind playing with (Artemi) Panarin also," he said. "I would love to play with Jonathan Toews. I think I'd play well with all three of them."

Roenick also gave high praise to coach Joel Quenneville, saying he is one of the best coaches in all of sports. Roenick even compared Quenneville to "the Bill Belichick of hockey."

See what else the Roenick had to say in the video above.