McClellin to be at left DEmostly

747351.png

McClellin to be at left DEmostly

Phil Emery invested his first-ever draft choice as an NFL general manager in a pass rusher. The question may be: from where?

McClellin has played linebacker and defensive lineman. He has played in a three-point stance opposite a tackle and standing up in a two-point stance, which is how the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots envisioned positioning him in their 3-4 defensive schemes.

The Bears play a 4-3 defense and have no intention of changing what has worked for Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli.

But last season there was criticism, some from inside Halas Hall, that the Bears needed to become less predictable in a scheme that has endured like the West Coast system on offense. It was being exploited too easily by quality quarterbacks who too often knew exactly where everyone was going to be.

McClellins mission statement will be find-quarterback-hit-quarterback. Where he does it from and how he gets there will warrant watching.

At Boise State I was all over the place, McClellin said, noting with just a hint of an edge that his numbers reflected that.

People who look at stats, I didnt have the stats compared to other guys but if you look at my stats, I only averaged 35 snaps a game compared to other guys getting 60-70 and theyre rushing the passer every down.

I was in coverage and other things so its hard to compare.

Hand in the dirt, standing up, I think I can do either.

The Bears do drop their defensive linemen into coverage on occasion and the speed of McClellin projects to allow better disguising of rushes and drops.

His normal starting role at Boise was as a mike middle backer and he would come down and rush in third down or in sub substitution package situations, so theres a lot of versatility to this player, Emery said.

We will start him off at left end because of Pep Julius Peppers but he can play either side. He has the pass rush ability of a right D-end, he has good strength along with his combination of instincts and motor to play the left side.

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Bears also announced the additions of assistant coaches Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II Wednesday morning:

Staley will replace Clint Hurtt as outside linebackers coach and Swinton will be the assistant special teams coach under Jeff Rodgers.

Swinton is reprising his role he held on the Bears coaching staff in 2015 before leaving to take a promotion with the San Francisco 49ers special teams. 

Hurtt left the Bears to take a position as the defensive line coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Staley spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Division-III John Carroll University, the alma mater of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will there be any takers for Bears QB Jay Cutler?

jaycutlerdone.jpg

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will there be any takers for Bears QB Jay Cutler?

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly) and Brian Hedger (NHL.com) join Kap on the panel.

ESPN is reporting that the Bears have begun shopping Jay Cutler. Will there be any takers? 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler doesn’t think he’s going anywhere. Would that be a mistake?

Miguel Montero makes his peace with Joe Maddon but was this even a big deal? Sammy Sosa says he put Chicago on the map, and compares himself to Jesus. When he will the Cubs welcome him home?

Plus, Pat Boyle drops by to talk Blackhawks and the “Roly Poly Goalie” is looking for work all because he ate a pie.

Check out the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: