Spotlight on McClellin: Bears Bourbonnais Diary - KMSP-TV

Spotlight on McClellin: Bears Bourbonnais Diary

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

With all due respect to Theo Epstein - football is better with pads on. Just sayin'! So for the second straight day, the Bears practiced with full pads.

Devin Hester, who sat out practice on Saturday night with a tweaked ankle, fully participated. So that was good.

But I decided to focus in on Shea McClellin. He's had all of two full pad practices as a professional football player. I watched him line up at defensive end on both sides, with first and second string.

Israel Idonije told us the team expects Shea to execute when he's on the field. No matter what, when or how he's called upon. Talk about pressure. McClellin was drafted for a reason - to be a compliment to Julius Peppers.

Lovie Smith said where Shea earns his money will be when he pressures the quarterback and he has a "long way to go." That was clear Sunday. He was thrown down by J'Marcus Webb at one point, then shoved a lineman into the pocket the next. But he's obviously smaller than the other d-lineman, and learning on the job.

After practice, I heard him apologize to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Not totally sure why, but Marinelli told him not to worry about it. After all, that is what training camp is for.

I will say Shea seemed tired. He said his body is sore, but in the same conversation, he said he needs to work on pass rush and not make mistakes. He's harder on himself than anyone. I'm anxious to see how he develops. He definitely is the kind of player the Bears new GM wants in his locker room. It'll be interesting to see where he ends up on the depth chart in a couple weeks.

Whether you know it or not, you should be cheering for Brian Price. The newest Bear DT is an incredible story of overcoming tragedy with his chance to play football. He lost his sister earlier this year and then his job and opportunity in Tampa. But as Phil Emery said, he needs a new football home and we're excited to welcome him to Chicago. He is humble and grateful for the chance to start fresh. He will do that Tuesday when he can practice for the first time. Lovie said he better be ready because "our train is rolling, we can't stop for anyone."

The players have Monday off. The head coach made sure we knew it was an off day for the players, not the coaches. The new CBA is requiring off days during training camp. I got the vibe coach Smith wasn't a big fan of that. He did hope the team would rest. The tempo of camp has been high, and they'd like to keep it that way.

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