Chicago Bears first-round draft pick Shea McClellin has shown during his rookie season that his best assets are his speed and quickness, but defensive coordinator Ron Marinelli says it's not even possible that the Bears would move McClellin to linebacker.
With Brian Urlacher (hamstring) out for at least a few weeks, Chicago has been forced to shuffle the linebacking corps. Nick Roach and Geno Hayes will get the first shot at taking the starting roles alongside Lance Briggs, but McClellin's speed has made people curious as to whether he would get a shot, should those two falter.
When Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago asked Marinelli about any possible move to linebacker, the Bears' defensive coordinator stated in no uncertain terms that McClellin will remain at defensive end:
"[I[t's so far away, it's not even (a possibility)."
"It's hard to even explain it to you," Marinelli said. "But it would be like night and day, totally. Guys have got to grow up, (go through an) offseason, all those things. We've got our guys and we've just got to go with them right now."
In reality, the rookie is probably a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker. However, Lovie Smith runs a Tampa-2 defense that uses a 4-3 front. The Bears still felt confident enough in McClellin to take him 19th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, so they want to try the 23-year-old as an edge pass rusher in the current scheme.
Over his first 10 games, McClellin has recorded 2.5 sacks in limited action.