Bears linebackers coach Glenn Pires is used to building from the ground up. Under Pires’ tutelage, undrafted free agents Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu became rookie starters in 2013. Worrilow was fifth in the NFL in tackles last season with 142.
Shea McClellin, a former first-round draft pick, is a different type of challenge. But Pires likes what he has seen so far.
“I think he’s getting more comfortable,” Pires said. “He’s certainly far away from where we want him to be, because now it’s the physical part. He’s going in the right direction, but I’m really anxious to see these preseason games. [They’re] going to tell us a lot. That’s going to be a big, big part of it.”
Pires also will let the games determine just how excited he is about Christian Jones, the undrafted free agent (2014) starting at the other inside linebacker position. The talented Jones is an intriguing prospect. But he’s going to have to learn on the fly. Mason Foster and Jon Bostic are the second-team inside linebackers.
“I think [Jones is] similar to Shea in that the’s still feeling his way around a little bit in a new position or in a new scheme somewhat in terms of not playing as physical and not playing down hill, and he’ll be the first guy to tell you that,” Pires said. “We’re still going through the thought process and now get to kind of cut it loose once we get into these games. I’m excited about his body type [and] his athletic ability.”