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Bears LB John Timu looking at next step in second start

Leading the Bears in tackles in his first career start didn’t feel too good to rookie linebacker John Timu. The Vikings’ 38-17 walloping of the Bears ruined everything.

“The end result still overrides everything,” Timu said. “I have to get better.”

Timu will have a prime chance to build on his initial success Sunday against the Buccaneers in Tampa, Florida. Linebacker Shea McClellin, the signal-caller of the defense, is doubtful after missing every practice this week because of a concussion.

“There’s some things he could have done better,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Timu’s first start, “but overall he did fine for a guy who hadn’t played in a game since the preseason.”

Timu, who spent 10 weeks on the practice squad before the Vikings game, said he feels that the way he prepares makes up for what some perceive as a lack of talent and size.

“When I’m out there, everything tells me a story,” said Timu, who went undrafted out of Washington. “From the guards’ eyes to the [quarterback’s] vocabulary and demeanor, everything counts.

“If I can be ahead of the game, being not so fast and kind of short, it doesn’t matter if I’m beating you to the play.”

Timu said facing Vikings star Adrian Peterson in his first start was special – “Everybody knows he’s a Hall-of-Fame back,” he said – but Bucs running back Doug Martin also is a challenge.

“He’s a very explosive back, a very powerful guy,” Timu said. “He’s very patient. He’s just a complete back overall. He’s got the speed. He’s got the power to run through tackles.”

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com