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What exactly is the worry about Shea McClellin?

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What exactly is the worry about Shea McClellin?

Some of the negative reaction to the Bears drafting Shea McClellin out of Boise State with the 19th pick included the fact that 3-4 teams like the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots were targeting him. The point was that if hes a fit as a linebacker edge rusher, he must be too smalllight to be one as a defensive end in the Bears scheme.

Heres the thing, though:

As for an impact pass rusher, other than Julius Peppers last season and tying Israel Idonije in 2010, the Bears have not had a sack leader bigger than Adewale Ogunleye (265) since Clyde Simmons (280) in 1999.

And holding the point against the run?

The top four teams against the run in 2011 were all 3-4 teams (the Bears were No. 5). But more to the point is their edge personnel, specifically the leading pass rusher on a top run defense.

No. 1 San Francisco 49ers Ahmad Brooks (259 pounds), Parys Haralorn (255), Aldon Smith (258, 14 sacks as a rookie)

No. 2 Baltimore Ravens Jarret Johnson, Terrell Suggs (14 sacks), both 6-3, 260 pounds.

No. 3 Miami Dolphins Jason Taylor (255), Cameron Wake (6-3, 250, 8.5 sacks).

No. 4 Houston Texans Connor Barwin (264, 11.5 sacks), Brooks Reed (6-3, 260).

The merits of a 3-4 vs. 4-3 scheme arent really relevant since the Bears are and will be a 4-3 team as long as Lovie Smith is a head coach.

But Smith has long been adamant that size is second to speedleverage in an edge player, regardless of scheme. And there was a hint of bristling when McClellins ability to hold up against the run was questioned this weekend.

First off you have to explain that, how a six-three two hundred and sixty pound guy is going to have trouble doing that, Smith said. Weight is one of the most overrated things that there is when you talk about football players. You talk about strength and athletic ability more than that.

Were not a two-gap, hit-guys-right-down-the-middle defense. We dont play that style of ball. Were a get on the edge, maintain your gap defense. A defensive end that is 6-3, 260 pounds can do that easily. So that is no concern at all, Shea will be able to hold his own with the big boys that he is playing with.

Based on what has worked with the other best run defenses in the NFL, and that Israel Idonije wasnt run on at 260 pounds last season, makes the point.

ICYMI: Wendell Carter Jr. out 8-12 weeks; Corey Crawford returns to the ice; Kris Bryant angers Cardinal Nation;

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: Wendell Carter Jr. out 8-12 weeks; Corey Crawford returns to the ice; Kris Bryant angers Cardinal Nation;

Wendell Carter Jr.'s rookie season might be over due to a thumb injury, Corey Crawford returned to the ice for the Blackhawks and Kris Bryant pissed off Cardinal Nation. Here's what you might have missed from the weekend in Chicago sports:

Bulls

Wendell Carter Jr.'s rookie season appears to be over following news that the 19-year-old needs thumb surgery. Carter's season ends as an unknown, much like the rest of the Bulls' season.

Chicago-native Dwyane Wade played his final NBA game in Chicago on Saturday night, a 117-103 Heat win. It is impossible to tell the story of Wade's Hall of Fame career without including Chicago.

No player was happier to return to Chicago from the Bulls' 0-5 West Coast trip than Kris Dunn, whose midrange game has disappeared.

Following their big loss to the Heat, Zach LaVine had telling comments about the state of the Bulls. Matt Peck, David Watson and John Sabine react to that and more on the latest Bulls Outsiders Podcast.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday, taking down the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals 8-5. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a big game, tallying five points apiece.

In other positive news, Corey Crawford returned to the ice before practice on Saturday. Crawford has been in concussion protocol since Dec. 16.

Henri Jokiharju was a healthy scratch on Sunday, but the Blackhawks are pleased with the rookie defenseman's progression.

Cubs

At Cubs Convention on Friday, Theo Epstein said he does not think the Cubs are done making moves this winter. However, the Cubs president mentioned how adding to the bullpen is the main focus and insisted there is a lot of work happening behind the scenes.

Epstein also laid out what suspended shortstop Addison Russell has to do to return to the Cubs.

New Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta was happy in California. Then, the Cubs came calling; what does Loretta bring to the team in 2019?

Yu Darvish is ready for takeoff after making just eight starts in 2018, his debut campaign on the North Side.

Kris Bryant called St. Louis boring, and Cardinal Nation was not too happy about it.

David Kaplan and Kelly Crull talked with Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, Kris Bryant and many more on Friday's edition of SportsTalk Live.

Other

The White Sox are reportedly discussing a trade with the Dodgers regarding outfielder Joc Pederson. Plus, the Manny Machado sweepstakes are getting kind of mysterious.

What should the Bears do with impending free agent safety Adrian Amos? If the team re-signs Amos, he will have a new defensive backs coach in 2019, as the Bears hired Deshea Townsend on Friday.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, multiple teams are interested in former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Bears head coach Matt Nagy did not shut down the possibility of adding Hunt at the team's end of season press conference last week.

 

Bryce Harper jokes that Tony Romo knows where outfielder will sign in free agency

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USA TODAY

Bryce Harper jokes that Tony Romo knows where outfielder will sign in free agency

Is it possible that the best quarterback in Sunday’s AFC Championship was not on the field, but instead in the broadcast booth?

CBS analyst and former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was the talk of Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and Chiefs. Romo consistently predicted plays before they happened, much to the delight and amazement of those watching the game on television.

MLB superstar Bryce Harper even chimed in on Twitter. Harper, who is still a free agent, jokingly tweeted that he called Romo to learn which team he will play for in 2019.

Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes delivered an instant-classic game on the field. However, Romo’s performance in the booth deserves recognition and should be remembered as well.

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