Shea McClellin should send a thank you card to Brian Price because Price's workout on Tuesday was bad enough that it knocked the rookie off the front page of Bears camp reports.
Brian Price struggled mightily in his first full practice in pads with the Bears, raising early alarms about the young players skills. The naysayers should relax a little, it was one practice and Price has a proven track record in the NFL.
Price is still working to get into shape, and still working out an injury of sorts he suffered in Tampa that led to the Bucs cutting ties with him in the first place. Whether or not he's 100-percent remains to be seen, though if he's not completely healthy the Bears will likely keep that under wraps.
Price struggled on the goal line, struggled in one on ones and in full team drills. He'll need to step up his game considerably and I expect him to.
Some perspective is in order when it comes to the player that Price is. One thing he is not is a pass rusher in the mold of Melton, or Okoye from last year. He's not going to look athletic as a pass rusher, his strength is in the run game. If Price has a lower leg injury that he's still battling through, getting and keeping leverage in run defense won't be easy.
While he can collapse the pocket, his strength will be in holding the point of attack. Even though he struggled I expect he'll bounce back, so long as he's healthy.
Healthy may be the operative word here going forward.
Back to the rookie McClellin, he struggled for the second padded practice in a row. I was extremely critical of the McClellin pick, and the reasons why I was critical continue to show up on the field.
I don't know what we'll see from McClellin going forward, but what I questioned of him as a player at Boise State is still what I question of him as a rookie in camp.
Perhaps even more troublesome is the success of the defensive ends that I had rated higher on my board than McClellin aren't have the same problems adjusting that McClellin is. Chandler Jones is standing out in New England and Whitney Mercilus is showing explosion off the edge in Houston.
Elsewhere on the field, yesterday was a bounce back day for Tim Jennings. Jennings had two pass breakups and an interception going against Brandon Marshall. Jennings under cut the route and picked off the pass. Jennings is always going to struggle against the bigger receivers, he's the smallest guy on the roster. But no one should ever doubt his competitive nature and his desire to remain as a starter.
J'Marcus Webb took all of the reps at first team offensive tackle. Webb looked pretty good in practice on Sunday and one has to wonder if Webb showed enough on tape to warrant the extra time with the starters. That's been the Bears motto this season, "put it on tape". Williams may very well take over at LT during today's workouts, but for one day at least Webb ran with the first team throughout the entire day of practice.
During our Bear Report radio from Monday night we talked about how second year defensive tackle Stephen Paea is expected to take over the starting nose tackle role. Paea was in that spot during Tuesday's practice and the guess here is he won't relinquish that role going forward.
I'll say it now and continue to say it, Paea is the most complete DT on the roster from a power, strength and athleticism standpoint. Some DTs can be just athletes, some are just big and strong, Paea is all three. He has speed for a defensive tackle which is why he can play the three technique. He has strength which is why he can play the nose, but also generate a pass rush because of his speed. My prediction is Paea makes his first Pro Bowl in 2013 and plays at a high level in year two.