Could Izzy Lose His Starting Job This Season?

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Back in April, the Chicago Bears drafted Shea McClellin 19th overall. A left defensive end, it’s likely he’ll start across from Julius Peppers, especially after having a great day at rookie camp last Sunday.

McClellin played at Boise State where he started 38 games and had 130 tackles and 20½ sacks in four seasons. Those aren’t monster numbers, but they are indicative of a 19th overall pick.

However, inspired by his four-year contract and his impressive play at rookie camp, some observers have suggested that McClellin will take Israel Idonije’s starting job at left end. Even though Idonije spends a lot of time in the middle as a tackle.

In fact, one league personnel evaluator recently told Pro Football Weekly that he still considers Idonije, “who has the versatility to play inside as a tackle,” as a starting-caliber player. “(Idonije is) a good player and a good athlete,” the evaluator said. “He’s pretty good in the run game and as a pass rusher. … He’s just not explosive from the outside.”

Whatever. Idonije has earned his spot and is not afraid of playing on special teams. Lovie Smith has no plans to rid himself of the veteran out of the U of M.

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