There's only one certainty when it comes to the Chicago Bears' linebacking corps and that is Lance Briggs being the only starter for certain of the linebackers, at the WILL backer (weakside) position. Other than that, it's said that the MIKE (Middle) and SAM linebacker positions are had from competition.
However it doesn't seem that complicated from where this blogger sits. I see it as Briggs will start at the WILL, the veteran Williams at the MIKE and the player who the organization just doesn't seem to want to give up on, Shea McCellin at the SAM.
Shea, a player who showed an unknown amount of potential coming out of Boise St. in 2012. Now at his second position in three seasons. It's looking more and more like Shea is more like a bust than an actual contributor on defense, let alone the cornerstone that Emery & Co. thought he could be.
Moving on to those "competing" for the other spots are Jordan Senn (brought in primarily for Special Teams Duty), Khaseem Greene, Jon Bostic, Dede Lattimore, Jerry Franklin and one of the more interesting players on the roster this year, undrafted free agent, Christian Jones.
It should be easy to dismiss the likes of Jordan Senn, though he offers a skill set the Bears could really use. Along with Dede Lattimore, a player whom I really like coming out of South Florida but doesn't have enough of a chance due to the sheer numbers game. Thus leaving Franklin off the roster as well.
Khaseem Greene and Jon Bostic were selected in the 4th and 2nd rounds respectively of the 2013 NFL draft. Bostic being touted as more of a raw prospect with the size at 6'1" and a shade under 250 lbs with good measurables. Whereas Khaseem Greene, a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the year could've been viewed as more of an over-achiever coming out of Rutgers.
Admittedly both had immense struggles with the NFL game speed and play recognition as first year pros. Though it wasn't helped by the whole defense having an abnormally quick decline from the Lovie Smith era to the new coach Marc Trestman. Through two pre-season games the linebackers have shown signs of growth and what could be long term replacements for Briggs (who is probably in his last season as a Chicago Bears player and D.J. Williams. Whom Bostic could unseat relatively quickly even through the season.
Whether is be through McClellin struggling and needing to move DJ over to the SAM spot or Bostic simply showing enough talent and growth as the starter in the Nickel package to take over. It should be fun to see how these two young players develop. As they could be the longer term potential starters of a new era in Chicago defense.
Finally that leaves Christian Jones going into the 2013 NCAA season he was thought of to be a late 1st round prospect to a sure 2nd rounder. He then changed positions from not just MIKE and SAM linebackers. But, to defensive end for the National Champion Seminoles. Which started his stock decline to the 3rd and 4th round projections.
At the combine he had a diluted urine sample which constituted a failed drug test and that was evidently enough for the entire league to pass him over and probably claim a spot on the 53 man roster. At this point in time he also happens to be the only true SAM linebacker on the roster and could prove to be the linebacker with the highest upside given his athleticsism 4.74 40 yard dash, 4.38 20 yard short shuttle. go along with his size at 6'4" and 240 lbs. All this to go with versatility and ability to rush the passer.
Personally I've had an eye on him since two seasons ago and think he could be a player. Only time will tell. Overall the Bears could carry six linebackers and Lattimore possibly being signed the practice squad;