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updated: 8/9/2013 11:09 PM

McCown relishes role in new system

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  • Bears quarterback Josh McCown is sacked by the Panthers' Colin Cole in the first half Friday night at Carolina.

      Bears quarterback Josh McCown is sacked by the Panthers' Colin Cole in the first half Friday night at Carolina.
    Associated Press

 
 

The first time the Bears signed quarterback Josh McCown was on Nov. 23, 2011, after an injury to Jay Cutler, and he wound up starting two games just over a month later.

Last year, McCown spent the off-season with the Bears but was waived in the final cutdown and then re-signed on Nov. 13 when Cutler was injured again.

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Bears coach Marc Trestman has praised McCown's play in camp, which the quarterback says has been helped by being with the team throughout the off-season. McCown relishes the opportunity to help install a new offense from the ground up.

"It was invaluable to be with the team the whole time, and it's been good to be around the guys and be here as we've built this system from Day One," McCown said. "You spend a lot of time together; me, Jay and (No. 3 quarterback) Matt (Blanchard) and Marc and (quarterbacks coach) Matt Cavanaugh.

"We all sit in there and build this system, and so it's a good feeling to be there from the ground floor moving forward and that's certainly been a help to me. I've felt like it's helped in how I prepare and play for practice every day and hopefully pay dividends in the game."

McCown played just the second quarter Friday night, completing 3 of 8 passes for 27 yards in relief of Cutler before giving way to Blanchard.

Weighty issue:

Defensive end Shea McClellin, who is listed as the co-starter on the left side along with Corey Wootton, is listed at 260 pounds, same as he was last year as a rookie.

McClellin gained about 10 pounds in the spring but then decided he wanted to lose some fat. At whatever weight, he's off to a better start than last year because he said he's more comfortable in the defense with a year of experience.

"When he's in there, he's made a lot of plays," coach Marc Trestman said. "He's running to the football, Shea's been consistent. He's got to be a run-down player as much as a pass-down player, and that's the process we're going through right now."

McClellin is undersized for a defensive end, which wasn't a problem for former coach Lovie Smith, who called weight an overrated statistic.

McClellin agrees.

"Weight doesn't matter," McClellin said. "What matters is if you're doing your job and doing it right."

Hurt in action:

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton suffered a concussion on the first play from scrimmage and did not return.

Later in the first quarter, 16th-year veteran long-snapper Patrick Mannelly suffered a rib injury when he was blindsided while covering an Adam Podlesh punt. That forced starting strong-side linebacker James Anderson into the long-snapping role, which he handled without incident on Robbie Gould's 35-yard field goal.

Sitting it out:

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (coach's decision), linebacker D.J. Williams (calf), defensive ends Julius Peppers (hamstring, coach's decision) and Corey Wootton (calf), wide receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee), tight end Kyle Adams (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jamaal Anderson (knee) did not play.

Peppers was injured last Saturday night in the Soldier Field practice, missed Monday's practice and was excused on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bennett did not make the trip.

Juggling the lineup:

James Brown started at right guard ahead of first-round draft pick Kyle Long. Brown has gotten most of the first-team snaps in practice over the previous week.

Rookie Jon Bostic started at middle linebacker, with veteran D.J. Williams (calf) still in a protective walking boot. Kyle Moore started at defensive right end.

Stressing the basics:

Some false starts during training camp are inevitable, but coach Marc Trestman has prioritized minimizing those infractions.

"If one or two guys are jumping offsides, the team isn't focused," Trestman said. "That's what we're going to hear about the next day. If it's one or two of us, it's all of us. We've got to continue to focus in and lock in to that area."

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