NFL

Urlacher compares McClellin to himself, says he was out of position

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Defensive lineman Shea McClelliin #99 of the Chicago Bears pursues the play during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 22, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bears defeated the Steelers 40-23. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Defensive lineman Shea McClelliin #99 of the Chicago Bears pursues the play during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 22, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Bears defeated the Steelers 40-23. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Throughout their franchise history, the Chicago Bears have established a tradition of fielding great linebackers.

Brian Urlacher, selected ninth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, was one of them. He played middle linebacker for the Bears for 13 years and made eight Pro Bowls before retiring after the 2012 season.

The Bears are now counting on Shea McClellin to step up at inside linebacker in the team's new 3-4 defense. The connection may not be immediate, but Urlacher said McClellin reminds him of himself athletically in an ESPN radio interview, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.

More from FoxSports

"He was out of position from Day 1 with the Bears," Urlacher said of McClellin in the interview, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

McClellin, a first-rounder in 2012 (19th overall), spent his first two seasons at defensive end and failed to make much of an impact with only 6.5 sacks. He moved to outside linebacker last year, but he still wasn't very effective.

The Bears list McClellin at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds. Urlacher is 6-foot-4 and played at 258 pounds. Their body sizes may be similar, but we'll see if McClellin has the fluidity to move like Urlacher could in space.

(h/t @adamjahns)