Darrell McClover

Darrell McClover To Replace Lance Briggs?

If Lance Briggs is close to leaving the Bears -- with negotiations expected to continue this weekend with the Washington Redskins -- finding his replacement at weak-side linebacker could become a pressing matter.

The first name Babich offered up when asked about the subject twice was Darrell McClover, who was signed at midseason and became a special-teams ace. McClover has good speed and good hips, but he lacks experience with the defense.


It's just 'plane' luck: Bears' McClover is Super

Darrell McClover is part of a Super Bowl team in large part because he happened to have a stopover at Midway Airport.

The linebacker's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had lined up a workout for McClover with the Detroit Lions in October, but McClover didn't get a direct flight from Florida.

"I was connecting through Midway," McClover recalled. "Drew called me and said, 'Stay in Chicago. Don't go anywhere. They're sending a limo and it will be there in 15 minutes. I think they want to sign you.' "

The Bears did indeed sign McClover. And come Sunday, instead of being unemployed or being idle as a Lion, he'll be trying to help the Bears beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI as a key part of the team's kickoff coverage and return units.

McClover's heart stays with prep coach - Bears linebacker invites Bell and wife to game.

MIAMI GARDENS Chicago Bears linebacker Darrell McClover, a Coconut Creek High School graduate, didn't forget his high school coach.

McClover had tickets for Grantis Bell, now the girls' track coach and guidance director at Fort Lauderdale High, and his wife, Carla, when the Bears beat New Orleans in Chicago to win the NFC championship.

"We have stayed in touch since I left high school [1999]," McClover said, "and I wanted him there."

Bell, a former Northeast High star, and his wife will also be at Dolphin Stadium for Super Bowl XLI.