If it’s football season, there’s a linebacker shuffle going on in Philadelphia. Death, taxes, and so on. Even an offseason dedicated in part to shoring up the position couldn’t totally shut down the dance. In the latest shift, Brian Rolle lost his job at WILL in favor of Akeem Jordan. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo explained the move on Monday.
Since the Eagles returned to the Novacare Complex 10 days ago, Akeem Jordan hasn’t had much company at his locker.
The sixth-year linebacker has gone largely unnoticed. Many (present company included) figured he was battling for a roster spot with Keenan Clayton, looking to continue his strong play on special teams.
But things changed today. The last question for Andy Reid during his media session, which lasted about 15 minutes, was about Brian Rolle, and whether the second-year player was still the team’s starting WILL linebacker.
“Right now, no,” Reid said. “Akeem is going to work in there as a starter.”
Here’s a review of how Mychal Kendricks, Brian Rolle and the rest of the Eagles linebackers performed against the Browns, after having re-watched the game.
Andy Reid updated Michael Vick’s status and also offered up thoughts on roster battles at left tackle and linebacker.
From Mychal Kendricks to DeMeco Ryans, here’s a player-by-player breakdown of how the Eagles linebackers performed Monday night against the Patriots after having re-watched the game.
Here’s my player-by-player look at the Eagles linebackers after having re-watched their game against the Steelers.
If you were expecting Mychal Kendricks to look like a Pro Bowler in his first game action in the NFL, you were disappointed. If you wanted to see him show flashes of the player the Birds hope he eventually becomes, well, you got that.
Jamar Chaney didn’t find out until he got to the practice field Thursday morning for the Eagles’ walk-through.
But when Juan Castillo asked for the first-team nickel defense, Chaney was the man called on to go in alongside DeMeco Ryans.
Up until today, Brian Rolle had been occupying that spot at Lehigh. And in the spring, it was rookie Mychal Kendricks.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Chaney said when I asked him if he expected to be part of that package for the next few days. “I just do what they tell me to do. Whether I’m out there with the twos or the ones, I just go out there and do my best. My job is just to make the decision hard on them.”
Keeping you up-to date on the latest with the ‘backers. Today, DeMeco Ryans immediately asserts his authority, and Brian Rolle is the man to beat both at the WILL and in the nickel.
On one of the first plays today, Nnamdi Asomugha lined up inside against backup tight end Chase Ford. Last year, playing Asmougha inside was simple because the Eagles had Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside. But Samuel’s gone, and the new wrinkle today was that Curtis Marsh lined up outside at right cornerback.
Marsh, a third-round pick in 2011, played only 13 defensive snaps as a rookie. But with Samuel gone, he’s looking to fill a bigger role in his second season.
“We rotate. We have different guys that do different things well. It’s by gameplan,” Marsh said.
Tagged with: Brandon Boykin
, Brandon Hughes
, Brian Rolle
, Curtis Marsh
, DeMeco Ryans
, Dion Lewis
, Fletcher Cox
, Jaiquawn Jarrett
, Jamar Chaney
, Joselio Hanson
, Juan Castillo
, Kurt Coleman
, Mychal Kendricks
, Nate Allen
, Nnamdi Asomugha
, Oshiomogho Atogwe
, Sheil Kapadia
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DeMeco Ryans arrives with high expectations after the Eagles have continually failed in recent years to find an adequate middle linebacker. Barring injury, he is a lock to start in the middle when the Eagles open the season against the Browns. But can he be good enough in coverage to stay on the field for all three downs?
The Eagles were in nickel about 46 percent of the time last year, according to Football Outsiders (you’re going to see me cite that stat quite a bit). In Houston, Ryans earned the reputation of being a great leader and a great teammate. But it’ll be hard to lead if he’s replaced in sub packages and on the sidelines nearly half the time.