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Every year, the Eagles seem to have a different set of starting linebackers. That lack of consistency is troubling, as chemistry can go a long way toward elevating an entire unit’s level of play.
Similar to the past few seasons, 2012 will see new faces in starting positions. For most fans, however, this is a good thing.
DeMeco Ryans is a lock to start at middle linebacker. After being acquired from the Houston Texans for a fourth round pick, the team expects to reap benefits from his play immediately.
To his left, rookie Mychal Kendricks is expected to start on the strong side. A lot is being placed on Kendrick’s plate early, and he needs to acclimate himself quickly if he wants to make a good impression early on in the season. He is a bit undersized but plays with impressive speed and tenacity.
The biggest question among the starters is, who will be the starter on the weak side come Week 1?
Brian Rolle is the incumbent, and he played very well for a late-round draft pick. Competing with him will be Jamar Chaney, who seems to have already lost his starting job on the strong side to the rookie Kendricks. He is hoping to redeem himself by impressing the coaches enough in training camp to start over Rolle.
In the end, Rolle should end up winning the job, with Chaney being an adequate backup at all three linebacker positions should any of the starters go down.