Ernie Sims Will Have To Compete with Akeem Jordan To Become Eagles Starter

Bob CunninghamSenior Analyst IApril 20, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27:  Akeem Jordan #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Denver Broncos on December 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Broncos 30-27.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I said in an earlier article that I thought the newly acquired Ernie Sims might be thrown into the mix at SAM linebacker, but given his size (6'0", 230) that seems unlikely.

Quite frankly, there's probably no shot of that happening, and I'm not quite sure what I was thinking.

Sims is about the same size as the Eagles' other two WILL linebackers—Akeem Jordan (6'1", 230) and Omar Gaither (6'2", 235)—but gains his advantage with his speed.

He was drafted to play weakside in a cover 2 defense, so that should give a clue as to what the Lions thought of his ability to drop back and cover in space. He wasn't afforded that opportunity, as the Lions changed their defense almost immediately, but it could be something to give him a slight edge over Jordan heading into offseason camps.

Right now, Jordan will be the starter heading into the offseason workouts. He has been the guy here for a couple seasons, and Sims will have to uproot him if he wants to start.

Gaither has had his chance to start and was only average. He is playing on a one-year deal after being a restricted free agent; otherwise he would most likely be playing elsewhere, as the Eagles were unlikely to retain him had he been an unrestricted free agent.

There's even still a chance Gaither gets moved this Thursday .

But even with Jordan as his only competition, there's no guarantee the former ninth overall pick will be a starter in Philadelphia. The Eagles think very highly of Jordan and would have a hard time sticking him on the bench without being absolutely positive that Sims is the better choice.

So not only will Sims have to play well, he will have to make Jordan look like a scrub if Sean McDermott and Andy Reid are going to feel comfortable turning away from Jordan.

Both Sims and Jordan are playing on one-year deals, so whomever is put on the bench will most likely not be back next season. Both guys know that, so it's going be some quality competition all season long to see who stays and who goes.