Philadelphia Eagles: Akeem Jordan Should Be Improvement as SAM LB

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Philadelphia Eagles: Akeem Jordan Should Be Improvement as SAM LB
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

If we're tallying up everyone who was impressed enough with Moise Fokou's play at SAM last year to hand him the starting job in 2010, make sure to leave me out.

For a rookie, he was impressive in that he did more than was expected. For his size, he did a pretty good job of not getting caught in the wash on running plays and seemed like he had the speed to keep up with tight ends, although his inexperience led to some blown coverage.

But if we're being perfectly blunt, he's just not impressive enough for me to feel comfortable with him heading into the season as the starter at SAM.

And since Akeem Jordan has been taking first-team snaps for a couple practices, it doesn't look like the Eagles are ready to hand Fokou the job, either.

In fact, it looks like this could be a combination of a wavering confidence in Fokou as well as a desire to see Jordan on the field.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott denies the move has anything to do with Fokou and that he's just trying to "find the best combination" of starting linebackers. But, if he truly believed Fokou was that guy, why even insert Jordan?

Regardless of what he says, Fokou isn't giving them what they want to see in some area of his game. For me, he's just an average player in a lot of different areas, but I would attribute that more to his youth than his skill.

He could still turn out to be a very good, starting-caliber player. But, for now, he's definitely not better than Jordan.

And while most listings I find, including the Eagles' official website, have Fokou listed anywhere from two to 10 pounds heavier than Jordan, that certainly doesn't appear to be the case.

Jordan looks like he could handle playing the strong-side. He looks like he could toss a pulling guard off to the side, or stick that tackle-tight end combo and still make the play because he's so strong.

Fokou, on the other hand, looks like a WILL in that he seems more lanky than bulky.

Not only that, but Jordan's experience in the defense leads me to believe that he's better suited in coverage.

Part of being able to cover a linebacker or a running back is athletic ability, but a lot of it is understanding your responsibilities within the scheme and getting a good read on where the man you're covering is headed.

Right now, Jordan is better equipped to deal with that than Fokou.

I still believe the Eagles should have found a middle linebacker and kicked Stewart Bradley out to SAM where he could use his size to deal with the extra blockers, and his speed to cover a larger portion of the field and drop into coverage.

Kirk Morrison, for example, would have allowed the Birds to do that.

But, that's an opportunity that has passed them by so they must work with they have. And, for now, Jordan is the best option with Fokou as a reliable option off the bench were the situation to call for it.

Jordan is a play-maker, as he showed before his injury last season, and I don't think for a second that anyone could argue Ernie Sims at WILL, Bradley and MIKE, and Jordan at SAM is the most talented trio the Birds could currently field.

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