Most people believed that either Stewart Bradley or Jamar Chaney would be the Eagles middle linebacker in 2011. Stewart Bradley, like every other Eagles free agent, will not be resigned. That leaves Jamar Chaney as the Eagles starting middle linebacker right? Wrong.
Adam Caplan is reporting that the Eagles "have already penciled Jamar Chaney in at starting strongside linebacker". Chaney has been hitting the weight room hard throughout the lockout and has added some muscle to his 240 pound frame. Chaney has already proven himself to be a complete linebacker playing both inside and outside at Mississippi State while also doing an exceptional job taking over for injured Stewart Bradley at middle linebacker in 2010.
Moise Fokou started 12 games at strongside linebacker in 2010, while he improved the run defense after taking over in Week 5 he never really showed that he could be really good to great starting outside linebacker. Chaney has more speed and size than Fokou and obviously the Eagles staff really sees Chaney as a true outside linebacker if this report is true.
So with Chaney at SAM and Tulloch at MIKE if he is signed, who would play the weakside? Well, that's what training camp and preseason is for. Keenan Clayton started one game at the position last year in Week 17 but is a bit undersized. Casey Matthews is a rookie out of Oregon where he played middle linebacker. Matthews could move to the weakside even though he doesn't have as much speed as Clayton, he has better instincts and a high football IQ. Brian Rolle is the long shot to win the weakside spot but he has great speed and his lack of size actually works in his favor. Rolle plays with a serious chip on his shoulder.