Eagles Could Have Major Shift at Linebacker

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gocong has never played MIKE in the NFL or college.

This Sunday, we could see some new faces in different places in the linebacking corps given that Akeem Jordan will most likely not play.

Sean McDermott has openly said that if Jordan can not play that Will Witherspoon will line up as the WILL linebacker, Chris Gocong at MIKE, and Moise Fokou will get his second consecutive start at the SAM linebacker position.

So what does this say about Jeremiah Trotter? Apparently McDermott trusts Gocong more to start at a position he's never played over Trotter who's played the position for his entire career.

It appears as though the Eagles feel they made a mistake by bringing Trott back.

Either way, it will certainly be eventful to watch how this actually works out. Witherspoon has been a successful WILL before, so that's not a big deal. Fokou, while he didn't exactly impress last week, will get better and is a natural SAM. But Gocong has never played the MIKE position and may have some troubles.

He's the smartest guy in the linebacking corps, as well as the biggest (6'3 263), so it makes him the perfect candidate to give it a go. However, it's not quite as easy as all that, and everyone knows it.

Playing the MIKE is a difficult position and takes a superior mind and a superior athlete to play the position, especially in McDermott's defense.

Tossing Gocong into the middle could be for the fear of playing against Antonio Gates, who will probably need to be double-covered. Fokou, Gocong, and Witherspoon are the best coverage linebackers the Eagles have, which isn't exactly saying much, but having the three of them on the field at the same time may not be a bad idea.

Gocong and Witherspoon would be the duo on the field for the nickel package as well, which may not matter considering the cornerbacks situation and the depleted secondary.

Either way, buckle up Philly, because it's certainly going to be a trip.

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