Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has said that if a team goes strong in one area of the field, it has to go lighter in others. That's the reality of the salary cap in the NFL.
So while the Eagles have been making big moves at cornerback and defensive line - their priority positions - the flip side is that they are thin on proven playmakers at linebacker.
Not that Andy Reid or defensive coordinator Juan Castillo would admit any concern about that.
"I kind of like the group in there. I want to give them reps because we drafted these kids," Reid said last week. "I'm not going to tell you that we wouldn't add to that group. At the same time, a couple of those young guys have some talent, it looks like."
While Reid's comments hinted that the team might seek a veteran, none has arrived yet. The Eagles typically put less value on linebackers compared to ends and cornerbacks.
The team decided not to re-sign two of last year's starters, Stewart Bradley and Ernie Sims, and let veteran Omar Gaither walk away as well.
The unit is now headed by Fokou and five players who were drafted in 2010 and 2011, all in the fourth round or later.
Most of the attention has fallen on Casey Matthews, a fourth-round pick in April who, as the top middle linebacker so far in camp, has been charged with making play calls.
"We noticed it," he said of the group's youth. "There's a third-year guy, a first-year guy and a second-year guy out there [with the first team], but as long as you know your stuff and work hard, you'll play."
Castillo described Matthews as smart and calm in the huddle, explaining his confidence in the rookie.
"He's just a very confident individual," Castillo said.
Matthews said summer training with his brother, Packers star Clay Matthews, helped him prepare for the transition to the NFL.
Chaney, the second-year player who started three games at middle linebacker last season, has had to learn a new spot, strongside linebacker.
At first, "I wasn't pretty much liking the [strongside] at all, but now I'm getting the feel of it," Chaney said. "As long as I'm playing fast, it doesn't matter which one of the linebacker spots I'm playing."
Behind the starters are 2011 seventh-rounders Brian Rolle and Greg Lloyd and 2010 fourth-round pick Keenan Clayton.
Fifth-year players Rashad Jeanty and Akeem Jordan are also in camp, but Jeanty missed all of the 2010 season due to a broken fibula, and Jordan can't yet practice because of NFL free-agent contract rules.
For most of the young linebackers, special teams will be where they get their initial experience. They also know there are opportunities on defense.
"Coaches are going to put the best guys on the field," said Rolle, middle linebacker on the second team.
With such a young crop, Castillo said his focus is teaching.
"How do you bring along guys like that? Fundamentals," Castillo said. "Let them understand when they make a mistake, 'Hey, that's not your fault. That's my fault because I'm your coach, and it's my responsibility to teach you.' "
The question is whether they can learn fast enough to become solid complements to their big-name teammates.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, email@example.com or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.