"I was talking to my dad - every time you see me on the field you hear my name," Rolle said. "My coaches must have seen that light and felt that I need to be on the field more."
Rolle was playing primarily on pass downs but will be asked to defend the run more. Some have questioned whether he has the size - he's listed at 5-foot-10, 227 pounds - to take on big blockers, especially with the wider gaps in the Eagles scheme.
"I think I'm better in the run than in the pass," he said.
His best play against the Giants, however, may have come when he broke up a fourth-quarter pass intended for fullback Henry Hynoski. Earlier in the game, Matthews was beaten on a similar play when running back Brandon Jacobs caught a 40-yard touchdown pass.
"Casey - it was a new move for him on the outside backer," Rolle said. "When it happened to me it was just second nature, just take the back. Just knowing the game of football and knowing where you need to be helped you out."
Matthews said after practice that he was disappointed by the move but that he expected to get the job back.
"It's a long season," he said. "We lost two games in a row. They're just trying stuff."
A fourth-round draft pick, Matthews was the starter in the middle at the onset of training camp. But his struggles became readily apparent by the second preseason game, and the rookie became the target of fan ire.
"Obviously it doesn't happen often - going in, especially drafted in the fourth round, and starting right off the bat," Matthews said. "That was an opportunity to learn and take reps.
Nate Allen, who replaced Kurt Coleman after he was benched against the Giants, will be the starting safety alongside Jarrad Page this Sunday when the Eagles host the 49ers.
Allen opened camp as the starter with Coleman but lost his spot during the preseason when it was clear he wasn't 100 percent recovered from the season-ending knee injury he suffered in December. The second-year player ruptured his patellar tendon.
"It's feeling good," Allen said of his right knee. "Still rehabbing and doing all that stuff. Just continuing to get it strong."
Allen was used mainly on special teams but began to see more time in certain defensive packages.
"You're always just one play away from having to go in and play," Allen said, "so I had to stay as focused as I could."
Jeremy Maclin did not practice because of a hamstring strain, but quarterback Michael Vick said that the Eagles should have the wide receiver ready by Sunday.
"I'm looking forward to having Maclin out there," Vick said.
Maclin declined to comment after practice. Coach Andy Reid said the receiver was "day-to-day."
Reid said that receiver Riley Cooper, who suffered a concussion against the Giants, passed his testing and was cleared by an independent neurologist. Cooper, who missed two games last season because of a concussion, practiced.
Cooper said he once had a concussion in college.
Defensive end Darryl Tapp (pectoral strain) returned to practice but was limited. Tapp missed the last two games. Asked if he'll play Sunday, Tapp said: "There's a chance but no guarantee."
Defensive end Juqua Parker (high ankle sprain) and cornerback Brandon Hughes (hamstring strain) did not practice. Reid said Parker was making progress and that Hughes was a stretch for Sunday.