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Linebacker

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SPORTS
February 26, 2012
The staging of the NFL's annual scouting combine is like the Eagles sending DeSean Jackson deep as a decoy. While the league draws attention to an unending array of prearranged interviews with coaches, general managers, and prospects at Lucas Oil Stadium - and the generally useless three-cone drill - the real news is being made in the hotels, the eateries, and the back rooms of Indianapolis. The combine, despite its growing popularity, is merely an excuse for team officials and agents to gather and lay the groundwork for free agency, which just so happens to precede the draft by six weeks.
SPORTS
February 27, 2012 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - Turns out, Vontaze Burfict's assessment of himself jibes perfectly with how a lot of Eagles fans see him. Birds fans - some of them, anyhow - are so tired of undersized, colorless linebacking, that they have latched onto the wild man from Arizona State as exactly what their team needs, a big-hitting, flamboyant, Jeremiah Trotteresque force in the middle. Never mind that draft analysts have pushed Burfict (6-1, 248) well out of the first round, based on a disappointing senior season that included a locker-room fight with a teammate, numerous personal fouls, accusations that he was out of shape, and less difference-making play than his blow-'em-up style might promise.
NEWS
April 21, 2012 | By Jonathan Tamari, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Linebacker wasn't always an annual question mark. In 1982 the Eagles sent two homegrown 'backers to the Pro Bowl: Frank LeMaster, a 1974 fourth-rounder, and Jerry Robinson, a first-round pick in 1979, the last linebacker the team has taken in the NFL's opening round. It was the only Pro Bowl appearance for either, and the next year the team began a drought at linebacker that would seem familiar to fans today. After '82 the Eagles went nine years without a linebacker in the NFL's all-star game, but they eventually broke the streak with Seth Joyner, an eighth-round pick in 1986 who would grow into one of the central pieces of Buddy Ryan's defenses.
SPORTS
August 17, 2012 | By Rick O’Brien, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Haverford School's Matt Galambos, a rugged senior linebacker, committed to Pittsburgh on Thursday. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder, who doubles as a tight end, also had scholarship offers from Rutgers, Syracuse, and Temple. Harvard and Yale were in the mix, too. "I think he's been a bit underrated," Haverford School coach Mike Murphy said. "I really see him as a kid who's going to make a big impact at the college level. His best football is still ahead of him. " Last season, while helping the Fords to a 6-4 record, Galambos earned Inquirer third-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania honors as a tight end. In the Inter-Ac League, he was a first-team pick on both sides of the ball.
SPORTS
September 12, 2013 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
Isaiah Baylor was one of South Jersey's best defensive ends as a sophomore and junior. He won't be one of South Jersey's best defensive ends as a senior. The Triton standout has switched to inside linebacker. It's the position he's likely to play in college, and the spot from which he believes he can make the most impact in his final season with the Mustangs. "I'd rather be in the middle of the field," Baylor said. "As a defensive end, you can be a little limited in that you are only coming from one side.
NEWS
April 21, 2012
DEMECO RYANS - A two-time Pro Bowler, Ryans was acquired to be the answer to the question that has long loomed over middle linebacker. He has the pedigree, but has to bounce back from a down season in 2011. JAMAR CHANEY - After a fast start as a rookie, Chaney had a rocky 2011, starting at the strong side and then moving to the middle early in the season. He struggled at times, and will have to move back outside with Ryans in town. BRIAN ROLLE - Rolle was probably the team's most effective linebacker last season, and showed impressive power for his size.
SPORTS
August 2, 2011 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - There is a trio of stars waiting to take the field at cornerback. There's a two-time Pro Bowler at one defensive end and prize free-agent signings at the other end and defensive tackle. At safety, the Eagles have two second-round picks. And then there is linebacker, where the top of the depth chart has a fourth-round rookie at middle linebacker and two seventh-round picks on the outside. The most experienced linebacker currently on the first team is Moise Fokou, who is entering just his third season.
SPORTS
June 29, 2012
Penn State picked up its fifth oral commitment of June, and 13th overall, on Wednesday when linebacker Zach Bradshaw of Damascus, Md., informed Nittany Lions coaches that he would be part of the freshman Class of 2013. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Bradshaw told the Washington Post he chose the Lions over Virginia, South Carolina, and Northwestern. He also was offered scholarships by Michigan, Illinois, Purdue, Boston College, Arizona, and West Virginia. Bradshaw, who is rated a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, made second-team all-Met last season in the Washington area as a wide receiver, catching 35 balls for 466 yards and seven touchdowns.
SPORTS
August 10, 2015 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Penn State landed Daiquan Kelly as part of its 2015 freshman class, the Nittany Lions thought the athletic-but-undersize linebacker might one day grow into a playmaker for them. Now they'll never know. On Saturday morning, Penn State issued a statement announcing that the 6-2, 194-pound Kelly had been dismissed from the team for violating unspecified team rules. Kelly is generally regarded as a three-star recruit, although some recruiting services have rated him as high as four stars.
SPORTS
December 10, 2012
The Eagles officially placed offensive lineman Nate Menkin on injured reserve with a throat cartilage injury. They added linebacker Ryan Rau, who was on the practice squad, to the 53-man roster to take Menkin's spot. Rau traveled to Tampa. - Jeff McLane
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SPORTS
August 23, 2016 | By Les Bowen, STAFF WRITER
DOUG PEDERSON didn't even try to pretend the Eagles would be fine with the linebackers they had on hand, when Pederson was asked about the depth situation there Saturday, in the wake of Joe Walker's season-ending ACL tear. "Obviously something is going to have to be done," Pederson said. Sunday evening, league sources confirmed an ESPN report that the Eagles were signing 31-year-old linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who played for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in Tennessee and Detroit.
SPORTS
August 19, 2016 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Don Cherry had played in Lincoln Financial Field before last Thursday's exhibition opener for the Eagles, but it wasn't quite the same thing when he was there with the Villanova Wildcats. "This was a pretty amazing experience, all around," Cherry said after the game ended, after he had played about a third of the snaps at middle linebacker for an NFL team, after the kid who couldn't land a Division I scholarship kept his professional ambitions alive. "It felt great to match up against some of the kids I didn't get to play against in college.
SPORTS
August 11, 2016 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
MYKE TAVARRES has a tattoo on his arm that reads: "If you do not try, then you do not do. And if you do not do, then why are you here?" His high school wrestling coach in Lake Oswego, Ore., used to recite the line before big matches. Tavarres was inspired enough by it to inscribe it on his body. I probably would've just written it on a Post-It note, but that's me. "This quote has gotten me through everything," he said. There's not much Tavarres has been reluctant to try, and very little he's failed at. He was a three-sport star in high school (football, wrestling, track)
SPORTS
August 9, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
Jordan Hicks has lined up at middle linebacker this summer with Mychal Kendricks on one side and Nigel Bradham on the other, and there is little question or variation about the starting trio in the Eagles' base defense. The depth at the position has been an issue since the spring, without legitimate competition for the starters and a lack of experience throughout much of the depth chart behind them. That could change if the Eagles add veteran free-agent linebacker Stephen Tulloch.
SPORTS
August 5, 2016 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
TRAINING CAMP'S entrails are a difficult read. For every player who makes a play, there's a defender who allowed him to make it, and both play for the team whose fortunes we're attempting to predict. Case in point: After Wednesday's practice session, a reporter mentioned to Doug Pederson that Trey Burton seemed to be making a lot of plays out there, and Pederson agreed. Your first thought: Hey, maybe this kid's coming into his own. Your second thought: What if he isn't? And what happens when the defense that couldn't cover Trey Burton is trying to cover Jordan Reed?
SPORTS
August 3, 2016 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
JORDAN HICKS goes through defensive coordinators like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. Though, unlike Swift, Hicks has been an innocent bystander in the parade of coaches who have come and gone in his football life since he enrolled at the University of Texas in 2010. He had four different defensive coordinators in five years at Texas, and already is on his second defensive boss with the Eagles since they selected the 6-1, 236-pound linebacker in the third round of the 2015 draft.
SPORTS
July 29, 2016 | By Adam Hermann, Staff Writer
JOE WALKER stood in a hallway of the NovaCare Complex and tugged at his dark brown beard. "Sorry," he said through a sheepish smile. "I'm doing the best I can. " The linebacker, whom the Eagles selected with the third-to-final pick in the seventh round of this year's draft, didn't expect to be talking to many reporters this summer. His plan, he said, was to come in, put his head down and work to get better. He didn't think he would have to think about giving good answers. That changed when Doug Pederson went out of his way to compliment Walker after Wednesday's practice.
SPORTS
July 29, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
The Eagles linebackers on the practice field Wednesday were a collection of unheralded rookies who even the most devoted fan would need to research for trivia. But a look at the depth chart shows those rookies could become more relevant than their name recognition suggests. Nigel Bradham's arrest this week unearthed a problem that was already fermenting throughout the offseason: to whom would the Eagles turn if something happened to one of their starting linebackers? Bradham, Jordan Hicks, and Mychal Kendricks appear entrenched as the starters, but all three missed time because of injuries last season.
SPORTS
April 15, 2016 | By Les Bowen, STAFF WRITER
THE EAGLES' coaching staff was thrilled to discover what it had in Jordan Hicks last season. Hicks, a third-round rookie from Texas, stepped in as a starter in Week 3 and constantly made plays, rarely stepped wrong. He picked up the system effortlessly, showed speed, instincts, toughness. If Hicks was "Simba" to DeMeco Ryans' "Mufasa," as former coach Chip Kelly and Hicks' teammates alleged, Hicks' ability to think in sync with Ryans allowed Ryans to be much more effective running down prey than he was after Hicks went down with a torn pectoral tendon, in the eighth game of the season, at Dallas.
SPORTS
March 13, 2016 | By Zach Berman, Staff Writer
The best season of Nigel Bradham's career came with Jim Schwartz as the defensive coordinator. So when Bradham entered free agency, he knew he wanted a reunion with Schwartz. That was why Bradham signed a two-year contract with the Eagles this week, putting him back under Schwartz's watch. Bradham, 26, drew interest from teams such as Cleveland and Los Angeles, but the former Bills linebacker was drawn to Philadelphia for one major reason. "Definitely the scheme," Bradham said. "I feel like it fits my style of play very well.
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