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Philly Stakes Defensive Rep on Linebackers

Philly's secondary is where the team has spent a lot of its money, adding high-priced free agent Asante Samuel from new England to a group that included corners Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown and safety Brian Dawkins. For a team that exercises prudence when it comes to bigtime contracts, they have devoted a lot of assets to that group.

Samuel already has a few picks and when they play nickel there is no lack of talent on the field. But the unit that has made the biggest difference for them thus far is the linebackers. Philly is No. 1 against the run, and No. 1 in sacks, and the linebackers are at the heart of that.

"That's the group that makes that defense go," said one NFL executive who has watched them multiple times. "It's the linebackers making plays in the run game. They have good size, they can cover a lot of ground. It's a good group."

It's also a virtually unheard-of group. Each of Philly's trio of starters is just 24. Omar Gaither (6-2, 245) is the most experienced of the bunch, and he's just in his third year. Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley (6-4, 255) is in his second year and Chris Gocong (6-2, 263) is in his second year as well. None of them were splashy draft picks, but all have the attributes to thrive in Jim Johnson's ultra-aggressive defensive scheme.

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 30, 2008; 4:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

First?

Posted by: nats_fan | September 30, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised about their ranking versus the run. I figured they were high, just not that high. Hmmmmm, guess that flies in the face of me thinking they can be run on....but I'm a stubborn New Englander, and I truly believe that they can be run on.

That aside, they're going to need some contributions from someone not named Cooley/Moss/Portis/ARE. I think they might be able to get Betts, or Portis matched up on a LB in a pass pattern and thats a plus in the Redskins favor.


Posted by: BeantownGreg | September 30, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Was just thinking about that ferocious Philly D line back in the day... Reggie White, Jerome Brown (R.I.P. to both of them), Clyde Simmons... a bunch of kid LBs coached by Jim Johnson may seem daunting, but nothing on this Iggles team has the menace of that D line...

I am using ellipsis all the time now... addicted to the little dots...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 30, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Dude, those are three monster size lbs. for one front 7.

Posted by: Club320 | September 30, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

dots are....special.

Posted by: Stumped1 | September 30, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to my world Nate....

Posted by: Gweez | September 30, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

it makes for a good... you know... comedic pause.

Posted by: Club320 | September 30, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

so like jasno, why did you mention the TD he gave up but not the interception? he gave up the TD in the first quarter but made the biggest play on D in the FOURTH quarter, in crunch time...

why the hate jasno?

Posted by: dealer1 | September 30, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

How are 245, 255, and 263 lbs that huge when we're saying that JT is tiny at 255? I don't get it.

Posted by: JesusFreakKaren | September 30, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

he=horton

Posted by: dealer1 | September 30, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Man... that was soooo, last post.

Posted by: Club320 | September 30, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Because JT plays DL and they are LB's

Posted by: Gweez | September 30, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

dealer, as if you don't know. Jasno has to hate on the 'skins if he can. Although, he has been better lately, even if his facts are a little bad. I.e. one major reporting error each post generally the past few times, not just spelling errors, which are his trademark.

Posted by: JesusFreakKaren | September 30, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

great pun in title...

Pats King of Steaks is heaven on earth....

Posted by: chrislarry | September 30, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 30, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey Karen, because they play traditional stand up LBs. like the SAM or the MIke. Where as Taylor historically played with his hand on the ground. I have no problem with his size. Strahan extended his career, by getting down to 260-255. But you need real talented guys playing interior and backing him up against the run...

Posted by: Club320 | September 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Iggles punter Rocca had six punts with a net of 44.2 and a long of 65.Stats show Hester with 4 returns for a total of 1 yard, or about 9 inches per return. I didn't watch the game but this seems amazing. If they can do that to Hester I'm a little concerned about ARE!

Posted by: will_ga | September 30, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"one major reporting error each post"

do tell, Karen...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 30, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

And my comment was more about ALL 3 of them being that size. I have not seen how they handle the pass. But gotta worry about the run, and get one of these beasts trying to keep up with Cooley. Cooley needs 12 catches and 2 TDS Sunday to loosen this D up.

Posted by: Club320 | September 30, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Mo Rocca

Posted by: chrislarry | September 30, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Mo Rocca punts for the eagles?

Posted by: chrislarry | September 30, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

BENSON TO THE BENGALS!
Posted by Mike Florio on September 30, 2008, 4:12 p.m

Ha ha...How bad does your team have to be to sign this reject? I guess 0-4.

Posted by: will_ga | September 30, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

How big are the Dallas linebackers??

Posted by: BeantownGreg | September 30, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Baltimore lost.

Posted by: Stumped1 | September 30, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

beepxtwo

Posted by: BeantownGreg | September 30, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

number 250,000 for me?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | September 30, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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